There is virtually no place on Earth that has bot been modified to some extent by us. Welcome to the Anthropocene, a new epoch characterized by the human domination of our environment. The funny thing is we are integral dependant part of this environment we are so carelessly modifying. "With great power comes great responsibility"... well, that's certainly applicable to our relationship with nature.

My main research interest relate to:

- Climate change ecology and conservation biogeography

- Multiple-stressor and disturbance ecology

You can get more details about my work and the people working with me via "My Research" (general research interests), "Projects" (funded work) and "Publications", and "Research group" tabs at the top. The latter section also provides some useful information about funding schemes available in Japan for both resident and overseas researchers and from postgraduate to senior level. I am always happy to hear from people with shared research interests at any stage of their career!

Finally, if you would like to send me any comment please do so using the "Contact Me" section.

Photos: Jorge Garcia Molinos

MY LATEST RESEARCH

2018
 

Science Advances (August 2018). Previous studies have shown how climate change can impact global fisheries' biomass, yields and profitability. However, the scope of management reforms to alleviate the negative impacts of climate change remains untested. Using a coupled bioeconomic model for over 900 global species-stocks we demonstrate how the implementation of fully adaptive management strategies addressing both productivity and range shift challenges derived from climate change can yield on average higher future biomass, harvest and profits than current levels even under moderate climate warming scenarios.

Photo: Kristian Magnus Kanstad

PNAS (August 2018). Climate change and ocean currents are causing rapid marine community shifts in Japan’s coastal ecosystems. Here, we used long-term historical records of macroalgae, coral and associated herbivorous fish collected across the Japanese archipelago to understand better how the combination of these two factors is driving community shifts through changes in species distribution dynamics.

Naoki Kumagai

Diversity and Distributions (June 2018). Using historical series of bottom trawl survey data for multiple fish and benthic species in the eastern Bering Sea, we found evidence that most of them are not shifting their distribution ranges fast enough to keep track of current changes in climate, potentially increasing their vulnerability to future climate fluctuations.

Photo: NOAA

Trends in Ecology and Evolution (April 2018). Ever wanted to get a grip on climate velocity? The velocity of climate change is an intuitive metric describing the temporal rate of change in climatic conditions across space. It has been widely used in research to analyze patterns of climate residence time, climate refugia, endemism, historic and projected species' range shifts, or climate connectivity. Here, we review existing research on climate velocity, describing the theory underpinning the concept and its assumptions, and discussing potential ways to enhance its use in conservation.

Frontier in Plant Science (March 2018). How is the transformation of the environment by human activities altering assembly patterns in natural communities?  How do these differ from those driven by natural environmental variation? Are different diversity facets (taxonomic / functional) responding consistently or differently? These are some of the questions we address on our recent paper, where we analyze the regional temporal (before 1970s against after 2000s) changes in taxonomic and functional richness and compositional dissimilarities of freshwater macrophyte assemblages across the floodplain lakes of the Yangtze River in China.

 
2017

Biogeographical shifts and climate change  and Biodiversity and climate change in the oceans (Nov 2017). Two review chapters featuring in the new books Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Elsevier) and Climate Change Impacts on Fisheries and Aquaculture: A Global Analysis (Wiley). The first chapter offer a cross-system (terrestrial, marine, freshwater) review on the effects of climate change on biogeography and range shift dynamics, and their implications from the species level to ecosystem functioning and servicing. The second chapter reviews how climate change is affecting marine biodiversity globally, with a focus on commercially vital fisheries and aquaculture.

Scientific Reports (March 2017). Many species are responding to climate change by shifting their distributions, which often translates into movements towards higher latitudes, deeper waters or higher terrain. However, observed distribution shifts are not always consistent with these a priori expectations based on climate signals. Understanding the interplay between climate change and other environmental and human factors is therefore crucial for anticipating its effects on biodiversity. We have conducted a global meta-analysis of documented distribution shifts in marine biota revealing novel evidence for one extra piece of this heterogeneity puzzle: the role of external directional forces such as air and ocean currents in facilitating or limiting range shift responses to warming.

Global Change Biology (Feb 2017). Climate landscape metrics offer a useful first-cut assessment of the potential ecological risk posed by climate change. However, their ecological interpretation is hampered by the fact that they are simple descriptors of changes in climate conditions. We propose an approach that adds ecological context to these metrics by relating projected changes in current climatic conditions and how variable have those climates being historically with the processes governing species’ distribution shifts under climate change. We then apply this method in a management context by assessing the ecological risk of projected climate change to the Japanese network of marine protected areas.

Photo: Tatsuo Nakai

Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University

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