Hakone town is located within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The town was divided into six regions (Fig. 1b) by the Flora-Kanagawa Association to research local flora (Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History 2001). This monitoring program was conducted along eight hiking trails in regions "Hakone-1, 2, and 4," which are located west of Hakone (Fig. 1b). Each trail is composed of a main pathway and several side paths. "Hakone-1" has three trails: 1) the Mt. Kintokiyama trail, which ascends to Mt. Kintoki and is dominated by forest edge and understory habitats; 2) the Kojiri-touge, which climbs Mt. Kojiri-touge and Mt. Kurotake and is also dominated by forest edge and understory habitats; and 3) the Sengokuhara hiking trail around the Sengokuhara wetland and along the Hayakawa River area, which is dominated by grassland habitats (Fig. 1c). "Hakone-2" has one trail, which comprises the western portion of the Ashinoko Lake trail that follows Ashinoko Lake and is dominated by forest edge and understory habitats (Fig. 1c). "Hakone 4" has four trails: 1) around the Hakone Visitor Center within a picnic area at Kojiri that is dominated by grassland habitats; 2) the Mt. Kamiyama and Mt. Komagatake trails, which climb Mt. Kamiyama and Mt. Komagatake, respectively, and are dominated by forest edge and understory habitats; 3) the Mt. Owakudani trail that ascends the Mt. Owakudani volcanic fume through a forest and is dominated by forest edge and understory habitats; and 4) the Yusakamichi hiking trail, which connects to the east side of Hakone along both forest edge and grassland habitats (Fig. 1c). Thus, the monitoring areas include several types of environments, such as mountainous areas, forest, wetland, river and lake riparian zones, and grassland areas. The approximate positions of the hiking trails are shown in Fig. 1.
Species occurrences were observed along eight hiking trails within the regions "Hakone-1," "Hakone-2," and "Hakone-4" in the town of Hakone (Fig. 1b). Observers walked along the hiking trails and recorded the plant species that they found, with particular focus on flowering species. Thus, not all plant species were always recorded. Observations were conducted at each hiking trail once or twice per month every year by at least two individual volunteers. Observations occasionally did not occur due to the lack of participants or to closure of the hiking trails. Typically, several volunteers were in charge of each hiking trail, and these members rarely changed.
All raw data were recorded using only Japanese names. Family and scientific names were ascertained as described using the Y List (http://bean.bio.chiba-u.jp/bgplants/ylist_main.html; accessed 15 February 2013). If the Japanese standard name could not be found in the Y List, the data were removed from the analysis. Family names were according to the Engler family described in the Y list. All species were identified using references based on morphological forms by members of the Hakone Park Volunteer Association.
- Monitoring with only observation
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