Dr. KAWAI Kiyosada of the Forestry Division was awarded the 25th Kira Award of the Japanese Society of Tropical Ecology. The award was given for his research on “Variations of leaf and stem traits in relation to altitudinal distributions of 12 Fagaceae species of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo”.
The Kira Award is given to a member of the Japanese Society of Tropical Ecology who has made a significant contribution to the promotion and development of tropical ecology research. The award was presented on June 26, 2021.
Dr. Kawai has been studying the function and adaptive significance of leaf and stem characteristics (morphological traits) in temperate and tropical tree species. In the research for which he received the award, he clarified that species with thicker leaves and higher dry weight per leaf area are distributed at higher altitudes and in a wider range of altitudes in the beech family, which is a major component of tropical montane forests in Borneo. It has been known that the species found in tropical montane forests vary greatly depending on altitude, and these results reveal part of the mechanism. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the prediction of the appropriate planting environment for forestry tree species and the evaluation of the impact of temperature increase due to climate change.
Dr. Kawai's achievement was recognized for its clarification of the importance of leaf shape in environmental adaptation in tropical montane forests, where research has lagged behind, and for providing basic knowledge for environmentally adaptive forestry.
The 25th Kira Award of the Japanese Society of Tropical Ecology
Link to the award-winning paper: