About two-thirds of the land area of Japan is covered by forests. Forests provide diverse services, including timber production, water quality conservation, landslide prevention, carbon sequestration, and recreation. In the Laboratory of Forest Resources, we study how various types of forests can be utilized as resources, while maintaining their ecological function. Our definition of "resources" includes not only timber and other materials, but "ecosystem services" that contribute to improving the human environment. Our field sites include plantation forests, satoyama, primary forests, shrine-temple forests, and urban green space.
Trees are long-lived and forests grow slowly. To realize sustainable management and conservation of forests, we must imagine their ecological state 50 to 100 years from now. Our teaching objective is to foster students who can work on environmental issues with a long-term outlook. Our graduates work as government officials (foresters and park managers) and graduate students (researchers), as well as for construction companies, housing manufacturers, and environmental NPOs.