Toshiya OKURO

Toshiya OKURO, Professor

・Cross-Appointed Faculty, International Program in Agricultural Development Studies (IPADS)

Laboratory of Landscape Ecology & Planning, Department of Ecosystem Studies, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo

Contact information

Phone:  +81-3-5841-5051
>>EMAIL aokuro[at]



Landscape Ecology, Vegetation Ecology, Dryland Science


Professional Experience & Education

2012-Present: Professor, The University of Tokyo
2006-2012: Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo
2004-2005: Visiting Researcher, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn
1998-2006: Senior Researcher, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES)
1998: PhD in Agriculture, Graduate School of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, for the thesis entitled “Studies on the influence of grazing on the land and vegetation degradation and restoration processes in grassland regions in northeast China”
1990~1998: Researcher, NIAES


Research interests

I have been carrying out researches on desertification/land degradation control and restoration of ecosystem services in drylands (China, Mongolia, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Ethiopia) for more than 25 years. I have been also conducting researches on sustainable land management for biodiversity conservation in paddy-centered agro-ecosystems. I was involved in Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) as a Coordinating Lead Author for its national assessment, and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a Lead Author for a thematic assessment of land degradation and restoration.

My research interest includes;

  • Land and vegetation dynamics in agro-ecosystemm
  • Sustainable land use planning/management
  • Restoration and sustainable use of ecosystem services
  • Biodiversity conservation


■Major publications

Yamada, S., M. Nemoto and T. Okuro. (2021) Season and plant life-history stage in revegetation influence competition of foundation species, subordinate species, and weeds in a reclaimed grassland. Ecological Engineering.

Miyasaka, T., E. Miyamori, T. Okuro, X. Zhao and K. Takeuchi. (2021) Comparison of nurse effect zones of shrubs versus trees for dryland rehabilitation in northeast China. Restoration Ecology. doi: 10.1111/rec.13364

Dasgupta, R., S. Hashimoto, M. Basu, T. Okuro, B.A. Johnson, P. Kumar and S. Dhyani. (2021) Spatial characterization of non-material values across multiple coastal production landscapes in the Indian Sundarban delta. Sustainability Science.

Matsuoka, T., K. Tsuchiya, S. Yamada, J. Lundholm and T. Okuro. (2020) Growth form affects companion planting of nectar-producing plant species with Sedum album for extensive green roofs. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 56, 126875.

Suvdantsetseg, B, B. Kherlenbayar, K. Nominbolor, M. Altanbagana, W. Yan, T. Okuro, T. Chuluun, T. Miyasaka, S. Wang, and X. Zhao. (2020) Assessment of pastoral vulnerability and its impacts on socio-economy of herding community and formulation of adaptation options. APN Science Bulletin, 10(1), 50-60. doi:10.30852/sb.2020.1107

Mekuriaw, S, A. Tsunekawa, T. Ichinohe, F. Tegegne, N. Haregeweyn, N. Kobayashi, A. Tassew, Y. Mekuriaw, M. Wale, M. Tsubo, T. Okuro, D.T. Meshesha, M. Meseret, L. Sam, V. Fievez. (2020) Effect of feeding improved grass hays and Eragrostis tef straw silage on milk yield, nitrogen balance, and methane emission of lactating Fogera dairy cows, Ethiopia. Animals, 10(6), 1021.

Mekuriaw, S., A. Tsunekawa, T. Ichinohe, F. Tegegne, N. Haregeweyn, N. Kobayashi, A. Tassewe, Y. Mekuriawe, M. Walie, M. Tsubo and T. Okuro. (2020) Mitigating the anti-nutritional effect of polyphenols on in vitro digestibility and fermentation characteristics of browse species in north western Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 52, 1287–1298.

Yanagawa, A., H. Fujimaki, U. Jamsran, T. Okuro and K. Takeuchi. (2019) Changes in dominant perennial species affects soil hydraulic properties after crop abandonment in a semi-arid grassland in Mongolia. Eurasian Soil Science, 52(11), 1378-1390.

Cao, G., K. Tsuchiya, W. Zhu and T. Okuro. (2019) Vegetation dynamics of abandoned paddy fields and surrounding wetlands in the lower Tumen River Basin, Northeast China. PeerJ, 7:e6704.

Matsuoka, T., K. Tsuchiya, S. Yamada, J. Lundholm and T. Okuro. (2019) Value of Sedum species as companion plants for nectar-producing plants depends on leaf characteristics of the Sedum. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 39, 35-44.

Jiao, Y., Y. Ding, Z. Zha and T. Okuro. (2019) Crises of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Satoyama Landscape of Japan: A Review on the Role of Management. Sustainability, 11, 454.

DasGupta, R., S. Hashimoto, T. Okuro and M. Basu. (2019) Scenario-based land change modelling in the Indian Sundarban delta: An exploratory analysis of plausible alternative regional futures. Sustainability Science, 14, 221-240.

Tanaka-Oda, A., I. Endo, N. Ohte, D. Eer, N. Yamanaka, M. Hirobe, N. Shonhor, A. Koyama, S. Jambal, M. Katsuyama, T. Nakamura, N. Matsuo, J. Undarmaa, T. Okuro and K. Yoshikawa. (2018) A water-acquisition strategy may regulate the biomass and distribution of winter forage species in cold Asian rangeland. Ecosphere 9(12), e02511.

Sasaki, T., A. Koyama and T. Okuro. (2018) Coupling structural and functional thresholds for vegetation changes on a Mongolian shrubland. Ecological Indicators, 93, 1264-1275.

Kakinuma, K., A. Terui, T. Sasaki, A. Koyama, J. Undarmaa, T. Okuro and K. Takeuchi. (2017) Detection of vegetation trends in highly variable environments after grazing exclusion in Mongolia. Journal of Vegetation Science, 28, 965-974.

Shoyama, K., C. Kamiyama, J. Morimoto, M. Ooba and T. Okuro. (2017) A review of modeling approaches for ecosystem services assessment in the Asian region. Ecosystem Services, 26, 316-328.

Miyasaka, T., Q. B. Le, T. Okuro, X. Zhao and K. Takeuchi. (2017) Agent-based modeling of complex social-ecological feedback loops to assess multi-dimensional trade-offs in dryland ecosystem services. Landscape Ecology, 32, 707–727.

Miyasaka, T., T. Okuro, X. Zhao and K. Takeuchi. (2016) Classification of land use on sand-dune topography by object-based analysis, digital photogrammetry, and GIS analysis in the Horqin Sandy Land, China. Environments, 3(3), 17.

Yanagawa, A., T. Sasaki, U. Jamsran, T. Okuro and K. Takeuchi. (2016) Factors limiting vegetation recovery processes after cessation of cropping in a semiarid grassland in Mongolia. Journal of Arid Environments, 131, 1-5.

Koyama, A., D. Kubo, Y. Yoshihara, U. Jamsran and T. Okuro. (2016) Response of degraded vegetation to introduction of prescribed burning or mowing management in a Mongolian steppe. Grassland Science, 62, 37-44.

Yoshihara, Y., A. Koyama, U. Jamsran and T. Okuro. (2015) Prescribed burning experiments for restoration of degraded semi-arid Mongolian steppe. Plant Ecology, 216, 1649-1658.

Yanagawa, A., H. Fujimaki, T. Okuro and U. Jamsran and K. Takeuchi (2015) Comparison of drought tolerances in a root water uptake model for two co-occurring grass species in Mongolia. Journal of the Japanese Society of Soil Physics 130, 3-10.

Lee, J.H., K. Kakinuma, T. Okuro and Y. Iwasa (2015) Coupled social and ecological dynamics of herders in Mongolian rangelands. Ecological Economics 114, 208-217.

Koyama, A., T. Sasaki, U. Jamsran and T. Okuro (2015) Shrub cover regulates population dynamics of herbaceous plants at individual-shrub scale on the Mongolian steppe. Journal of Vegetation Science 26, 441-451.