Sanae Chiba - Senior Scientist, Japan Agency for
Marine-Earth Science and Technology
The Japanese contribution to the North Pacific CPR Program has
just started under the collaboration of scientists from the Japan
Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the
Fisheries Research Agency (FRA).
The NP-CPR observation was launched in 1997 by SAHFOS and has
been conducted with the recommendation by PICES. Although Japan has
been sending members to the PICES NP-CPR Advisory Panel since the
early years of the program, there had been no positive action taken
for involvement in actual observations or research activities. Its
advantages and benefits have been widely recognised, particularly
in terms of ecosystem monitoring in oceanic areas, where sparse
information has been available.
The new microscope with Sanae Chiba
With that background, my colleagues and I obtained a research
fund from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
towards our involvement in the NP-CPR Program in 2009. With a small
budget and personnel, our task is so far limited to the analysis of
samples and data taken in the area of west of 170°E along the North
Pacific CPR transects that has been conducted by SAHFOS.
Our research at present does not receive any budgetary support
at institutional level except in-kind money as our salary. We hope
our attempt will be a good start for future expansion of
research/observation leading to the institutional-based initiative
to the project rather than the present, personal-based involvement.
Establishment of GACS will definitely push the Japanese community
to turn to the program.
As we analyse the sector of existing transects, we follow the
exactly same analytical protocol that SAHFOS designates. We have
visited SAHFOS in Plymouth several times to learn all these
protocols and subsequently now undertake microscopic analysis with
a CPR microscope at the laboratory of the FRA, Yokohama. We really
enjoy working with SAHFOS people and are looking forward to
collaborating with international colleagues, in addition, to
promote global scale ecosystem monitoring through GACS
Tomoko Yoshiki training the SAHFOS analyst team
We have been conducting retrospective analysis of the lower
trophic levels in the western North Pacific using historically
collected zooplankton time-series, the Odate Collection
(1960s-2000). This has resulted in the detection of ecosystem
responses to climatic forcing of various time scales, e.g. Pacific
Decadal Oscillation and ENSO cycle, and anthropogenic warming
trend, although unfortunately there is no up-to-date Odate
Collection data available.
For the NP-CPR research, our particular interests are:
- interaction between variations in the lower trophic level
structure and regional carbon flux in the western NP, which will be
conducted via collaboration with JAMSTEC's Biogeochemical Research
- regional comparison of the observed ecosystem variability and
mechanisms linking climate, environment and ecosystem, which are
considered quite regionally specific. GACS activities will be
invaluable to tackle the second goal.