Activities of the Research Center//活動・特色

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Activities of the Research Center


Environmental pollution from chemicals caused by human activity can impact organisms that comprise ecosystems on the genetic level. Organisms utilize a variety of functions gained through the evolutionary process in their fight for survival against chronic environmental pollution from chemicals. However, organisms that have adapted to polluted environments have a low level of intraspecific diversity due to a disproportionate prevalence of certain genetic traits. This can weaken the ecosystem and the newly gained traits can threaten the survival of other organisms. In order to assess the impact that environmental pollution from chemicals has on organisms, ecosystems, and the evolution of ecosystems, the Research Center conducts field research and bio- and chemical analysis focusing on the Watarase River basin and the Edogawa river system, to demonstrate how organisms and populations strategically adapt to environments (microevolution) polluted by heavy metals and pharmaceuticals (antibiotics)—one of the main environmental changes caused by human activity. The Research Center hopes that this research will contribute both to the conservation of aquatic environments and ecosystems, and the realization of a sustainable society.