National Institute of Polar Research

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Bioscience Group

Study of the present and past to identify future changes in polar ecosystems

Leader  Sakae Kudo

To progress polar bioscience from three research fields

The fundamental task of our group is to establish how organisms have adapted and survived in the estremely harsh environments of the polar regions. It also studies the sensitive response mechanisms of marine and ter- restrial communities to global environmental changes. Its studies extend to the production process in polar oceans, behavior of marine predators, and polar terres- trial biology and limnology.

Biological oceanography

Research focuses on the mechanisms of marine ecosystem variability in association with environmental chang- es in the seasonal ice zone of the Ant- arctic Ocean. In the particular focus on plankton variability of the Indian Sector, we have been conducting cor- roborative research on analysis of long-term monitoring data with Austra- lian scientists.

Plankton sampling in the pack ice

Marine predator ecology

Research focus on the behaviour and ecology of polar marine predators,in- cluding seabirds, marine mammals, and fishes. Small data loggers and video cam- eras that can be attached to animals have been developed, an approach called bi- ologging. Using these state-of-the-art instruments, we obtain detailed infor- mation about at-sea behaviour and ecol- ogy that is critical to assessing the ef- fects of environmental changes on the animals.

An Adélie penguin with biologging device attached

Terrestrial and freshwater biology

Antarctic and Arctic terrestrial and lacustrine environments are severe for organisms due to cold tempera- ture, aridity, and strong UV, etc. Research focuses on the origins and the diversity of the biota, the mecha- nisms of establishment by eco-physio- logically adapting, paleo-environmen- tal reconstruction, and response mechanisms in the polar terrestrial ecosystem including lakes to global environmental change.

Ecological survey by scuba diving in an Antarctic lake

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