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This book focuses on the long-term interactions between people and nature in and around Lake Biwa, one of the oldest lakes in the world. Accordingly, it not only covers the characteristics of the biota of this ancient lake, but also approaches it as a 'cultural ancient lake.' Furthermore, various problems surrounding the lake, especially recent environmental changes that occurred before and after Japan's rapid economic growth of the 1950s and 60s, are reviewed, including: water pollution, lakeshore development and the reclamation of attached lakes, alien and invasive species, and problems related to the recent warming of the climate. Lastly, by analyzing data on the problems collected by the local government and residents of the lake basin, the book provides a comprehensive outlook on the future of Lake Biwa and people's lifestyles. As such, it provides indispensable information for all people engaged in improving and conserving water regimes around the world, as well as people interested in the culture and history of Japan.
Chapter 1: Geological history and transition of the biota of Lake Biwa
Chapter 2: Biodiversity of Lake Biwa
Chapter 3: Ecological changes in Lake Biwa
Chapter 4: History of the relationship between people and Lake Biwa
Chapter 5: The use of Lake Biwa and people's lifestyle
Chapter 6: Evolving history of Lake Biwa and the Yodo River Basin management
Chapter 7: Environmental conservation of Lake Biwa
Hiroya Kawanabe is Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University and Curator Emeritus of the Lake Biwa Museum. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Ecological Research, past President of the International Society of Species in Ancient Lakes, the Ecological Society of Japan and the Japanese Society of Ecology and Civil Engineering. His research themes are community ecology and life-culture diversity.
Machiko Nishino is the Head of the Integrated Analysis Division at the Lake Biwa Environmental Research Institute. Her research themes are ecology of freshwater invertebrates and conservation ecology.
Masayoshi Maehata is a Professor at Kobe Gakuin University and Curator Emeritus of the Lake Biwa Museum. Research themes are fish ecology and conservation ecology.