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Area Overview

The rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate change severely impact many wild animals, plants, and crops. In response to climate change, significant changes can be seen in seasonal activities (phenology), such as the budding and flowering times of plants. If global warming continues at this rate, plant survival and reproduction limits will be exceeded, and the risk of extinction will gradually increase.

However, plants are not only unilaterally affected by climate; they also exert feedback effects that modify atmospheric composition and climate. BVOCs, released from plant leaves and flowers, give the forests and glades their characteristic fragrance. Simultaneously, it has become clear that solar radiation affects the solar radiation budget and rainfall through aerosol production and contributes to ozone production in the troposphere. This change in the quantity of BVOCs released is one of the phenological traits showing diurnal and seasonal characteristics. Its seasonal behavior has a vital impact on the future global environment. However, there is a lack of observation systems and data to elucidate the dynamic feedback between seasonal plant activities and climate. In addition, there are still unclear points in the atmospheric reaction process from BVOC release, and the complete picture has not been elucidated.


Therefore, in this research area, we will combine mathematical biology, plant molecular biology, ecology, atmospheric chemistry, and climate simulation to create a new interdisciplinary field called “plant climate feedback.” We will also elucidate the dynamic feedback between the seasonal activities of plants and climate from the genetic level. Therefore, we will focus on how plants control phenology and the dynamic relationship between plants and atmospheric conditions. In the former, we will deepen our understanding of changes within plants and their role in the ecosystem by researching the molecular mechanisms governing plant phenology, such as BVOC release, flowering, and leaf development. We will also develop models to predict the response of individual plants to climate change. In the latter, we will acquire data on a large scale using conventional observation techniques to scale up responses at the individual plant level to the population and broad area levels. We will also take on the challenge of introducing and developing new observation techniques. We will channel this research into the continued development of new climate prediction models. We will successfully integrate research targeting different scales and link observational data and prediction results at the genetic, individual, population, and broad-area levels.

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