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The SITES AquaNet mesocosm infrastructure welcomes applications for new experiments in 2020! SITES AquaNet can offer standardised mesocosms and high frequency sensors systems in 5 lakes in Sweden and can be used to run experiments in one or more lakes spread across a geographical and climatic gradients. The deadline for the first round of applications is February 21, 2020. More information about the infrastructure, the support that we can provide and the application procedure can be found here

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Experiments aiming at investigating the interactive effects of reduction in light availability and fish predation disturbances on the plankton community composition and ecosystem functioning were carried out in mesocosms installed in five Swedish lakes in summer 2017. A mesocosm is a unit to mimic natural aquatic ecosystems on a small scale in a controlled environment to be able to use different treatments to estimate how, e.g. climate change alters ecosystem functioning or food web structures.

The data from these experiments is now available with open access on the SITES data portal.

The mesocosms are offered by the SITES thematic programme AquaNet and open to the research community to access by application. The lakes included are situated close to the five SITES stations Asa, Bolmen, Erken, Skogaryd and Svartberget.

An additional goal of the first experiments was to establish a well-functioning support structure for future research groups using the infrastructure. This includes everything from application procedure to field support from station technicians and data management.

A call for application to use the mesocosms within SITES AquaNet in 2020 is now open. Information on the application procedure can be found here. The application deadline is 21 February 2020.

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Photographer: Niels Aagaard Jakobsen

As part of the planed fertilizing of young spruce stands in Asa high-yield forest during spring 2020, we have been collecting branches from the areas. We do so to be able to determine the optimal composition of nutrients for the fertilizer and thereby choose the right type. The branches are cut into pieces and then dried for approximately 24 hours. After that the dry needles are separated from the braches and are ready to be analysed.

We fertilized the first 31 ha in 2012 and next year we will fertilize almost 90 ha distributed on 17 different locations. The goal of the fertilization program is to increase the growth of spruce and thereby get a shorter rotation period.

Photographer: Niels Aagaard Jakobsen

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Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist

Weather data from Tarfala automatic weather stations are used to infer how reindeer herding is impacted by changes in climate. The research is conducted in collaboration with the Laevas reindeer herding community.

Weather was warm until first snowfall. It is unusually for the snowpack to start building up already at the end of September. Because of the unfrozen ground the snow melted partly and then re-froze when temperature fell in early October. This led to the reindeer 's food becoming inaccessible and in the hunt for other food sources they spread geographically. This has made it difficult to gather the reindeer for the division into winter grazing groups and the reindeer herders are still struggling to gather their reindeer and bring them to the winter grazing lands east of Kiruna. 

The graph shows temperature (red) and snow-depth (blue) from the automatic weather station in Laevasvaggi.

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Pollinating insects are essential for the reproduction of many plants, including some crops for food production. According to several studies the biodiversity among insects is decreasing, though facts for local conditions can be scarce. At SITES Röbäcksdalen there are a few ongoing projects regarding pollinating insects. The aim is to get a better understanding of which pollinating insects that exists in northern Sweden, but also to create opportunities for researchers to use the station for research about wild and domesticated pollinators and other relevant insects. The station houses two hives with Nordic bees, which are available for researchers to use. Moreover, during the winter we will investigate how we can build up a continuous inventory program around pollinators at the station. There is also registered butterfly walk of 1.2 km at the Swedish butterfly monitoring site for future systematic monitoring activities.

Insect inventory 2019

Natuschka Lee, researcher at Umeå University and project assistant Philippe Simon has done an pilot inventory of pollinating insects during the summer, at four different places. Two places were close to meadows and forest landscapes, one was beside a pasture with a lot of white clover, and one was beside the Degernäs creek close to a ley. The Nordic bee was of course one common pollinator, found on different plants and during different occasions. Also, the hoverfly occurred in several places, on several plants and during several occasions, and this was also the case for some butterfly species. More detailed inventory studies will be done during 2020 and genetic and microbial studies of the Nordic bee are also done.

An inventory of pollinating insects in different types of vegetation was done at Röbäcksdalen during the summer 2019. Researcher Natuschka Lee and student Philippe Simon from Umeå University was responsible for the inventory. Photo Johanna Wallsten.

For more information, contact:

Johanna Wallsten, SITES manager Röbäcksdalen -,
+46 90-786 8716

Natuschka Lee, researcher Umeå University -,
+46 90 786 5447

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