リサーチユニット総覧(Research Unit Magazine)

中部山岳のフィールドで 多様な環境変動を読み解く
中部山岳環境変動リサーチユニットResearch to analyze a variety of environmental changes in the field of the Japanese Alps region

キーワード: 中部山岳地域、気候変動、地球温暖化、生物多様性、生態系



02masuoka01 中部山岳地域はその地形や環境の特性により、気候変動や人間活動の影響が早いレスポンスで顕在化するという特徴があり、地球温暖化等の環境変動を知る上で貴重な研究フィールドと言えます。リサーチユニットの5年間では、気候の変化による山岳地域の生態系への影響や、水や土砂の動きといった自然の条件の変化を調べると共に、人間の暮らしにどのような影響があるのかを、筑波大学・信州大学・岐阜大学の3大学の研究チームが中部山岳地域をフィールドに連携し、主に生物系、農林系、地球科学系分野での様々な学際的研究を行いました。


















● 地学雑誌「中部山岳地域の自然環境変動」特集号(122 巻4 号)を出版
● 国際シンポジウム「山岳科学と気候変動に関する生態学的展望」を開催(平成25年11月・菅平高原)
● アジア・オセアニア地球科学会国際シンポジウム「Mountain Response to Climate Change」を開催
● 国際シンポジウム「急傾斜山地における斜面変動と生態系」を開催(平成26 年10 月・井川演習林)


Research to analyze a variety of environmental changes in the field of the Japanese Alps region

Unit name: Environmental Change in Japanese Alps

Keywords: Japanese Alps, climate changes, global warming, biodiversity, ecosystems


02masuoka01       The Japanese Alps region is a valuable research field to examine global warming and other environmental changes because climate changes and the influences of human activities in this area become noticeable in a shorter period of time than in other areas due to its topographic and environmental characteristics. The research unit conducted a five-year study of the influences of climate changes on ecosystems in mountainous areas as well as changes in the movements of water and soil and other natural conditions. Furthermore, a research team consisting of researchers of the University of Tsukuba, Shinshu University, and Gifu University with an interest in Japanese Alps region as an academic field, collaborated to conduct multidisciplinary research in the fields of organisms, agriculture/forestry, and geoscience to examine the effects of climate changes on the lives of people.

       Following the completion of the research unit, Shizuoka University, the University of Toyama, and University of Yamanashi participated in the research activity in 2015, and the research subject has covered a wider area: the Japanese Alps region that covers both the Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean sides. Comprehensive research has been conducted to examine the influences of climate changes on both mountainous and urban areas.

Mountainous fields on the Japan Sea side, in the inland area, and on the Pacific Ocean side in which the types of long-term and sporadic environmental changes and ecological responses significantly vary.


Examinations of the influences of climate changes from various perspectives, utilizing the characteristics of different fields


Figure 1: An experiment on global warming (The temperature in the greenhouse is raised, and the effects on plants are examined.)


      In field experiments, greenhouses are placed in mountains to artificially create conditions required to cause global warming. We observed changes in vegetation in greenhouses, and conducted experiments to artificially cause vegetative changes by cutting down plants and examine the movement of soil. Each university conducts a variety of experiments according to the characteristics of their fields, or two or more universities conducted experiments at the same time to examine the influences of climate changes.




Expansion of the research team and theme – a wider research field that covers the overall central mountainous area, and the promotion of international collaboration


Figure 2: Visual recording of slope failure with a time-lapse camera

       Mountains uplifted by active crustal movements are located in the Japanese Alps region – where mountain ranges run longitudinally, and landforms changes at a high rate. From the viewpoint of meteorology, the Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean sides of the area have heavy snowfall and rainfall, respectively. Slope failures and floods triggered by excessive water possibly cause significant damages to downstream areas. In few fields of the world other than the Japanese Alps region, are such dynamic changes caused. In this sense, the area serves as a model to understand the earth comprehensively. In this broad field, universities collaborate with each other and conduct surveys on meteorological phenomena and ecosystems to comprehend changes that occur in the Japanese Alps region as a whole.

       The research subjects also cover the field of social science, including environmental economics and changes in colonies, to examine the influences of climate changes on tourism and industries. The research team has developed into a large organization referred to as the “Japanese Alps Inter-University Cooperative Project” consisting of approximately 140 researchers from many different organizations, and implemented education for young researchers and conducted international collaborative research. The organization aims to become an academic society in mountain science in the future.



Social contributions and achievements
  • Publication of a special issue (Vol. 122, No. 4) of “Changing Natural Environments in the Japanese Alps Region”, Journal of Geography
  • “Ecological perspective in mountain sciences and climate change”, an international symposium (November 2013, Sugadaira Plateau)
  • “Mountain Response to Climate Change”, an international symposium of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (July 2014, Sapporo)
  • “Slope dynamics and ecosystem in steep mountains”, an international symposium (October 2014, Ikawa Research Forest)

Interviewed on August 28, 2015