Proposal and Verification of the Validity of Isotope Environmental Traceability Methodology in Environmental Studies

  1. FS
  2. FR①
  3. FR②
  4. FR③

2017

PL Photo Project Leader

TAYASU Ichiro

RIHN

Dr. TAYASU was Assistant Professor at RIHN (2002), Associate Professor at Kyoto University (2003), and is currently a Professor at RIHN (2014). His research focuses on isotope ecology and isotope environmental science.

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Main Project Members
SHIN Ki-CheolRIHN
NAKANO TakanoriRIHN / Waseda University
KONDO YasuhisaRIHN
ENDO AikoRIHN
OKUDA NoboruRIHN
MCGREEVY Steven R.RIHN
FUJIYOSHI LeiRIHN
MORI SeiichiGifu-Keizai University
YOKOO YorikoDoshisha University
KAERIYAMA ToshiakiOno City Office
YAMADA YoshihiroKagawa University
TOKUMASU MinoruSaijo City Office
OHKUSHI Ken’ichiKobe University
MITSUHASHI HiromuneUniversity of Hyogo / Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo
YOKOYAMA TadashiHyogo prefectural Ako School for Students with Special Needs
Photo 1 Hongan-Shozu pond in Ono City, Fukui, recharged by ground water

Photo 1 Hongan-Shozu pond in Ono City, Fukui, recharged by ground water

Photo 2 A meeting at Sayo, presenting results and making the next sampling design for Chikusa river watershed

Photo 2 A meeting at Sayo, presenting results and making the next sampling design for Chikusa river watershed

In this project, we hypothesize that environmental traceability is a key concept needed to solve environmental issues for various stakeholders. Stable isotope ratios of elements, together with concentrations of elements, can trace the flow of matter and chemicals through the environment, better describe ecosystem structure and conditions, and appraise food products’ chemical profile. Spatio-temporal variation of multiple isotope ratios can be used for studying earth systems, ranging from local to global scales. The information may serve as a key decision-making factor for local people consider water, food and environmental security, all of which are fundamental for the sustainability of human society.

We seek to establish a methodology for how to use the concept of environmental traceability in this study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative tools, including “Multi-Isoscapes” (use of multiple elements and multiple isotope ratios, together with GIS-based mapping technique), social surveys, and workshops, are deployed to investigate the role of environmental traceability in confronting environmental issues. We hypothesize that the role and perception of traceability methods in transdisciplinary processes will differ among stakeholders and that the co-production of “Multi-Isoscapes” can act as an effective “bridging tool” for understanding and explaining variation in local environments. The ultimate objective of this research is to demonstrate the effectiveness of multi-isotopic information in solving global environmental issues.

In this project, we test (I) the effectiveness of the environmental traceability concept in environmental studies, by comparing study cases in which isotopic methods were initiated by (1) local government, (2) citizen groups, and (3) researchers; (II) to what extent the concepts of food traceability and environmental traceability are perceived to be different and how effective they are in communicating the linkages between food production and consumption to consumers?

Research will take place at sites in Ono City, Fukui; Otsuchi Town, Iwate; Saijo City, Ehime; the Chikusa river watershed, Hyogo; Lake Biwa and surrounding watershed in Shiga; and Laguna de Bay and surrounding watershed in the Philippines.

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