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Ecology and global warming (温暖化生態学特論)

Mount Usu / Sarobetsu post-mined peatland
From left: Crater basin in 1986 and 2006. Cottongrass / Daylily

[ Content | References | Links | Report | Remarks ]


To understand the basic concept of the effects of global warming on ecosystem changes and its responses. I will talk about terrestrial ecosystems, and Dr. Suzuki will talk about oceanic ecosystems.
Teresstiral ecosystems (by Tsuyuzaki)
  1. Terrestrial ecosystems and global warming
  2. Photosynthesis and primary production
  1. Estimation procedures on primary production
  2. Energy and matter cycles
  3. Global warming and responses from ecosystems with fine scale
  4. Global warming and responses from ecosystems with macro-scale
  5. Basic concept of modeling on temporal ecosystem changes

Ocean ecosystems will be lectured by Suzuki K.

Content: Terrestrial eocsystems and global warming

Introduction (Guidance)

Terrestrial ecosystem [Introcution to global warming lectured by ST]
A brief introduction of mechanisms on global warming

The main 'greenhouse gases' - relative contribution to the 'greenhouse effect'
CO2 and methane
Selected monthly mean CO2 concentrations from continuous measurements at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Geophysical Monitoring for Climate Change (NOAA/GMCC) stations at four locations from 1973 to 1983
Greenhouse effect and refrigerator effect
Global temperature change
Prediction of sea level rise in 21th century - we do noto consider this in this lecture

A brief introduction of plant communities and the environments

Sun rays

Life form
Biome and its related environmental factors

Cancelled in this year due to few attendants
For the reference, the followings are the contents in the last year
Plant community

Biome with reference to productivity and biomass
Diversity and scale

Biologically important global climate change factors

Case 1: Forest fire in taiga
Case 2: Spatial patterns of lightning

12H2O + 6CO2 ← C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

Water, light and temperature
Root systems
Leaf characteristics

Temperature and fire (supplement)

Smoke-induced seed germination
Sensitivity of seasonality
Cold stratification

Case: Phacelia secunda (Hydrophyllaceae)

Seed dispersal
Global scale
Remote sensing

Platform and sensor
Procedure of remote sensing
Major attributes of remotely-sensed data
Characteristics of sattelites and sensors

Geographical information system (GIS)

Vector data / grid data WebGIS LINK: FreeGIS, MapServer, DM Solutions Group

Biome map by remote sensing data

General light reflection patterns on green plants, soils, and water
Vegetation index (LANDSAT-MSS): Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)
Applied case studies: Volcano, and animal growth

Estimation of primary production from satellite data

Absorbed photosynthetically active radiation
Average light utilization efficiency
NPP for land and ocean estimated from satellite data

Primary procution

Gross primary production (GPP)
Net primary production (NPP)
Net ecosystem production (NEP)
Net biome production (NBP)

Biogeochemical cycle

Nutirent cycle
Food web: Cases - Antarctic and Arctic
Keystone species: Case - Savanna
Nitrogen cycle
Phosphorus cycle
Water cycle
Throughfall and stemflow

Field methods
How to measure biomass with narrow scale
Qualitative and quantatative data
Cover and dominance: Braun-Blanquet cover scale vs percentage cover
Plot size: Species-area curve
Diameter and basal area
Biomass: dry and fresh weights

Form defining function: interpreting leaf functional variability in integrated plant phenotypes
Case: A test of generality of leaf trait relationships on the Tibetan Plateau

Comparisons of primary porductivity estimated by land and atmospheric signals
Estimation and prediction
Estmimation of primary production in field

NPP estimated by biomass
Carbon flux estimated by biomass
NPP estimation algorithms used for grassland surveys
Net biome productivity in forest, agricultural, and peat sectors

Reconstruction of paleo-ecosystem

Pollen analysis (palyonolgy)
Tree-ring analysis (dendrochronology)


Case: Effect of volcanic eruption on tree growth


Pseudo-alpine zone
First hypothesis on the creation of pseudo-alpine zone
Rejection of the first hypothesis
Second hypothesis on the creation of pseudo-alpine zone
A few evidences ...

Methane emsssion

Principles of methane emission
Instruments to measure methane emission
Pattens on methane emissions on various ecosystems

Assessing methane emissions from global space-borne observations (SCIMACHY)
Methane emissions from terrestrial plants under aerobic conditions (Keppler et al. 2006)

Controversial status (accept vs reject)
Methoxyl groups of plant pectin as a precursor of atmospheric methane

Plant communities on skislopes with refernece to global warming

Procedure of ski slope establishment in Japan
Environmental deterioration resulting from ski-resort construction in Japan
Chronosequence on skislope vegetation

Relationships between vegetation pattern and environmental gradients on a skislope in the lowland of Hokkaido
Establishment of tree species on skislopes
Miscanthus sinensis might be a keystone species

Global warming effects on ecosystems with micro-scale

Experimental warming

Field greenhouse (Smaller plastic greenhouses and burlap-covered shade frames at the subarctic heath site, Abisko, Sweden)
Passive open-top chamber (Abisko Scientific Research Station, Abisko, Sweden)
Active open-top chamber
Active soil warming
Electric infrared heat (Infrared heaters in place above subalpine meadow vegetation, Colorado)
Reciprocal or one-way transplantation
Advantages and disadvantages on each experimental design

Measurments of ecosystem changes by warming experiments

Perennial plants
Arctic tundra
Annual plants
Responses of to global warming with differnt life forms


Range of ecosystems and growth forms examined in meta-analysis
Principle of meta-analysis
Procedures on meta-analysis

Concept of modelings on temporal ecosystem changes

How we extract mulit-factors
Parameters for predicting ecosystem changes by global warming
Migration pace on plant communities
Seed dispersal types
Differences in global warming models
Changes in the aerial coverage of major biome types under current and changed climate conditions


How to score: Attendance + Examination
References will be introduced in the lecture.