The SITES infrastructure offers many and varied opportunities for studies of forest and forest-related issues. Many of the SITES stations are situated in or near productive forest, but natural and other types of forest also occur. In many of the productive areas, large-scale experiments are possible, especially in terms of silviculture, but also focusing on other aspects, such as water quality, recreation or biodiversity.

In addition to traditional field research, there is a unique opportunity to conduct research into intensive forestry. Data from 1600 long-term field trials, which also include demonstration plots, is available, such as measurement series of long-range air pollution and its effects, ecophysiological studies of trees and effects, and interaction with the surrounding natural environment in a changing climate and in terms of water and nutrient supply.

Read more about what the Abisko, Asa, Erken, Grimsö, Röbäcksdalen, Skogaryd and Svartberget stations can offer you as researcher.

ABISKO

The forest around Abisko comprises mountain birch. Research at the station is part of the phenological measurement programme, and includes remote measurements  during insect infestation.

ASA

Asa research park, approximately 1000 ha, runs traditional experiments relating to forest management and production. An important part of the research activities is linked to regeneration issues, with challenges such as insect damage (for example, pine weevil), wildlife and frost. Other examples are various types of thinning experiments, studies of continuity forest, experiments examining the production potential of spruce, and tree species experiments, where survival and production for different species, both domestic and exotic, are studied in comparative experiments. Another experiment is very carefully measure growth of young spruce forest on ten plots. Stem growth and litterfall have been measured weekly since 1992, as well as groundwater depth and soil moisture on the plots during the growing season.
 
Asa high-yield production forest, approximately 1500 ha, is an area where the goal is to increase wood production by 50%. It offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of intensive forestry from a production perspective and in relation to the environment. Environmental measurements takes place of, for example, water quality and element transport resulting from fertilisation. The tools used to increase production are fertilisation of young forest, inverse scarification, use of genetically improved plant material and certain introduced tree species, and specially adapted thinning programmes. All measures are carried out alongside the normal silvicultural practices throughout the stand. The activities started in 2009.

Asa and Svartberget are jointly responsible for the 1600 forest-related experiments in Sweden.

ERKEN

Erken is surrounded by mixed coniferous forest with some deciduous trees. Erken does not manage and is not responsible for the forest around the lake but these forest environments could comprise interesting sites for ecosystem research into, for example, migrating birds, insects, decomposition, and biodiversity studies.

GRIMSÖ

Grimsö lies along the phenological line between the hemi-boreal and boreal forest areas, and is an ideal area for studying effects of climate change on species diversity.
 
The forest is partly a conventional productive forest, and partly a reserve. Grimsö’s history of wildlife ecology studies offers great potential for research into the interaction between forest and many animal species in Sweden, such as grazing and browsing pressure and damage, habitat preferences, and population dynamics.

RÖBÄCKSDALEN

Along the Degernäsbäcken stream, which flows through the agricultural landscape of the Röbäcksdalen valley, there are sections of forest that could form the basis of studies of biodiversity, light/shade conditions in the agricultural landscape, and barriers for nutrient leaching from agricultural land. 
 
The Röbäcksdalen research area includes an apple orchard that can be studied from an ecosystem perspective, such as survival, climate, insects and damage.

SKOGARYD

Skogaryd has three main forest areas. On the clear-cut site, long-term measurements are made of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) and energy balances, to quantify and understand the overall effects of forest management on the climate system.

In the forest area growing on drained fertile organic soils, experiments are being carried out to investigate whether rewetting the most fertile soils can significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Here, research is testing reduction alternatives instead of traditional forestry.

Skogaryd’s third forest area is on mineral soil, and promotes biogeochemical/physiological forest ecosystem studies in connection with global changes, process modelling and remote sensing. The forest is newly planted, so new roots or stumps from earlier forest cannot affect the C-balance studies. In addition, the soil is homogeneous with no stones, all the way down to an impermeable clay layer. 
All forest areas have electricity, fibre optics and Internet connection, and wooden duckboards, water flow systems, towers and huts for shelter or small installations.

SVARTBERGET

Since it was set up in the 1920s, Svartberget has hosted national and international basic research in forestry methods and inventories. Much of today’s knowledge and methods about forest management derive from research based on Svartberget’s infrastructure.

The research areas are dominated by pine and spruce, and lie in a transition zone between a maritime and a continental climate. The underlying rock consists almost exclusively of gneiss, and the soil is dominated by moraine of varying types. In the south-east is a larger flat area, Åheden, which comprises sand and silt deposits.

Ätnarova research park (Lappland) is dominated by old, sparse pine forest, ‘Norrland spruce’, or birch stump shoots from fellings in the 1940s. The research at Ätnarova comprises forest management issues in forests close to the mountains.

In the Flakaliden research area, research is carried out on climate change and growth in spruce forest. Researchers have been applying fertiliser to sample plots for the past 30 years with the aim of demonstrating the production potential of spruce with no restrictions caused by nutrient or water factors.
 
In the Rosinedal research area, fertiliser studies are being carried out to investigate how application of nitrogen affects tree growth (and thereby carbon sequestration in forest). The forest consists of naturally regenerated 80-year-old pines, and the soil is a deep sedimentary deposit of fine and coarse-grained sand. The treatments consist of annual application of 20 and 50 kg (100 kg in the first years) nitrogen per hectare. At the centre of each plot is a climate station that measures atmospheric carbon fluxes using eddy covariance (EC) technology. The experiment also involves measurements of photosynthesis, transpiration and respiration from stems and needles, ground vegetation and roots. In addition to physiological measurements, there is also a sampling programme for stand growth, crown development (photography with a fisheye lens), vegetation inventory, leaf fall, nutrient content in needles, and soil water and soil water chemistry.

Asa and Svartberget are jointly responsible for the 1600 forest-related experiments in Sweden.