Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO


The Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO (NIAES) is the core institute of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) which emphasizes basic studies and research meant to ensure the safety of agricultural production environments. Research focuses on assessing risk in agricultural environments and developing risk management technologies, elucidating the structure of agricultural ecosystems in order to develop technologies to manage natural cycles, and fundamental studies to help elucidate the functions of agricultural ecosystems.


Mapping of Global crop production losses due to droughts

NARO has clarified the geographical distribution of global crop production losses caused by droughts. Analysis of drought index and crop yield data for the past 27 years (1983-2009), reveals that three quarters (450 million hectares) of the cultivated area of the major global crops (maize, rice, soy, wheat) have been affected by droughts. The total production losses over the past 27 years which is estimated from the crop production losses obtained this time and the producer price by country (2005), has reached about $166 billion. This research achievement is useful for international support and measures against droughts.Read more

Automatic decoding of waggle dance of honeybees

NARO has developed a technology to decode the waggle (figure-eight) dance of honeybees automatically for estimating the location of flowers used as forage source. This achievement will dramatically accelerate the manual decoding work done so far and useful for efficiently understanding the forage area where European honeybees(Apis mellifera) collect nectar and pollen. The results are published as an article in the international journal on honeybee research "Apidologie" on April 2019. Read more

New display function and database added to the Digital Soil Map available on the web

The "Digital Soil Map" available on the web has been renewed with an added data display function. and published after its renewal. The amount of standard fertilizer corresponding to the soil type published by Hokkaido, Akita and Ibaraki Prefectures can be referred from the soil map according to the soil at each spot. In addition, a characteristic value map showing water permeability and water retention of agricultural soil nationwide was also incorporated in this version. With these new functions and data, it is expected that it can be used as an efficient tool in agriculture particularly in fertilizer application and water management.Read more

Slope beneath the cliff inhabited by seabird in the high artic revealed as nitrogen cycling hotspot

A research group led by the Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO (NIAES) and the National Institute of Polar Research have revealed that the steep slope soil beneath the cliff where the seabird inhabits has very high denitrification ability, and it can release a powerful greenhouse gas (N2O) in the Arctic Svalbard (Norway). This research result is expected to be a vital information in understanding the actual state of carbon and nitrogen cycle in the tundra ecosystem of the high latitude Arctic and its response to climate change.Read more

Global scale estimation of crop production loss due to global warming

NARO, in collaboration with the National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Japan Meteorological Agency/Meteorological Research Institute evaluated the impact of the global warming on the average yield (production per unit area) of major crops over the past 30 years (1981 - 2010) at the global scale. It was estimated that the global average yield of maize, wheat and soybean decreased by 4.1%, 1.8% and 4.5% respectively by global warming. In terms of monetary value, damage of maize, wheat and soybean was estimated to be 22.3 billion United States dollars ($), 13.6 billion $, 6.5 billion $ respectively. The total annual damage caused by global warming in recent years was 42.4 billion $. This result indicates the urgent demand to develop and disseminate adaptation measures for global warming to avoid further crop production loss in future.Read More

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