Department of Environmental Life Sciences
Division of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Functional Ecology 分野

Koki Hikosaka
キャンパス Aobayama キャンパス
専攻分野 Plant ecology, plant physiological ecology, plant physiology
連絡先 022-795-7735
経歴 1990: BA in Science, Tohoku University 1995: PhD (Science), The University of Tokyo 1995-1999: Assistant Professor, Tohoku University 1999-2010: Associate Professor, Tohoku University 2010-: Professor, Tohoku University
著書・論文 Access the following website for other works:
所属学会 Ecological Society of Japan, The Botanical Society of Japan, The Japanese Society of Photosynthesis Research


One of our recent major themes is plant responses to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration, global warming and other environmental changes. CO2 spring is one of unique system to study long-term response of plants to elevated CO2, because plants might have exposed to elevated CO2 over generations. We have found that plants inhabiting in high CO2 area around the springs have different traits from plants inhabiting normal CO2 area. This suggests that elevated CO2 promotes plant microevoution. Such evolutionary changes in plant traits may happen in a future high-CO2 world. The photograph shows the measuring of the photosynthesis rate around a CO2 spring, which emitts volcanic gasses that contains high concentration of CO2. Arround the spring, the ecosystem is exposed to high CO2 concentration. The plant treated in the photograph had been exposed to approximately 2,800 ppm CO2, roughly seven times the normal amount in the atmosphere.


In biology, we can raise two types of questions to a phenomenon. One is "how"; namely mechanisms responsible for the phenomenon. The other is "why"; namely ecological significance of the phenomenon. The latter is closely related to evolution because a trait of organisms is a result of natural seletion; it might be selected because it has some benefit to survive, grow and reproduce in the habitat. We are interested both "how! and "why".