Ecosystems are encountering damaging global environmental changes such as warming and this may undermine some of their fundamental functions and services valuable to society. In view of the extent of change, industrial technology alone is insufficient to mitigate and arrest the deterioration of ecosystems. Thus management of their multifold functions is necessary to cope with change. We propose a new research domain comprising ecosystem science plus relevant technologies, and socioeconomic systems, to maintain and better harness the multiple functions and services of ecosystems as well as the adaptive features of their organisms. To realize this we plan to establish an interdisciplinary center for education and research in Tohoku University by bringing together ecosystem scientists with those active in related scientific disciplines.

     
 
Tohoku University Center for Ecosystem Management - Adapting to Global Change
 
     
 

Since foundation Tohoku University has contributed significantly to the development of ecology in Japan. And it now possesses world class expertise in forestry, biodiversity, ecosystem science, functional ecology, stoichiometry, molecular ecology, and evolutionary ecology. The new center will combine this expertise with related disciplines to provide a global understanding of environmental challenges. Environmental threats and dangers increase and to face these we plan to educate a new sort of scientist familiar with the basic principles of ecology and with the managerial means to face them. The Center for Ecosystem Management - Adapting to Global Change, was established in 2008 as one of four such Global Centers of Excellence (GCOE) awarded by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-globalcoe/index.html).