The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University Professor Masashi Ohara

Quantitative assessment for the sustainability of plant populations and maintenance of ecosystems by means of long-term monitoring data and statistical genetic analysis

Research grant

Project Description

In this research, we turn to long-term census data to evaluate, on both a genetic aspect and a mathematical modeling aspect, the ecological genetic behavior of perennial plant populations having a variety of life histories. That is, the flow of research is comprised of three analyses: outdoor ecological surveying, genetic analysis, and mathematical analysis. By this, we demonstrate the importance of long-term plant population monitoring and of genetic analysis plant populations. Also, by creating a manual for assessing the sustainability of plant populations based on a mathematical treatment of the resulting data, we provide an analytical foundation on which to treat data accumulated through long-term monitoring of critical ecosystems or plant populations. This will assist in efforts to provide information of use in statistical analyses of biological populations, environmental preservation programs, and environmental impact assessments.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2008 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2009 - March 2012
Grant amount
9,064,000 yen
Activity region
Hokkaido; Tohoku (northeast Japan)
Plant survey

Overview of the Organization

Professor Masashi Ohara
Professor Masashi Ohara
Specialist fields
Plant ecology, conservation ecology, ecological genetics
Affiliated academic societies
The Ecological Society of Japan; Botanical Society of Japan; Botanical Society of America; Society for the Study of Species Biology
In June 1987 became an Assistant at the School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University. In August 1995 was appointed Assistant Professor at the same institution. In November 1996 became Assistant Professor at the College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. In March 2000 was appointed Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University. In April 2003 took the position of Professor, and in April 2005, was re-appointed Professor, a post currently held. Ph.D. holder (Science; Kyoto University, March 1990)
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Takenori TAKADA, Professor, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science; Keiko KITAMURA, Senior Researcher, Hokkaido Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
Research record
  • (1) Kato, Y., Araki, K and Ohara, M. (2009) Breeding System and floral visitors of Varatrum album subsp. oxysepalum (Melanthiaceae). Plant Species Biology 24: 42-46.
  • (2) Araki, K., Shimatani, K. and Ohara, M.(2009) Dynamics of distribution and performance of ramets constructing genets: a demographic-genetic study in a clonal plants, Convallaria keiskei. Annals of Botany 104: 71-79.
  • (3) Kubota, S. and Ohara, M.(2009) The evolution of self-compatible and self-incompatible population in a hermaphroditic perennial, Trillium camshatcense (Melanthiaceae). Journal of Plant Research 122: 497-507
  • (4) Allison, T.D., Shimizu, T., Ohara, M. and Yamanaka, N.(2008) Variation in sexual reproduction in Taxus cuspidate Sieb. & Zucc. Plant Species Biology 23: 25-32.
  • (5) Araki, K. and Ohara, M. (2008) Reproductive demography of ramets and genets in a rhizomatous clonal plant Convallaria keiskei. Journal of Plant Research 121: 147-154.