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Ecological Stoichiometry is a key to bridge between far separated subjects in Ecology, individual fitness and biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems. Any organisms have to "eat" energy and materials for growth and reproduction. Individual fitness depends highly on how to acquire energy and materials and how to allocate them into growth and reproduction.

However, in nature, given packages of multiple biochemical elements (food) are not necessarily ideal
sets that organisms have to eat with their own appropriate balance. For example, if given "food" contain more nitrogen than phosphorus relative to their requirements,"consumers" have to release excess nitrogen in order to concentrate phosphorus from the food to their biomass. This differentiates recycling efficiencies between nitrogen and phosphorus, and thus changes nutrient environments for primary producers (plant and algae), which in turn affects species interactions along food web. Ecological stoichiometry is the study examining how balance of energy and multiple chemical elements are maintained at individual levels in relation with their fitness and how changes in supplies of energy and multiple chemical elements alter species interactions and composition. It provides fundamental insights on trophic dynamics, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems.

Research Concept

Some Research Areas

  1. Mitigation by algal species diversity and consumer genetic diversity for adverse stoichiometry effects on producer-consumer interactions.                   

        Some results are found in following papers:

  1. (a)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.

  2. (b)Weider, L. J., W. Makino, K. Acharya, K. L. Glenn, M. Kyle, J. Urabe, J . J. Elser (2005) Genotype x environment interactions, stoichiometric food quality effects, and clonal coexistence in Daphnia pulex. Oecologia, 143:537-547.

  1. Effects of food quality and quantity on life history traits, biological interactions and consumer-drivin' nutrient recycling.

    Some results are found in following papers:
  2. (a)Iwabuchi, T. and Urabe, J. (2010) Phosphorus acquisition and competitive abilities of two herbivorous zooplankton, Daphnia pulex and Ceriodaphnia quadrangula. Ecological Research, 25: 619-627.

  3. (b)Shimizu, Y. and J. Urabe. (2008) Regulation of phosphorus stoichiometry and growth rate of consumers: theoretical and experimental analyses with Daphnia. Oecologia, 155: 21-31

  4. (c)Kato, S., J. Urabe and M. Kawata. (2007) Effects of temporal and spatial heterogeneities created by consumer-driven nutrient recycling on algal diversity. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 245:367-377.

  5. (d)Anderson, T.R., D. O. Hessen, J. J. Elser, J. Urabe. (2005) Metabolic Stoichiometry and the fate of excess carbon and nutrients in consumers. The American. Naturalist, 165:1-15.

  6. (e)Urabe, J., J. J. Elser, M. Kyle, T. Sekino and Z. Kawabata (2002) Herbivorous animals can mitigate unfavourable ratios of energy and material supplies by enhancing nutrient cycling. Ecology Letters, 5:177-185. [pdf]

  7. (f)Urabe, J., and R. W. Sterner (2001). Contrasting effects of different type of resource depletion on life history traits in Daphnia. Functional Ecology, 15:165-174. [pdf]

  8. (g)Elser, J., and Urabe, J. (1999). The stoichiometry of consumer-driven nutrient recycling: theory, observation, and consequences. Ecology, 80: 735-751.

  9. (h)Urabe, J. and Y. Watanabe (1992) Possibility of N- or P-limitation for planktonic cladocerans: an experimental test. Limnol. Oceanogr., 37: 244-251.[pdf]

  10. Implication of environmental mismatch of energy and material supplies in community structures and ecological transfer efficiencies in lake ecosystems.

    Some results are found in following papers:

  11. (a)Makino, W., Q. Gong and J. Urabe. (2011) Stoichiometric effects of warming on herbivore growth: experimental test with plankters. Ecosphere 2:art79. [doi:10.1890/ES11-00178.1]

  12. (b)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.

  13. (c)Sterner,R. W., T. Andersen, J. J. Elser, D. O. Hessen, J. M. Hood, E. McCauley, and J. Urabe (2008). Scale-dependent carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus seston stoichiometry in marine and freshwaters. Limnology and Oceanography,53: 1169-1180.

  14. (d)Urabe, J., J. Togari and J. J. Elser (2003) Stoichiometric impacts of increased carbon dioxide on a planktonic herbivore. Global Change Biology, 9:818-825.

  15. (e)Urabe, J., M. Kyle, W. Makino, T. Yoshida, T. Andersen, and J. J. Eser (2002). Reduced light increases herbivore production due to stoichiometric effets of light: nutrient balance. Ecology, 83: 619-627 [pdf]

  16. (f)Urabe, J., and R. W. Sterner (1996) Regulation of herbivore growth by the balance of light and nutrients. Proc. Natal. Acad. Sci. USA, 93: 8465-8469. [pdf]

  1. Reconstruction of near-past community in lake ecosystems for analyzing environmental drivers at local and global  scales.

        Some results are found in following papers:

  1. (a)Tsugeki, N. K., J. Urabe, Y. Hayami, M. Kuwae and M. Nakanishi. (2010) Phytoplankton dynamics in Lake Biwa during the 20th century: Complex responses to changes in nutrient status and climate variation. Journal of Paleolimnology, 44: 69-83.

  2. (b) Tsugeki, N. K., S. Ishida and J. Urabe. (2009) Sedimentary records of reduction in resting egg production of Daphnia galeata in Lake Biwa during the 20th century: A possible effect of winter warming. Journal of Paleolimnology, 42: 155-165.

  3. (c)Hyodo F., N. Tsugeki, J. Azuma, J. Urabe, M. Nakanishi and E. Wada. (2008) Changes in stable isotopes, lignin-derived phenols, and fossil pigments in sediments of Lake Biwa, Japan: implications for anthropogenic effects over the last 100 years. Science of the Total Environment, 403: 139-147..

  4. (d)Tsugeki, N., H. Oda and J. Urabe.(2003) Fluctuation of the zooplankton community in Lake Biwa during the 20th century: a paleolimnological analysis. Limnology, 4: 101-107. [pdf]

  1. Reconstruction of near-past community in lake ecosystems using DNA in plankton remains and resting eggs.

  Some results are found in following papers:

  1. (a)Ishida, S., H. Ohtsuki, T. Awano, N. K. Tsugeki, W. Makino, Y. Suyama, and J. Urabe.  (2012)   DNA extraction and amplification methods for ephippial case of Daphnia resting eggs in lake sediments: a novel approach for reconstructing zooplankton population structure from the past.  Limnology, 13:261-267.

  2. (b)Ohtsuki, H.,  T. Awano, N. K. Tsugeki, S. Ishida, H. Oda, W. Makino, J. Urabe. (2015)  Historical changes in the plankton community of a small mountain lake over the past 60 years as revealed by Daphnia ephippial carapaces stored in lake sediments.  PLos One: DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119767

  1. Carbon and phosphorus budgets, and community and food web dynamics in Lake Biwa.

    Some results are found in following papers:

  2. (a)Kagami, M.,Yoshida T., T. B. Gurung and Urabe J. (2006) To sink or to be lysed? Contrasting fate of two large phytoplankton species in Lake Biwa. Limnology and Oceanography, 51: 2775-2786.

  3. (b)Urabe J., T. Yoshida, T. B. Gurung, T. Sekino, N. Ts ugek i, K. No zaki, M. Maruo, E. Nakayama, M. Nakanishi. (2005) The production-to-respiration ratio and its implication in Lake Biwa, Japan. Ecological Research, 20: 367-375.[2005b_JU.pdf]

  4. (c)Niquil, N., G. Bartoli, J. Urabe, G. A. Jackson, L. Legendre, C. Dupuy and M. Kumagai. (2006) Carbon steady-state model of the planktonic food web of Lake Biwa, Japan. Freshwater Biology, 51: 1570-1585.

  5. (d)Ishikawa, T., T. Narita and J. Urabe. (2004) Long-term changes in the abundance of Jesogammarus annandalei (Tattersall) in Lake Biwa. Limnol. Oceanogr., 49: 1840-1847.

  6. (e)Yoshimizu, C. and J. Urabe (2002) Roles of Daphnia in decomposition of organic matters in the surface layer of Lake Biwa. Lakes and Reservoirs, 7:325-330. [pdf]

  7. (f)Kagami, M., T. Yoshida, T. K. Gurung and J. Urabe. (2002) Direct and indirect effects of zooplankton on algal composition in situ grazing experiments. Oecologia, 133: 356-363. pdf]

  8. (g)Gurung, T. B., and Urabe, J. (1999) Temporal and Vertical difference in factors limiting growth rate of heterotrophic bacteria in Lake Biwa. Microbial Ecology, 38: 136-145.[pdf]

  9. (h)Urabe, J., M. Nakanishi and K. Kawabata (1995) Contribution of metazoan plankton to the cycling of N and P in Lake Biwa. Limnol. Oceanogr., 40: 232-242. [pdf]

               Studies in this topic are done as a part of IGBP-JPN-MESSC, 2nd term.

  1. Ecology and biology of mixotrophic algae: why do they dominate or not dominate?

    Some results are found in following papers:

  2. (a)Urabe, J., T. G. Gurung, T. Yoshida, M. Nakanishi, M. Maruo, and A. Nakayama (2000). Diel changes in phagotrophic rate of Cryptomonas sp. In Lake Biwa. Limnol. Oceanogr, 45: 1558-1563. [pdf]

  3. (b)Urabe, J., T. B. Gurung and T. Yoshida. (1999) Effects of phosphorus supply on phagotrophy by the mixotrophic alga Uroglena americana (Chrysophyceae). Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 18: 77-83.[pdf]

  1. Biogeographical studies of Daphnia and other zooplankton in Japan

         Some results are found in following papers:

  1. (a)Lakatos, C., . Urabe., W. Makino.  (2015) Cryptic diversity of Japanese Diaphanosoma (Crustacea: Cladocera) revealed by morphological and molecular assessments. Inland Waters 5:253-262.  DOI: 10.5268/IW-5.3.847

  2. (b)So, M., H. Ohtsuki, W. Makino, S. Ishida, H. Kumagai, K. G. Yamaki, J. Urabe.  (2015)  Invasion and molecular evolution of Daphnia pulex in Japan. Limnology and Oceanography  60: 1129-1138.  DOI: 10.1002/lno.10087 [press release][解説]

  3. (c)Ishida, S., A. Takahashi, N. Matsushima, J. Yokoyama, W. Makino, J. Urabe, J. and M. Kawata. (2011)  Latitudinal and altitudinal gradients in the morphology of two hybridizing species, Daphnia galeata and D. dentifera in mature habitats. BMC Evolutionary Biology,11:209 [doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-209]

  4. (d)Urabe, J., S. Ishida, M. Nishmoto and L. J. Weider. (2003) Daphnia pulicaria; a zooplankton species that suddenly appeared in 1999 in the offshore zone of Lake Biwa. Limnology, 4: 35-41. [pdf]


If you interest on above subjects and like to collaborate with us in future studies, please contact with us.


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