The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus Professor Kazuki <SOMETIMES Mizuki> Tsuji

Quantifying the impact of environmental disturbances on island ecosystems and building a methodological framework for their sustainable management

Research grant

Project Description

In our research, we quantify the impact of climatic change (global warming) and arrivals of invasive species on material circulation/biomass change within island ecosystems and on types/populations of native species. We then arrange a methodology for preventing collapses of indigenous island ecosystems. We follow changes in the distributions of indigenous and invasive species on Yona Island (Okinawa Prefecture), the site of an observation station managed by our university and where the presence of such invasive species as tsuyaozu ants (Pheidole noda) and ashinagaki ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) has been confirmed, and analyze the resulting data together with temperature data and information on species invasion. Based on our results, we infer the distributional spread paths of invasive species and consider methods of preserving forest environments without impairing ecosystem services.

Climate changePreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2008 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2009 - March 2012
Grant amount
24,000,000 yen
Activity region
Ryukyu Islands
Investigating recovery of diversity within a survey plot on a logged area of Yona Island, Okinawa Prefecture

Overview of the Organization

Professor Kazuki Tsuji
Professor Kazuki Tsuji
Specialist fields
Evolutionary ecology, sociobiology
Affiliated academic societies
The Ecological Society of Japan; Japan Ethological Society; Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology; Society of Population Ecology; Biological Society of Okinawa
In March 1984 graduated from the School of Agricultural Sciences at Nagoya University. In March 1986 completed doctoral program (agriculture) from the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University. In March 1989 completed a Ph.D. in agriculture, and from April 1989 to March 1990 was employed as a Graduate Researcher in the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University. From April 1990 to March 1992 was a Special Researcher at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, University of the Ryukyus. From April 1992 to June 1993 was a Graduate Researcher at the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University. In July 1993 to May 1995 was appointed a Research Fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (University of Wurzburg, Germany), and in June 1995 became a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Science, University of Toyama. In June 2001 was appointed a visiting Professor at the University of Paris VI (one month concurrent with University of Toyama position). In October 2001 became Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus. In April 2005 was appointed Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, a position currently held today.
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Yasuhiro KUBOTA, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus; Haruki TATSUTA, Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus
Research record
  • (1) Kikuchi, T., Nakagawa, T., Tsuji, K. (2008) Changes in relative importance of multiple social regulatory forces with colony size in the ant Diacamma sp. from Japan. Animal Behaviour 76(6):2069-2077.
  • (2) Dobata, S., Sasaki, T., Mori, H., Hasegawa, E., Shimada, M., Tsuji, K. (2009) Cheater genotypes in the parthenogenetic ant Pristomyrmex punctatus. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 276: 567-574. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1215
  • (3) Matsuura, K., Vargo, E. L., Kawatsu, K., Labadie, P. E., Nakano, H., Yashiro, T., Tsuji, K. (2009) Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites. Science 323(5922), 1687.
  • (4) Suwabe, M., Ohnishi, H., Kikuchi, T., Tsuji, K. (2009) Seasonal and daily activity patterns of tramp and endemic ants in the northern forest of Okinawa Island. Ecological Research 24(3)637-643 (doi:10.1007/s11284-008-0534-9)
  • (5) Ohtsuki, H., Tsuji, K. (2009) Adaptive reproduction