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Research on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation taking into account synergies and trade-offs of ecosystem services

【FOOD】 Koike Team

  • Overview

    The study aims to promote basic and applied research on ecosystem management that considers the sustainable use of ecosystem services (ESs) and the conservation of biodiversity in ecosystems, such as forests and rural areas. Specifically, the study analyzes the relationship between various ESs and biodiversity in each ecosystem. It examines the impact of forest resource use on climate change based on future projections of wood demand. Therefore, the study employs ecological and sociological methods to analyze the ecology of various organisms and ESs and to elucidate the mechanisms by which human activities affect ESs and biodiversity. Importantly, the study aims to contribute to the literature on the maintenance of healthy ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity by investigating various mechanisms such as the impact of human activities on ESs and biodiversity.

  • Approaches

    Humans benefit from ecosystems through the use of natural resources and disaster prevention, which are called ESs. In general, the richer the biodiversity, the better the ESs. Moreover, conserving biodiversity is important for the continuation of ESs in the future. Conversely, when one ES among many is pursued for improvement, the other ESs may improve due to positive synergy (synergy), whereas other ESs may decline (trade-off). The excessive use of ESs can exert a negative impact on biodiversity. Therefore, a global need emerges to manage ecosystems and transfer ESs to continue receiving and balancing each type of ES while conserving biodiversity.

    Although the relationship between synergy trade-offs among ESs and biodiversity is complex and lacks elucidation, the current study focuses on two outdoor ecosystems, namely, forest and rangeland , on the basis of the results of previous studies. Furthermore, the current study examines the relationship between biodiversity conservation and ESs, especially synergy trade-offs among supply services and regulating services. The study aims to identify the issues that significantly influence the synergy and trade-off between biodiversity conservation and ES, especially supply services and coordination services. Importantly, the researchers intend to promote surveys and research to address the abovementioned concerns. Specifically, the study investigates the effects of human activities (i.e., decline in human activity, tourism, use of timber, and resource [human and budget] constraints on conservation) and natural phenomena on biodiversity and ES. The study seeks to identify factors that affect the balance between ESs and various species’ groups and highlight issues that should be addressed when promoting sustainable ES and biodiversity conservation. Lastly, the study aims to examine specific models for ecosystem management.

  • Plan

    The research team will conduct biodiversity and ES studies mainly in forest and rangeland ecosystems. In addition, the team will identify issues on biodiversity and the balance among ESs in each field as a result of human activities and natural phenomena. In addition, the study will evaluate the impact of such realities and present proposals for measures deemed appropriate for ecosystem management in the future.

    The research team will address the following issues in the sustainable use of ES and ecosystem conservation: 1) sustainable use of each ES in forest ecosystems and examination of various factors influencing ES, 2) examination of management and conservation measures for biodiversity that supports ES, especially grassland ecosystems, and 3) use of natural resources, especially forest resources, based on future projections of wood demand and its impact on climate change. Specifically, the study will take the following steps.

    1) Assess the ESs of forest ecosystems and evaluate various impacts
       The study will focus on human activities and natural phenomena that influence the regulating services of forest ecosystems (e.g., seed dispersal, material circulation, and pollinators) and supply services (e.g., wood production). The study will then clarify the direct and indirect impacts of large mammals as their populations and distributions increase and of humans as their activities on ES decrease.

    (2) Examine the management and conservation measures of biodiversity that supports ESs and focuses on rural ecosystems
       The study will integrate and analyze long-term monitoring data at the national scale and records of ecosystem management status at each monitoring site to identify effective management measures and management systems for long-term maintenance of biodiversity in rural ecosystems. The analysis will target multiple taxonomic groups and the extent of agreement or disagreement among such groups regarding effective management measures. In addition, the team will search for similar data sets from studies in other countries. If such data are obtainable, then the study will conduct further analysis using a similar framework to compare effective management measures across countries and elucidate the impact of urbanization on ESs at the global scale.

    (3) Examine the use of forest resources based on future projections of wood demand and its impact on climate change
       The study will present future projections of wood demand associated with human socioeconomic activities in Japan and around the world. In particular, the team will focus on the construction, civil engineering, paper, and energy sectors as the main consumers of wood and examine the demand and policy trends for these consumers, which will be included in the future projections.

Team Head

International Researcher(s)

Tatsuya Amano

Affiliation The University of Queensland (Australia)
Division / Department School of Biological Science
Position Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow
URL

https://sites.google.com/site/amatatsu830jp/

Maximilian L. Allen

Affiliation University of Illinois (U.S.A.)
Division / Department Natural Resources and Environmental Science Department
Position Research professor,
URL

https://maxallen.inhs.illinois.edu/

Chun Sheng Goh

Affiliation Sunway University (Malaysia)
Division / Department Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC)
Position Deputy Director of Graduate Studies
URL

https://scholar.harvard.edu/csgoh

Members

Munemitsu Akasaka  (Institute of Global Innovation Research / Professor)
Chihiro Kayo  (Institute of Agriculture / Associate Professor)
Tomoko Naganuma   (Institute of Global Innovaion / Assistant Professor)  (2020.4.1 ~ 2022.3.31)

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