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Institute of Global Innovation Research

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Food

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[FOOD] Koike Team 

Researches on biodiversity-friendly and sustainable natural resource management in terrestrial ecosystems.

Team Head

Shinsuke Koike

Affiliation Institute of Agriculture
Division / Department Division of Environment Conservation
Position Associate Professor
URL http://web.tuat.ac.jp/~for-bio/

Foreign Researcher(s)

Tatsuya Amano

Affiliation The University of Queensland (U.K.)
Division / Department School of Biological Science
Position Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow
URL https://sites.google.com/site/amatatsu830jp/

Andreas Zedrosser

Affiliation University College of Southeast Norway (Norway)
Division / Department Department of Environmental and Health Studies
Position Associate Professor
URL https://www.usn.no/forskning/hva-forsker-vi-pa/natur-helse-og-miljo/lebe/

Sam M. J. G. Steyaert

Affiliation Nord University (Norway)
Division / Department Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture
Position Associate Professor
URL

Members

Munemitsu Akasaka (Institute of Agriculture / Associate Professor), Noriko IwaiI (Institute of Agriculture / Associate Professor), Hirotaka Komine (Institute of Global Innovaion / Assistant Professor)

Overview

Recently, the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources have become global issues. It is particularly necessary to strengthen the fundamental and broad measures to resolve biodiversity crisis. Currently, biodiversity loss is accelerating rather than decelerating, both in Japan and on a global scale. In order to preserve biodiversity, academic fields covering a wide range of space–time scales and research areas across the board are warranted.
In this research team, we will focus on three fields (forest, grassland, and freshwater ecosystems) to identify challenges that have major impacts on biodiversity loss and sustainable natural resource management. We will determine problems caused by social restrictions (e.g., human societal factors due to population decrease, restrictions on resources related to conservation and human-induced disturbance such as urbanization) and their impact on biodiversity in each field. In addition, we will propose measures to appropriately manage ecosystems in the future.

Approaches

This research team will focus on the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable natural resources in freshwater as well as terrestrial ecosystems, including forest and grassland ecosystems. We will analyze the ecology of various organisms in each ecosystem by several ecological methods and also the biological interactions, biodiversity maintenance mechanisms, and influence of human activities on biodiversity. This team aims to conserve the sound terrestrial ecosystem and, thus, to contribute to biodiversity conservation by clarifying mechanisms such as the influence on the biodiversity of the earth.
In addition, we will identify issues that may have a major impact on the loss of biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources and promote research toward solving them. We will particularly evaluate the impact of social constraints (e.g., human societal factors such as population decline, restrictions on human and budget resources related to conservation) on biodiversity for various ecosystems and species. To conduct surveys on the current situation, we will identify issues that can be involved in future conservation of biodiversity, examine specific ecosystem management methods, and publish the results to ensure sound management. We aim to conserve the terrestrial ecosystems and to contribute to biodiversity preservation in these ecosystems.

Plan

The research team will mainly conduct surveys in three fields (forest, grassland, and freshwater ecosystems). In each field, we will determine the problems arising from social restrictions (e.g., human societal factors due to population decrease, restrictions on human and budget resources related to conservation) and their effects on biodiversity; we will evaluate the impacts of these factors on the current situation. Thereby, we will propose measures to appropriately manage ecosystems in the future.
1) We will clarify any direct or indirect impacts on the ecosystems by assessing sika deer population, which increases following reduction in the hunting population and global warming. We will also clarify the influence of human society and ecology by studying Asian black bears that are expanding their distribution. We will accordingly propose measures for the management and conservation of forest ecosystems with regard to species habitat and also propose a management plan for large mammals.
2) We will clarify the effects on biodiversity of the increasing the abandonment of agricultural land due to a decrease in primary producers and reduction in anthropogenic management. We will propose measures for an effective promotion of biodiversity preservation in grassland ecosystems.
3) It is considered that changing in the social environment will change the budget and personnel involved in the conservation and management of ecosystems in the future. Therefore, it is desirable to develop an efficient ecosystem conservation method. We will develop a method for outlining protected areas at a macro scale, evaluating the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation by these protected areas, and establishing a framework to estimate social characteristics that are to be improved.

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