Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Ecological Dynamics


Professor URABE Jotaro
Campus Aobayama campus
Laboratory Aquatic Ecology
Tel +81-22-795-6681
E-mail urabe@tohoku.ac.jp
Website http://tohokuecology.jp/aquatic
Google scholar



http://www.researcherid.com <http://www.researcherid.com/rid/A-6256-2012>



I am an aquatic ecologist/limnologist and enjoy population, community, and ecosystem studies with special interests in the implications of ecological stoichiometry and the impacts of global and local environmental changes on biological interactions and food webs in lakes, rivers, and coastal waters.

1982 B. S. in Fisheries, Tokyo University of Fisheries
1987 Research Scientist, Department of Ecology, Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba.
1988 Ph. D. in Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan University.
1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan University.
1994 Visiting Scientist, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota.
1995 Associate Professor, Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University.
2003 Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Selected Publications

Urabe, J., T. Suzuki, T. Nishita, W. Makino. (2013)  Immediate ecological impacts of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake tsunami on intertidal flat communities.  PLoS ONE 8(5): e62779. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062779.

Iwabuchi, T. and J. Urabe.  (2012)  Food quality and food threshold: implications of food stoichiometry to competitive ability of herbivore plankton.  Ecosphere 3:art51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES12-00098.1

Urabe, J., T. Iwata, Y. Yagami, E. Kato, T. Suzuki, S. Hino and S. Ban. (2011) Within-lake and watershed determinants of carbon dioxide in the surface water: a comparative analysis for a variety of lakes in Japanese Islands. Limnology and Oceanography, 56:49-60.

Urabe, J., S. Naeem, D. Raubenheimer, and J. J. Elser (2010) The evolution of biologicval stoichiometry under global change, Oikos, 119: 737-740. [cover of the four papers produced in Woostoich II]

Urabe, J. and N. Waki. (2009) Mitigation of adverse effects of rising CO2 on a planktonic herbivore by mixed algal diets.  Global Change Biology, 15:523-531.

Activities in Academic Societies

Ecological Society of Japan, Japanese Society of Limnology, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Ecological Society of America, etc.


Undergraduate: Basic ecology and animal ecology, field courses of ecology and animal ecology.  Graduate: Community ecology.

Recent Activities

Ecological impact of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake on coastal ecosystems.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, large tsunamis struck the Pacific coastline of eastern Japan and drastically disturbed various ecosystems along the coastline. To uncover the implications of such a large disturbance in shaping community structures, we are analyzing the ecological impacts of the tsunami on coastal communities and the long-term population dynamics of benthic organisms in response to the tsunamis.


Nutritional ecology and ecological stoichiometry of animals.
In nature, food resources are not necessarily nutritionally optimal for heterotrophic consumers. How to cope with mismatches between supply and demand in nutrition is therefore a crucial challenge for consumer animals. Using Daphnia as an experimental animal, we are studying eco-physiological processes of the feeding, digestion, and metabolism that balance necessarily amount of nutrients and elements for maximizing organismal fitness.

image2Implications of genetic diversity in the performance and persistence of consumer populations under changing environments.
How many genetically different individuals are necessarily for populations to persist, and for how long? How and why are there differences in ecological performance among populations with different genetic diversity? How is genetic diversity maintained beyond intra-specific competition? To answer these primal questions in population ecology, we are studying the population genetics of planktonic organisms (mainly Daphnia) by combining field observations with laboratory experiments.

image3Reconstruction of past plankton communities using genetic information stored in lake sediments.
Although data on communities that existed in the past are essential to trace and understand changes in community structures due to environmental disturbances, these are in general not available due to lack of monitoring programs. To overcome this difficulty, we are developing techniques for reconstructing previous community structures by extracting genetic information from DNA stored in the lake sediments.


Message to Students

Why do so many species exist? How do these species interact and structure food webs? And why does community structure differ among habitats? Answering these questions is the same as predicting how given communities will respond to environmental changes. To find correct (or at least better) answers to these fundamental questions, we have to interact academically with each other and incorporate concrete field and lab observations. For this academic interaction, I welcome any students who are highly motivated to enjoy studies devoted to answering these questions.