Munemitsu Akasaka Ph.D.

Faculty of Agriculture,
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Associate professor
muuak[ at ] /

My research interests are on biodiversity conservation and on ecological phenomena of which understandings are essential for conservation. Because of my background, I have interest on mechanisms and processes that derive the phenomena, but currently I put high weight on studies that could contribute directly to biodiversity conservation. The three major research issues were:
  • Macroecology and landscape ecology
  • Conservation of aquatic macrophytes
  • Invasion science (Biological invasion)
For the first issue, I am particularly interested in finding rules that should be take into account when designing protected areas. Also, predicting the ecological consequence of gap between distribution of biodiversity, and considering efficient spatial arrangement of protected areas and effective management activities therein are included in my interests. For the latter two issues, I especially like spatial and temporal dynamics of organisms and spatial arrangement of habitats. For the third issue, I mostly focus on understanding mechanisms that enhance biological invasion, and development of efficient management plan. To handle these issues, I jointly use several approaches including field surveys and experiments, simulations, and statistical analyses (often large and spatial) datasets.
On going researches topics
  • Conservation prioritzation (Dedection of areas, species, and habitats to be conserved in priority) and determining process that cause gaps between distribution of species and that of protected areas
    • national scale: entire Japan:focusing on red-listed plants or red-listed aquatic plants
    • regional scale: Aso region:focusing on plants in seminatural pastures, and Amami island:
  • Development of efficient management strategy of invasive plant (mostly on Rudbeckia laciniataL.)
  • Effect of browsing of overabundant deer on plants
  • Long term effect of tree invasion on native tree community in a volcano

Oct 1976: Born in Tokyo, Japan
Mar 2000: B.Sc. Agriculture, Hokkaido University
Mar 2003: M.Sc. Earth enviromental science, Hokkaido Univeristy
Mar 2006: Ph. D. Earth enviromental science, Hokkaido Univeristy
Apl 2006 - Jul 2006 Researcher, Graduate school of Earth environmental science, Hokkaido University
Aug 2006 - Mar 2011 NIES postdoctoral fellow, National Institute for Environmental Studies
Apl 2011 - Jun 2011 Postdoctoral reseracher, Department of Science, Kyushu University
Jul 2011 - Oct 2011 Postdoctoral reseracher, Department of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo
Oct 2011 - January 2012 Assistant professor, Department of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo
Feb 2012 - present Senior assistant professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Nov 2014 - Oct 2015 Visiting Academics, School of Biologicalsciences, The University of Queensland

PhD Thesis
Characteristics of biological invasion by Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carriere (Pinaceae) on Mount Koma, Japan 2006. (Published in Akasaka and Tsuyuzaki 2005 J. Veg. Sci., Akasaka etal 2007 J. Plant Res., Akasaka and Tsuyuzaki 2009 Plant Ecol.)

Publications in English (selected) == full list on [Google scholar] [ResearchGate] ==
  1. Fumiya Toyama & Munemitsu Akasaka (in press) Ignoring spatial heterogeneity in social conditions overestimates extinction risk of aquatic macrophytes Diversity and Distributions
  2. Munemitsu Akasaka, Taku Kadoya; Fumiko Ishihama, Taku Fujita, Richard A. Fuller (2017) Smart protected area placement decelerates biodiversity loss: a representation-extinction feedback leads rare species to extinction. Conservation letters10(5) 539-546
  3. Munemitsu Akasaka, Takeshi Osawa & Makihiko Ikegami (2015) The role of roads and urban area in occurrence of an ornamental invasive weed: a case of Rudbeckia laciniata L. Urban ecosystems 18: 1021-1030
  4. Munemitsu Akasaka & Noriko Takamura 2012 Hydrologic connection between ponds positively affects macrophyte α and γ diversity but negatively affects β diversity. Ecology 93:967-973
  5. Takumi Akasaka, Munemitsu Akasaka & Futoshi Nakamura 2012 Scale independent significance of river and riparian zone on three sympatric Myotis species in an agricultural landscape Biological Conservation 145(1): 15-23
  6. Munemitsu Akasaka, Masayuki Takada, Rie Kitagawa & Hiroshi Igarashi 2012 Invasive non-native species attributes and invasion extent: examining the importance of grain size Journal of Vegetation Science 23(1): 33-40
  7. Shiro Tsuyuzaki, Miyuki Matsuda & Munemitsu Akasaka 2012 Effects of shrub patch on microclimate along an elevation gradient during snow-free period on a volcano Climate Research 51: 1-10
  8. Munemitsu Akasaka & Noriko Takamura 2011 Relative importance of hydrologic connection and water quality on species richness of aquatic macrophytes in ponds: comparison between floating-leaved and submerged macrophytes OIKOS 120:1 38-46
  9. Munemitsu Akasaka, Noriko Takamura, Hiromune Mitsuhashi & Yasuro Kadono 2010 Effects of land use on aquatic macrophyte diversity and water quality of ponds. Freshwater Biology 55:909-922
  10. Munemitsu Akasaka & Shiro Tsuyuzaki 2005. Tree seedling performance in microhabitats along an elevational gradient on Mount Koma, Japan. Journal of Vegetation Science. 16: 647-654
Publications in Japanese
15 referred papers including 3 review.
Editor of ...
Associate editor in Limnology (2013-)
Reviewer of ...
American Journal of Botany, Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiveristy and Conservation, Biological Conservation, Diversity and Distributions, Ecological complexity, Ecological indicators, Ecological Research, Frontiers in Plant Science, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Vegetation Science, Journal of Plant Research, Landscape and Ecological Engineering, Landscape and Urban Planning, Limnology, Oecologia, Plant Ecology,Plant Species Biology, Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology, Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology etc