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SITES enables multi-disciplinary and integrative research on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including long-term effects of land use change, climate change, biodiversity loss. SITES enables multi-disciplinary and integrative research on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including long-term effects of land use change, climate change, biodiversity loss.
The Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES) has been awarded continued funding for the grant period 2023-2027, under the Swedish Research Council’s (VR) call for research infrastructures of national interest.

SITES was launched in 2013 and now approaches the end of the second VR funding period. With the new funding, SITES can look forward to continuing operations during a third funding period where SITES will continue to promote high-quality research across Sweden linked to the research stations.

In the coming funding period, SITES will deepen the collaboration with other relevant research infrastructures and networks across Sweden, e.g. ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) and ACTRIS (The Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure), and also engage internationally within the eLTER (European Long-Term Ecosystem Research) network.
 
“The continued funding is a recognition of the high quality and scientific impact of the support provided by our infrastructure”, says SITES Director Stefan Bertilsson, and adds that the new funding will both secure long-term monitoring programs within the station network and enable the infrastructure to develop in order to meet the future needs of researchers and other stakeholders. 

The current funding period started in 2018 and runs until the end of 2022. The funding details for the next period (2023-2027) and the terms of reference will be finalized later this year in dialog with VR.
Carbon dynamics and wetland restoration is among the topics focused on at Trollberget experimental area, part of Svartberget Research Station. Photo: Blaize Denfeld. Carbon dynamics and wetland restoration is among the topics focused on at Trollberget experimental area, part of Svartberget Research Station. Photo: Blaize Denfeld.
Research at SITES stations Skogaryd and Svartberget was recently highlighted in the science show Vetenskapens värld on Swedish television.

Several of SITES stations conduct research about forests and forestry, and related topics such as climate change. A recent television program on Swedish television included footage from Skogaryd and Svartberget, and researchers connected to SITES, including two of SITES previous Directors Anders Lindroth and Tomas Lundmark.

Watch the program online at SVT.se (In Swedish): Vetenskapens värld: Slaget om skogen. Svartberget is featured in the first episode and Skogaryd in episode 4.

Skogaryd was also included in another television program last week, where docent Åsa Kasimir explained about managed wetlands and their contribution to  greenhouse gas emissions: Uppdrag granskning: Klimatbomben (in Swedish). Svartberget is also active in this field, with ongoing research at Trollberget investigating wetland restoration and buffer management on the carbon dynamics and water quality.
Agroecology students at a field walk at Lönnstorp Research Station in late September. Photo: Marie-Claire Feller. Agroecology students at a field walk at Lönnstorp Research Station in late September. Photo: Marie-Claire Feller.
Finally! Students are back at SITES Lönnstorp. During September several different student activities took place.

The Agroecology and the Horticultural students took a field walk around the research station during two different occasions. The field walks were mainly focused on the SAFE (SITES Agroecological Field Experiment) infrastructure but the students were also shown and told about other experiments that are ongoing at the station (e.g. Strip-till establishment, Flower strips 2.0, and Tree seedling establishment).

Students attending the course Sustainable soil management in agroecosystems also had activities at SITES Lönnstorp. They, among other things, used different kinds of equipment (e.g. TDRs, lysimeters and penetrometers) to measure and assess different types of soil characteristics.

Lönnstorp Research Station also hosted students from Lund University, who took a field walk as well as set up and performed eddy covariance measurements at the station. Furthermore, Daniel Brainard, a professor in sustainable agriculture and ecological weed management at Michigan State University (USA), also paid the station a visit in September.

– We hope that more researchers, students, companies, organizations, and the public will visit us during the coming months, says Johannes Albertsson, SITES Station manager at Lönnstorp.
Evelina Hiltunen uses a gravity corer to collect sediment from Lake Erken. Photo: Nils Kreuter. Evelina Hiltunen uses a gravity corer to collect sediment from Lake Erken. Photo: Nils Kreuter.
SITES is mapping lake sediments for the lakes included in the thematic programmes SITES Water and SITES AquaNet, to enable a better understanding of biogeochemical processes within the lakes. The latest lake investigated was Lake Erken.

In most lakes, a sub-bottom profiler, using acoustic signals of different wavelengths to produce images showing bottom surface, sediment layers and underlying bedrock, has been employed. In addition, sediment cores have been collected across the lake as well as at targeted areas near the greenhouse gas (GHG) chamber locations (Layer 6 in SITES Water).

Only a few lakes remain to be investigated, with the most recent sediment sampling taking place at Lake Erken. Sediments along the four transects with GHG chambers were successfully collected in mid-September. At each GHG transect two sediment cores were collected, representing a shallow and deep depth within the transect. Most sediment was sampled with a gravity corer, however at shallow depths within the reed belts innovative sampling techniques were required.

Nils Kreuter and Evelina Hiltunen get creative in collecting sediment from the shallow reed belt sampling location. Photo: Christer Strandberg. Nils Kreuter and Evelina Hiltunen get creative in collecting sediment from the shallow reed belt sampling location. Photo: Christer Strandberg.

The next lake scheduled to be sampled as part of the SITES Water sediment campaign is Almbergasjön (Abisko Scientific Research Station), where a deep sediment core has already been collected, and short sediment cores will be collected next month.

Marcus Wallin explaining research ongoing at the Trollberget mire restoration site. Photo: Blaize Denfeld. Marcus Wallin explaining research ongoing at the Trollberget mire restoration site. Photo: Blaize Denfeld.
For a breath of fresh air and due to the continuing pandemic, this year’s version of the annual Krycklan symposium was outdoors the full day. Fresh air it was announced beforehand and fresh air it sure was – it came in gusts and with tiny drops of water in it. Despite the weather conditions, the mood among the ca. 30 participants was overall very good.

The Krycklan symposium brings together people involved in the Krycklan Catchment Study and other interested researchers to hear more about the activities taking place in the catchment, and to gain insight into the most recent research.

Krycklan is an integral part of the Svartberget field research infrastructure. The 6780 ha Krycklan catchment study of today, an expansion of the original 50 ha at Nyänget in the 1980’s, is one of the most instrumented and monitored watersheds in the world. The expanded scope of research includes mercury, weathering, aluminium, carbon cycling, water uptake by trees and connection between soils and surface waters. The overall aim is to create a process-based understanding of the regulation of stream water chemistry.
The Krycklan Symposium started at Trollberget Experimental Area; here a presentation about riparian buffer management is being given. Photo: Blaize Denfeld.
The 18th edition of the symposium featured presentations about Krycklan given on-site in the Krycklan catchment, with talks taking place in the “old” sites at Svartberget as well as in the new study site Trollberget.

Trollberget is a state-of-the-art research field site with six separate study areas:
  • fresh clear-cut forests with even fresher subsequent ditch-cleaning (n=2),
  • fresh clear-cut forest without any ditch-cleaning (n=2)
  • restored (rewetted) wetlands (n=2).
In addition, four neighbouring areas within Krycklan serve as either pristine references (n=2) or as sites historically drained in the 1930s and then left unmanaged (n=2). The monitoring of the catchments at Trollberget started in the autumn of 2018. The forest harvest and wetland restoration took place in 2020, and the ditch cleaning was conducted in September 2021.

Text: Johan Westin.
 

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