Recent Activities in Long-Term Ecological Research in Japan with Special Reference to Collaborative Graduate Student Research and Interaction

Hiroshi Ueda

Toya Lake Station for Environmental Biology

Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University

Abuta, Hokkaido 049-5723, Japan

Tel: +81-142-75-2651; Fax: +81-142-75-2943

E-mail: hueda@ccms1.hucc.hokudai.ac.jp

Key words: recent activity, collaborative research, graduate student, Japan

Since recent global environmental changes and a decline in biodiversity have severely affected living creatures on our mother planet, both ecological issues and biodiversity conservation are urgently problems to be solved by scientists around the world. In Japan, more than 50 long-term ecological research (LTER) projects, which vary from ecosystem level studies to population level studies, are currently being undertakenby individual scientists as well as well-organized groups.

The present paper briefly summarizes recent activities of LTER in Japan with special reference to collaborative graduate student research and interaction.

A committee of the LTER station (Chair, Prof. T. Nakashizuka, Kyoto University) has been established within the Japanese Ecological Society. This committee will try to found LTER stations, and also be a liaison window for LTER in Japan.

A project of "US-Japan Workshop on Collaborative LTER" has applied to NSF and JSPS focusing on the exchange of ideas, the discussion on proposed LTER sites in Japan, as well as possible future international collaboration, and the establishment of an exchange program for young scientists.

As for collaborative graduate student research and interactions, 4 Japanese graduate students (and also several Taiwanese and Mongolian graduate students) participated by attending the ESA conference in Albuquerque and visiting 3 US LTER sites in August, 1997. Several US graduate students have visited some Taiwanese and Chinese ecological research sites, and 4 of them have visited two Japanese ecological research sites (Tomakomai Experimental Forest of Hokkaido University and Center for Ecological Research of Kyoto University) in June, 1998.

These recent activities, especially interactions for young scientists, are definitely valuable and provide international scientific exposure to young scientists, encourage future international collaboration by the participants, and strengthen the links among the LTER Networks in the world.