Relationship Between Living Things and Geography
Living things develop niches in their environments through the process of adaptation. It is rare to see a forest made up of only one species of tree or a meadow with only one species of insect. Many different types of living things inhabit one single environment, making up what is called an ecosystem.
The types of living things within an ecosystem change depending on the environment. Japan, running from the subarctic zone in the north to the subtropics in the south, is characterized by various climates. Additionally, because of its placement atop moving tectonic plates, there is considerable fluctuation in the terrain. Because of these conditions, Japan is home to various different ecosystems, and we can observe the distinct barriers between them.
In the case of the distribution of land animals, the most distinct barrier is bodies of water. At first glance, there may seem to be little change between the living things on Oki and those on the Shimane Peninsula on the mainland Honshū Island. However, the fact that there are no large mammals found on the Oki Islands and the existence of endemic species reveals the differences in the types of living things inhabiting these areas. Furthermore, differences can even be seen between the living things found on each of the Oki Islands.