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Environmental sciences (環境科学)

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

  1. a science of environment = environmental science: need independent field of research → study on restoration of the rights of human life (Igeta 1981)
  2. sciences of environment - environmental sciences
    need interdisciplinary collaboration → not to confuse environmental sciences with environmental issues → need environmental science
What is environmental science?

need to cooperate with field experiments and lab-experiments
nowadays, experimental science is one of the popular scientific approaches.

How do we approach the field science?

method: principles of mechanical reductionism vs wholism

in environmental science, wholism is major because the study deals with significance or fatal problems on human and other living things, i.e., the total phenomena of studies in fields.

Environmental earth science (地球環境科学)

  1. 3E: earth science - ecology - economy
  2. studies on the type of problem finding
  3. 3A approach: assessment science, action science, appropriate science → global mind and local action

Environmental governance (環境ガバナンス)

a discrete area of policy and research, particularly concerning the expansion of theoretical knowledge regarding environmental justice and sustainability (Batterbury & Fernando 2006)
Good governance, evaluated by legitimacy, transparency, accountability, inclusivity, fairness, integration, capability and effectiveness (Lockwood et al. 2010)

Global warming (地球温暖化)

Introcution to global warming
Ecology and global warming

Ultraviolet (ozone hole)

Ozone depletion and the effects of UV radiation

Introcution to global warming (地球温暖化総論)

Objectives of this lecture (conducted duirng 2004 and 2010)

Large-scaled environmental fluctuations derive various effects on biosphere, including various-sized organisms from unicellular microorganisms to large animals and plants. To clarify the responses of ecosystems to environments, it is prerequisite to research and analyze various temporal and spatial scales. Based on the consideration of those scales, we focus on terrestrial and oceanic plant communities and learn the response of ecosystems to global warming and the feedback to the environments.
Related lectures
Global warming ecology ( 温暖化生態学特論 )
Advanced course in environmental conservation (環境保全特論)
Introduction to ozone depletion and the effect of UV (自然環境学総論)
[ References / Link ]
Carbon offset (カーボンオフセット)
Reduction or removal of emissions of CO2 or other GHGs made to compensate for emissions made elsewhere

must be measurable, e.g., planting trees

Carbon neutral (カーボンニュートラル): CO2 emissions become zero through carbon offset

biome: temperature and precipitation
(human) disturbance

scale-dependence on disturbances

greenhouse effect and refrigerator effect
interactions between environments and between environments and ecosystems
interactions between environments and between environments and ecosystems
taiga and forest fire

Regeneration after wildfire in Alaska P
multi-dimensional scaling (MDS)

Space and time
Small scale
experimental warming

field greenhouse
passive open-top chamber
active open-top chamber
active soil warming
electric infrared heat
reciprocal or one-way transplantation

Measurments of ecosystem changes by warming experiments

perennial plants
annual plants
and … belowground
negative feedbak

Topic: methane emissions from terrestrial plants under aerobic conditions

Large (global) scale
To understand the followings, read references

single factor (Ex. temperature only)
two factors (Ex. temperature and precipitation)
multiple factors
application to ecosystem changes by global warming
there are many controversial subjects

remote sensing and GIS
general reflection patterns of plants, soil, and water
vegetation index
normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)

seasonal changes in NDVI
temperal changes of NDVI on Mount Pinatubo
[Mudflows on the volcano Mount Pinatubo, Philippines]
seasonal changes in NDVI in the world
distribution of biome, evaluated by NDVI
geographic information system


6CO2 + 12H2O ← C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O
It may be no exaggeration to say that this equation tells all.

GPP and NPP: primary productivity (gross primary productivity and net primary productivity)
estimation of primary productivity by satellite data

absorbed photosynthetically active radiation, APAR
average light utilization efficiency, ε
NPP = (APAR)·ε


Ozone depletion and the effects of UV radiation (オゾン層破壊と紫外線影響評価総論)

Effects of ultraviolet (紫外線影響)

Excision repair (除去修復)
UV, X-ray = 200-295 nm

260 nm – DNA, RNA
285 nm – Thymine, Cytosine, FT, C-C and T-C dimer

┳┳┳┳┳┳┳ ← repair     ┳┳┳┳┳┳┳
            T T                ↔                    T-T
┻┻┻┻┻┻┻ mutation → ┻┻┻┻┻┻┻

UV exposure is utlized for making bacterial mutants - mutation rate is maximum when the survival is 1-2%

SOS repair (SOS修復)

Two types of repairment

1) Photoreactivation
2) Dark repair

Content of lecture

plant community

Ex. Mount Koma
flora list on Mount Koma


leaf colors in spring with reference to UV
Raunkiaer's life-form spectra

distribution correlated with environment
spatial and temporal changes in ecosystems



wavelengths that are used for photosynthesis


scale-dependent environmental factor

food web and trophic levels


ultraviolet (UV) and terrestrial plants

responses of plants to UV

flavon - UV-absorbing substances

secondary metabolites

Ex. nicotine
functions of secondary metabolites
for field trainings: Aconitum yezoense, Rhus ambigua and Urtica platyphylla)

lab-experiments: advantages and disadvantages
Spring extrapolation - risky
repairment by visible light
mycorrhizal fungi and plants
the way to understand ecosystem responses to UV
effects of UV on mycorrhizal fungi
interactions between mychorrhizal fungi and plants
responses of plants changed by UV
litter decomposition and UV: photodegradation and microbial decomposition
field experiment
Responses of Grimmia antarctici Card on UV
principles of meta-analysis
meta-analysis of the effects of UV on plant responses
meta-analysis of the responses of plants to UV in the Arctic
the schema of ecosystem chanegs induced by climate changes, including UV - no numerals now
the present status of UV in Australia
people living closer to the Antarctic have stronger crisis awareness. Therefore, the research on the effects of UV on ecosystems and lives are conducted well in Australia, South Africa and countries of South America.

recognizing differences between ocean and land
prediction of temporal UV changes in Australia
system of UV surveillance in South Australia
ultraviolet forecast
TV commercial (skin cancer)
Slip! Slop! Slap!No hat, No play
However, …, as it is, one scene in Western Australia

Relationships between scientists, officials, mass media and people expressed by a trigonal pyramid