The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University Professor Toru Nakashizuka

Clarify the mechanism behind the impact of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystems at high latitudes and high altitudes

Research grant

Project Description

This project covers beech forests, sub-alpine forests, and wetlands in Shirakami Sanchi, the Hakkoda Mountains, and Towada that are expected to be significantly affected by future climate change (global warming and changes in snowfall). We will identify regions that are vulnerable to climate change through an analysis of climate change and changes in vegetation from aerial photographs and satellite data. In addition, field research will clarify the mechanism through which global warming and changes in snowfall have an effect on forest structure, the variety of wetland species, and the ecosystem functions of each ecosystem.

Climate changePreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2011 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2012 - March 2015
Grant amount
18,900,000 yen
Activity region
Hakkoda Mountains, Shirakami Sanchi, Japan
Near upper limit of beech distribution in the Hakkoda Mountains

Overview of the Organization

Professor Toru Nakashizuka
Professor Toru Nakashizuka
Specialist field
Forest ecology
Affiliated academic societies
The Ecological Society of Japan, The Japanese Forest Society
Born in Niigata Prefecture in 1956. Acquired Doctor of Science from Osaka City University. After serving as Chief Researcher at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Professor at the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, and Professor at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, has served as Professor at the Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University since 2006 and Director of the Botanical Gardens, Tohoku University since 2011. Specialist fields include forest ecology and biodiversity science.
Collaborating researchers
Kohki Hikosaka (Tohoku University), Hiroko Kurokawa (Tohoku University), Takanao Tanaka (Tohoku University), Hideaki Shibata (Hokkaido University)
Research record
  • (1) Toru Nakashizuka, 1998, "Monsoon Asia Biodiversity - Iwanami Koza - Regional Environmental Studies" edited by Tamizi Inoue and Agata Wada, Iwanami Shoten, pp. 133-159.
  • (2) Nakashizuka, T. & Matsumoto, Y. (eds). 2002. Diversity and Interaction in a Temperate Forest Community. Ogawa Forest Reserve of Japan. Springer, Tokyo, pp.319.
  • (3) Nakashizuka, T. & Stork, N.(eds.). 2002. Protocols for Biodiversity Research. Kyoto University Press, Kyoto, and Trans Pacific Press, Melbourn, pp. 209.
  • (4) Toru Nakashizuka. 2004, "Forest Sketch", Tokai University Press, pp. 236
  • (5) Shimazaki, M., Sasaki, T., Hikosaka, K., Nakashizuka, T. 2011. Environmental dependence of population dynamics and height growth of a subalpine conifer across its vertical distribution: an approach using high-resolution aerial photographs. Global Change Biology 17, 3431-3438.