SITES_bård 160701-4

2019

Part of the new facility for handling wildlife. Photographer: Gunnar Jansson. Part of the new facility for handling wildlife. Photographer: Gunnar Jansson.

The new facility for handling wildlife was completed in September, and now also inspected and approved so ready to take in use. The facility enables great improvements for both data sampling (body measures, tissue samples etc) and other routines related to for example marked animals. The reconstruction started in January and a small inauguration ceremony takes place at October 11.

An example of the interior in one of the sections of the new facility for handling wildlife. Photographer: Gunnar Jansson. An example of the interior in one of the sections of the new facility for handling wildlife. Photographer: Gunnar Jansson.

The building also contains a new kitchen for students and other guests, improved conditions in the car workshop and for storage at the second floor.
 

A moose calf plays around with the marking stick of one of the 600 plots in Grimsös` pellet count (July 2019). A moose calf plays around with the marking stick of one of the 600 plots in Grimsös` pellet count (July 2019).

During the spring a new monitoring series was initiated at Grimsö, with wildlife cameras at 32 of the plots (in total 600) for the annual pellet counts (six species plus habitat data). Wildlife cameras are nowadays an important tool in wildlife management and research, and this project will for example evaluate the relationships between data obtained by pictures and traditional population data based on pellet counts.
 

When tissue samples should be used for analyses of for example diseases, sterilized tools may sometimes be important. Photograper: Gunnar Jansson. When tissue samples should be used for analyses of for example diseases, sterilized tools may sometimes be important. Photograper: Gunnar Jansson.

In September-October the Wildlife biology course is given at Grimsö, this year with 18 students from in total nine different countries. This in combination with other shorter courses and guest stays implies that the accommodations and other services are more or less fully utilized for the period.

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In July 2019 a team from Oldenburg University led by Maren Striebel used the SITES AquaNET Infrastructure in lake Erken for an experiment to test how variations in multiple environmental parameters affect planktonic food webs. More specifically, variation in light and nutrient fluctuations were manipulated to investigate the direct and indirect effects of the treatments on nutrient availability as well as biomass, composition, traits, function and resource use efficiency of different plankton groups (zooplankton, phytoplankton and bacterioplankton).

Picture: The project team during the set-up of the mesocosms.

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To ensure that SITES data will remain and be easy accessible, a workshop focusing on the structure and harmonization of data products within SITES was successfully held last week.

SITES works towards the principles of FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). The SITES Data Portal (https://data.fieldsites.se) is a powerful data service facilitating to fulfill these criteria. An important topic on the workshop was to achieve common standard of the structured information describing datasets (metadata). In the evolving ecosystem of research data services, this is the key element to seamlessly exchange information. SITES portal will start get populated later this year.    
 
Reference headline: Advice for a Young Investigator, 1898, Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Nobel prize laureate.

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INTERACT visited Kricklan catchment area, one of the sites in SITES Water sampling program. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur. INTERACT visited Kricklan catchment area, one of the sites in SITES Water sampling program. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur.
Excursion to Svartberget with dinner at Stortjärn. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur. Excursion to Svartberget with dinner at Stortjärn. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur.
Last week Interact (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic ) visited Vindeln for their annual meeting. In total 60 people attended the meeting. Hjalmar Laudon and Charlotta Erefur from Svartberget research station arranged with an excursion to Krycklan catchment area on Wednesday where they presented SITES Water and current research going on. In the evening dinner was served nearby Stortjärn.
INTERACT visited the 150 meter tall Svartbergsmasten, part of the ICOS infrastructure. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur. INTERACT visited the 150 meter tall Svartbergsmasten, part of the ICOS infrastructure. Photographer: Charlotta Erefur.
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The northern summit of Kebnekaise now higher than the southern summit due to a warmer climate

Kebnekaise southern summit on the 3rd of September 2019. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Kebnekaise southern summit on the 3rd of September 2019. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.

The annual measurements of Kebnekaise southern summit were conducted on the 3rd of September by Tarfala researcher station. The summit measured 2095,6 meter and is thereby 1,2 meters lower than the northern summit.

The highest part of the northern summit consists of solid ground and is thereby stable, whereas the southern summit is a glacier and varies in height during the year. The measurements are done every year when the melting period is over. When it starts snowing again the southern summit will surpass the northern summit again.

The southern summit is becoming lower and lower due to a warmer climate and this year’s measurements are the lowest ever recorded. During the past 50 years the height of this glacier has decreased with 24 meters.

 

Report from study in the Tarfala valley

Researchers conducting a labbeling study with nitrogen isotopes to improve our understanding of impacts of changes in the vegetation on the nitrogen cycle. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Researchers conducting a labbeling study with nitrogen isotopes to improve our understanding of impacts of changes in the vegetation on the nitrogen cycle. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.
Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.

Biodiversity and the role of mycorrhiza is undoubtedly of major significance for ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration and soil nitrogen and organic matter dynamics. Despite their importance, it is poorly understood how and to what extent certain features of biodiversity are linked to ecosystem processes.

In a study lead by Robert G. Björk at the Univeristy of Gothenburg, they aims to improve our understanding of the coupling between plants and microbial diversity and to what extent changes in plant-soil biodiversity affect carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the ecosystem.

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Grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River - Juhtadahka. Photo: J. Wallsten. Grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River - Juhtadahka. Photo: J. Wallsten.

On Saturday August 17 the grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River took place and SITES was there. The decision to grant the new biosphere reserve was taken by Unesco already in mid-June and the opening ceremony was planned for the national river day on August 17. The Vindeln River is one of only four rivers in Sweden not adapted for hydropower production. SITES has two stations within the biosphere area; Svartberget in Vindeln and Röbäcksdalen in Umeå. Charlotta Erefur, head of Svartberget field station and Johanna Wallsten, SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen research station were present during the day to show some SITES activities. They also had an oral presentation where they presented what SITES can offer, with a special focus on the biosphere area.

Vindeln River. Photo: J. Wallsten. Vindeln River. Photo: J. Wallsten.
Charlotta Erefur (head of Svartberget field station) and Johanna Wallsten (SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen reserach station) were present during the day to show some SITES activities. Photo: C. Erefur. Charlotta Erefur (head of Svartberget field station) and Johanna Wallsten (SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen reserach station) were present during the day to show some SITES activities. Photo: C. Erefur.

 

Read more about the Vindeln River biosphere reserve
Read more about biosphere reserve at Unesco’s website

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Finally! After a lot of bureaucracy, the process of getting high-speed internet to SITES Lönnstorp was started up a couple a days ago. If everything goes well, we will have access to fast speed internet at the end of the year. This upgrade will hopefully enable those of us that are associated with projects at SITES Lönnstorp to use the field station as our place to work from, which will in turn most likely   enhance communication between researchers and technicians. In addition, this upgrade of internet capacity will hopefully allow us to get more projects to the research station.

In early August, Eamon Gallagher started his position as a field technician at SITES Lönnstorp. Eamon, who has previously worked at both Yara AB and Hasselblad, will mostly work with tasks related to SITES. Among other things, he and Ryan Davidson will take care of collecting spectral data and make sure that the SAFE experiment is well managed.

In recent months, we have had the pleasure of welcoming a lot of visitors to SITES Lönntorp. In May, about 75 researchers attending the conference "Is the Future Perennial" were given a guided tour of the research station. In June, we had visitors from the Nordic Plant Phenotyping Network as well as and the DiverIMPACTS-project (a total of more than one hundred researchers). Furthermore, in collaboration with Partnership Alnarp, we also organized a “soil-carbon-day” in June.  Farmers, advisors, government officials as well as researchers participated at this event. SITES Lönnstorp was also represented with a “roll-up” at the Borgeby agricultural fair.

The harvest of field trials at SITES Lönnstorp was initiated at the end of July. The season has been dry and therefore we had to start the harvest earlier than we would normally do. However, despite this, preliminary data shows that yield levels are relatively high.

Figure 1. The process to get high speed internet to SITES Lönnstorp has started!

Figure 2. Lars Eklund (Lund University) presents SITES Spectral at SITES Lönnstorp.

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We are building a new ‘staff’ house at Tarfala Research Station. It includes 7 bedrooms, an office, bathroom and drying-room and will hopefully be ready by mid-July. It is a sturdy construction which is necessary to withstand the hurricane force winds that most often occur during winter. However, this year we were exposed to winds up to 40m/s and snowdrift at the end of June, which is unusual and not very pleasant! For the glaciers it meant an extra snow contribution to the mass balance.
Photografer: Gunhild Rosqvist.

First measurement round on the upper part of Storglaciären 9th July. Here we monitor the successive snow and ice melt during the summer. Photografer:Tom Kirkpatrick

Checking the automatic weather station located at 1350 m a sl on Storglaciären. The Sonic Ranger (SR50) instrument is in focus which measures the distance to the snow surface. Photografer:Tom Kirkpatrick

SITES Water
Calibration for discharge measurements in the Tarfala-river. Pressure transducers and a sonar-instrument are used to measure water-pressure and distance to the water surface in the Tarfala-river. Calibration using fluorescein provides data on water discharge out from the Tarfala valley. Four glaciers contribute with meltwater to the river.

SITES Spectral
NDVI sensors are now mounted in Laevasvagge. The valley is located 20 km northeast of Tarfala and is important for reindeer grazing during spring and autumn. Here an automatic weather station records several meteorological parameters including snow depth.

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New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson. New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson.

In a collaboration between the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Abisko is now a part of the extensive network of SYNOP-stations covering Sweden. The weather station is placed on the Observation hill at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, where the station’s own weather monitoring has been going on since 1913.
 
 

New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson. New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson.

The new SYNOP-station measures temperature, precipitation, air pressure, wind, air moisture, sight, and cloud-base height. The radiation sensors are in the process of being upgraded.
 
SYNOP observations from all of Sweden can be found at  https://www.smhi.se/vadret/vadret-i-sverige/observationer

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Micrometeorological installations at the Mycklemossen site. Photographer: Leif Klemedtsson. Micrometeorological installations at the Mycklemossen site. Photographer: Leif Klemedtsson.

We are currently working with the program for the 2nd NORDIC ICOS Symposium that will take place in Gothenburg on the 24th-25th of October with focus on “Sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the Nordic countries”. The mire “Mycklemossen” that is part of the Skogaryd Sites station will apply to be the new ICOS site for University of Gothenburg and the old Lanna site will then be downgraded to an “associated site”. The reason being that the fluxes of N2O at Lanna are low, below the detection limit by the instrumentation used within ICOS, and thus only short turn peak emissions can be detected. ICOS-Sweden did not have any hemi-boreal/temperate mires in their measuring program and the Mycklemossen well represents the mires in the southern parts of Sweden. It has been monitored by SITES since 2013 and the greenhouse gas fluxes has been dramatically affected by the drought events the current years, which resulted in net CO2 emission, low CH4 emissions and high DOC flows in the autumn. Intensive work is now ongoing in upgrading the site to a level 2 ICOS site, and the site will be presented at an excursion at the Symposium in October.

 

Removal of “trenching installations” to separate sources of soil respiration. Photographer: David Allbrand. Removal of “trenching installations” to separate sources of soil respiration. Photographer: David Allbrand.

On the forested drained peat site at Skogaryd, work has started to allow harvest. After clear-cutting, parts of the site will be re-wetted and fluxes of GHG and mercury will continue to be monitored. This site is one of the most well studied afforested drained organic soils in terms of greenhouse gas flux and processes related the flux. The scaffold tower was taken down last year. Now the old “soil installations”, (frames used to separate root/mycorrhiza respiration from soil organic matter respiration) are removed, since they will not be in use when this part of the site is flooded.

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Jointly organized by NENUN/AMRI/SITES
Date: September 26-27 2019

The 2019 Nordic meeting in Molecular Microbial Ecology will gather researchers and students interested in environmental microbiology and advanced molecular tools for understanding complex microbial systems.

Building on the history of yearly NENUN-meetings and expanded scientific networks from the SciLifeLab Aquatic Microbiome Research Inititative (AMRI) and the Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES), we aim to create an interactive and stimulating 2-day forum for exchanging our most recent findings pertaining to the biology of microorganisms in the environment. With a welcoming atmosphere, a handful of invited speakers, contributed talks and ample time for informal discussions, we expect the meeting to promote collaboration strengthen the research field at large. 

Welcome to Uppsala!
 
More information and registration here.

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The main inlet of lake Erken. Photographer: William Colom. The main inlet of lake Erken. Photographer: William Colom.

The Erken station has recently finished the upgrade of the Kristineholm automatic monitoring station located at the main inlet of lake Erken.

Measurement of coloured dissolved organic matter (cDOM) in the stream water. Photographer: Don Pierson. Measurement of coloured dissolved organic matter (cDOM) in the stream water. Photographer: Don Pierson.

This station provides data on stream stage/discharge, water and air temperature, CDOM and conductivity. The renovation included upgrades to a new data logger and communication system to achieve direct real-time online communication and the installation of a new water temperature thermocouple.  Finally, a new bio-wiper fluorometer was deployed into an aquarium into which stream water is pumped hourly to be able to enable consistent anti-fouling proof measurement of colored dissolved organic matter in the stream water.

Example of data output of discharge and cDOM measurements. Don Pierson. Example of data output of discharge and cDOM measurements. Don Pierson.
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A pair of roe deer siblings, age ca 5 days, that right after the photo was taken got marked with small telemetry transmitters. Photo; Madeleine Christiansson. A pair of roe deer siblings, age ca 5 days, that right after the photo was taken got marked with small telemetry transmitters. Photo; Madeleine Christiansson.

It is now peak season for several of Grimsös` monitoring series on wildlife and forest, where some surveys overlap in time, as also for many of the external projects. For some weeks now around May-June for example season for the marking of roe deer fawns. This is often an exciting work including stalking, waiting and now and then handling newly born fawns. These data are used for e.g. mortality studies, but especially in combination with the long term data set on marked adult roe deers.
 

Members of SITES`Steering group get introduced to the work at Grimsös` DNA laboratory. Photo; Gunnar Jansson. Members of SITES`Steering group get introduced to the work at Grimsös` DNA laboratory. Photo; Gunnar Jansson.

At June 3rd SITES` Steering group visited Grimsö for a meeting, but then most of the afternoon was spent touring inside the station and outdoors. For example, Mikael Åkesson explained the work at the DNA laboratory and the day was completed by a trip through parts of the 13 000 ha research area.

Two of Grimsös` field technicians and the course leader (to the left) during the chain saw course at Grimsö in 6-8 May. Photo; Madeleine Christiansson. Two of Grimsös` field technicians and the course leader (to the left) during the chain saw course at Grimsö in 6-8 May. Photo; Madeleine Christiansson.

For three days in early May some of the SITES staff took a chain saw course, and thereby obtained a “driving license” and the competence to use chain saws at work. It is important that at least a couple of coworkers keep this competence so that someone is always available to take care of potential trees fallen over roads etc.

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Fotograf: Ulf Grandin. Fotograf: Ulf Grandin.






The EU parliamentarian election is just completed. During the election debate science has been highlighted as one of the cornerstones of the European collaboration. Field-based research within systems ecology is an area that can strongly benefit from a common European funding to build and coordinate collection of data from field sites around Europe. This type of data is critical to understand current changes in ecosystems and consequences of these, as well as getting data to follow up on how we live up to the global goals. During this year a consortium within eLTER (Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe) has submitted two applications within the Horizon 2020-program for infrastructure. Decisions on funding’s will be announced in November.

“In the same way as SITES provides the opportunity for coordinated data collection in Sweden, we hope to secure the funding at the European level”, says Ulf Grandin at SLU, coordinator for LTER Sweden and connected to SITES.

SITES and the Swedish LTER network will, if funding’s are granted, join forces to make Swedish stations and sampling sites adapted and connected to eLTER.

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Drones (or UAV as they are also called) are an operation part of the spectral data collection programme of SITES spectral. The drones are equipped with cameras that capture images of the ecosystems in different wavelength bands (green, red, red-edge, and near infrared).
 

The images are then used to study the status of the vegetation during different parts of the growing season. The drones are programmed to automatically follow a route and photograph the land surface from 60-80 m height. In order for everything to work smoothly it is necessary for the pilots to be well prepared and trained, and that thorough planning has been carried out. For this reason, we organized a workshop during the beginning of May where Virginia Garcia and Lars Eklundh of SITES Spectral together with participants from Röbäcksdalen, Skogaryd, Svartberget and Tarfala worked through all the routines connected to the flying. We discussed a number of factors that affect the data quality, like placement of ground control points, weather conditions, time-of-day, metadata collection, etc. Problems with the drones occur now and again, and we collected important experiences and technical solutions.

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Marcus Lee is a PhD student in Aquatic Ecology at Lund University. Since the beginning of April, he is conducting research at the SITES associated station Bolmen on how the energetic state of individual zooplankton effects their migratory behaviour in response to threats. 

Bolmen is part of SITES AquaNet, a standardized infrastructure for national and international researches to run mesocosm experiments in lakes at Asa, Erken, Skogaryd, Svartberget and Bolmen field stations.

Future predictions of climate change indicate a higher propensity for lakes to become eutrophic, meaning the lake becomes rich in nutrients and so supporting a dense algae population, the decomposition of which kills animal life by depriving it of oxygen. Marcus hypothesises that with this increasing phytoplankton, animals will have abundant food and over a season this will lead to a stronger diel vertical migration behaviour. With his research at Bolmen he will demonstrate this by rearing zooplankton, Daphnia magna, under natural and increased phytoplankton conditions in a mesocosm design for two months.

Photo: Marcus at the platform situated in lake Bolmen. photographer: Franca Stábile

The mesocosm make it possible to generate different climates. Various lake states, such as a clear lake or a lake with a lot of algae, can thereby be simulated in order to analyse the zooplankton diel vertical migration behaviour in different prerequisites.

The results of this research can be expected to prove that diel vertical migration is far from a constant, as it strongly depends upon the energetic state of individuals in a semi-natural environment.

Over the course of the experiment Marcus will sample the populations at differing depths repeatedly, to determine the spatial structure of the mesocosms. He will also collect random individuals to assay the diel vertical migration behaviour. This will be achieved by utilising a 3D computer-tracking platform at Lund University.
Marcus foresees that the results of the research will make it possible to understand how the behaviour of individuals effect whole ecosystems and which can have a great impact on how to keep the water clean.

The project is scheduled for two months, ending in the beginning of July.

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Photo 1: European spruce bark beetle infested trees from 2018. Photographer: Martin Ahlström. Photo 1: European spruce bark beetle infested trees from 2018. Photographer: Martin Ahlström.

The dry and hot summer of 2018 caused draught in many areas in southern Sweden and as a consequence the population of the European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) increased. The combination of warm and dry weather during a long period resulted in two successful regenerations of bark beetles. The situation i Götaland and especially in eastern Götaland is critical and the development of 2019 is closely monitored. In Asa, around 40 outbreak sites are identified. The early spring suits the bark beetles and this year’s swarming has already started. Control measures such as, pheromone traps, pheromones on standing trees to focus bark beetle infestation and closely monitoring of infested areas from 2018, are used. The most important active measure is to harvest newly infested trees. The weather conditions however, determine the magnitude of the outbreak. To hope for the best, is to hope for a cold and rainy summer.

Photo 2: Male of Spruce Bark beetle entering the bark. Photographer: Göran Birgersson. Photo 2: Male of Spruce Bark beetle entering the bark. Photographer: Göran Birgersson.

Research
Professor Göran Birgersson and PhD student Maria Sousa both from Chemical Ecology, SLU Alnarp are monitoring the European spruce bark beetle outbreak in Asa. Their main focus is one of the most important bark beetle predators, long legged flies from the genera, Medetera. Larvae of the Medetera locate and attack the bark beetle larvae under the bark.

Photo 3: Female of Medetera. Photographer: Göran Birgersson. Photo 3: Female of Medetera. Photographer: Göran Birgersson.

One of the areas that Göran and Maria studies is also part of a pilot drone monitoring study. Previous studies have shown promising results concerning detection of early bark beetle infestations in near the infrared band. Since the most important active measure is to harvest infested trees before the beetles leave the tree, drone monitoring has a potential of reducing the manual cost of detecting damaged trees. Also, if the multispectral images can show an earlier detection than manual efforts, it can save valuable time and increase efficiency.

Photo 4: Larvae of Medetera, note the black ”jaws” with which they attack the bark beetle larvae. Photographer:  Göran Birgersson. Photo 4: Larvae of Medetera, note the black ”jaws” with which they attack the bark beetle larvae. Photographer: Göran Birgersson.
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Röbäcksdalen is part of the monitoring program SITES spectral, but there are many additional spectral things going on at the station.

On March 21 Julien Morel, post doc at the department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, held a crash course for technicians and researchers in how some of the spectral instruments at Röbäcksdalen works. The most used device today is the hyperspectral camera, which can be used to analyse a number of different things including plant chemical composition, meat, cheese, wood products, pharmaceuticals, and much more. Among the portable devices for field measurements the field spectrometer is a new recruitment to the lab, which will be tested a lot this summer. Not even the cows in the barn escapes the spectral techniques. There are GreenFeed units in the stables that measures the flows of methane carbon dioxide and oxygen from the cows when they consume concentrates.

You can read more about the lab on our webpage www.slu.se/njv/spectral.

Håkan Nilsson presents SITES spectral at the Röbäcksdalen harvest festival August 2018. Fotograf Johanna Wallsten.

Julien Morel is demonstrating the hyperspectral camera during the crash course  Fotograf Johanna Wallsten

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Photo: Me wearing a Peruvian traditional hat and poncho. Photo: Me wearing a Peruvian traditional hat and poncho.

Background:
I’m originally from the UK, where I completed a PhD in Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds. I’ve worked as a postdoc in Ireland, London, Cambridge and Spain, on projects involving measurements of greenhouse gases, air quality and halogens. I’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years living in Madrid with my girlfriend who is Peruvian (hence the photo) learning Spanish and enjoying the food and drink!

Relation to Svartberget Forest Research Station:
I previously worked here as a Research Engineer during the installation of the ICOS infrastructure in 2012-2013. I returned in 2014 and 2018 to help out during the summer field season, so I am well-known to the staff and I am familiar with the wide variety of work that goes on with regards forest ecosystems. Unable to find further funding or other opportunities in Spain, I decided to contact my colleagues at Svartberget to see if they needed help or had any jobs. They needed a Research Engineer, so I applied and I was lucky enough to get the job.

Vindeln/Svartberget:
I enjoy the clean air, forests, lakes and rivers in the region around Vindeln. Swedish people value their free-time and are friendly and helpful, and I like the idea of ‘fika’ at work. I’m looking forward to finally learning Swedish properly and welcoming my girlfriend, friends and family to explore the region.

What is your role:
I will mainly be working on supporting the ongoing measurements as part of ICOS, and working with my colleagues on maintaining and extending the SITES measurement programmes. I am interested in developing new measurement technologies at the station, and using data mining techniques to better understand the wealth of data we have, and the story it can tell.

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What are your expectations for your assignment at SITES?
 To run the internationalisation of Swedish field research stations through LTER (Long Term Ecosystem Research). I am the coordinator of LTER Sweden, which is almost a parallel to SITES. All SITES stations are now members of LTER Sweden, and the plan is to increase the European cooperation though LTER.
 
Tell us about your background?
I have a doctors degree in plant ecology from Uppsala University and came to SLU to run the Swedish vegetation part of the international environmental monitoring program, ”ICP Integrated Monitoring (ICP-IM)”. I still work with this but am now also chair of the international ICP-IM program. My main research focus is on large-scale and long-term dynamics and change in vegetation on land (European scale) through Horizon2020 projects coordinated by LTER. I also work with teaching and teaching administration.
 
What is your relation to terrester/limnic field research?
Through the work related to the vegetation part of the national environmental monitoring program mentioned above. The program aims to understand processes of forest ecosystems and we measure almost everything possible to measure, so even if I focus on vegetation, I work close to geologists, hydrologists, soil scientists and chemists in our forest monitoring.
 
When did you know you wanted to be a scientist?
Towards the end of my undergraduate I started to be interested in a continuation of my academic studies, and during my master’s thesis I decided to pursue an academic carrier, staring with PhD studies.
 
Why are research infrastructures of importance today?
 Without a well-functioning infrastructure with a harmonised measuring programme and routines for data storage, we will never be able to follow the effects of the large-scale environmental changes that is going on or learn more about ecosystem effects from environmental and climate changes.
 
What will be your strongest contribution to SITES?
The connection to LTER and to link the Swedish field research stations to the European network for ecosystem science.
 
Where is SITES in five years?
In five years SITES is still an important part of the national field research and has a natural and important role in the large-scale European ecosystem science.
 
Links:
ICP Integrated Monitoring (ICP-IM)
 
LTER Sweden
 
LTER Europe

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Photograper: Johanna Wallsten. Photograper: Johanna Wallsten.

Degernäsbäcken is a creek that runs past the agricultural fields of Röbäcksdalen research station. The stream, which is part of the SITES water monitoring program,  is going to face some major changes soon. In the end of this summer the construction of the new E12 road “the western link” will start. The E12 road will cross over the creek at the same point as the current road, but the amount of traffic will be much higher. The change in the landscape offers an opportunity to study eventual changes in water quality that may occur with the increased traffic. The creek is already sampled regularly as part of the SITES water, but this summer will be the last chance for additional sampling for other types of analysis.
 

Photographer: Johanna Wallsten. Photographer: Johanna Wallsten.






Whant to know more?
Umeå municipality
Swedish Transport Administration
Map with Degernäsbäcken (straight) and Röbäcken (meandering) marked with sample points.

Contact:
Johanna Wallsten at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

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Photo: Alexander Meire. Photo: Alexander Meire.

Tell us about your background?
I´m from Belgium where I obtained a master’s degree in ecology and electromechanical engineering. After my studies I worked as an Automation Engineer.

But recently, my girlfriend received a Postdoc position at the Abisko field station. We both like northern environments so we decided to take a leap northwards. I applied for the Research Engineer position and was selected. This position offers an interesting combination of fieldwork and computer analysis. I think this is where my background in data handling and automation will be useful.

What is your relation to terrestrial/limnic field research?
I got a taste of biology through my family from an early age. Later, during the course of my degree in ecology, I had several opportunities to connect with researchers within both terrestrial and limnic fields. In my master degree I spent one year in Sweden (Erasmus). During my Erasmus I took a course in limnology and I followed the Arctic Geoecology course in Abisko. I also followed a field course in the alps about plant inventarisation and assisted PhD students in Finmark and Iceland.
 
Tell me about your first impresion of Abisko?
Abisko is a magicical place with the lake, the mountains and the northern lights. But it is also extreme in many ways such as the weather, the nature, the isolation and the rate of climate change. The station is fairly big and has a lot to offer to all kind of researchers. It is a very nice place to work and the wilderness starts at the doorstep.
 
What are your expectations for your assignment as Research Engineer at the most northern SITES location?
My main tasks will be to take part in and work with the measurement’s programmes for SITES (SITES water and SITES spectral) and ICOS. I hope to learn more about measuring systems and the data they provide around Abisko and Sweden. I also look forward to learn more about the other SITES field stations and the collaboration.

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The SkyLine3D has now been installed at Skogaryd. This provides a new approach to measure fluxes of GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) at high spatial and temporal resolution across a heterogeneous lake system currently in transition to a wetland. The system is fully automated and enables fine-scale CO2and CH4 fluxes measurement using both chamber technology, and dynamic deployment of a mobile, Eddy Covariance (EC) system, with placement controlled by a dynamic footprint model. Furthermore, highly replicated measurements can be done in time and space. In combination with fine-scale measurements of key environmental variables underpinning the measured fluxes in different vegetation types, it will be possible to upscale GHG emissions from these freshwater wetlands.
 
The project is funded by NERC and a collaboration between scientists at the Universities of York (UK), Gothenburg and Lund.

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The European H2020 project DiverIMPACTS builds on 10 field experiments across Europe to quantify impacts of crop diversification. A new long-term experiment started in 2018 on the SITES Lönnstorp research station at SLU in Alnarp, Southern Sweden, with the objective to study the benefits and challenges of introducing multiple cropping in organic farming.

Scanian soils generally have a high fertility but some organic cropping systems depend heavily on external inputs, especially nitrogen. This may be unsustainable in the long term since the prices of organic manures and fertilizers are increasingly steeply.

Picture above: An overview of the DiverIMPACTS-experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Photo: Ryan Davidson.Aerial view of the DiverIMPACTS field experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Photo: Ryan Davidson

The reference used here is a six-year crop rotation with clover and spring pea as nitrogen suppliers, as well as nitrogen-intensive crops, e.g. winter oilseed rape. With growers and advisors, we designed an alternative crop rotation based on the same six main crops but including multi-species cover crops and intercrops. This rotation introduces the innovation of sowing a frost-sensitive legume (faba bean) together with oilseed rape, and includes high value cash crops (lupine and malting barley) in intercrops.

The experiment will also give information about whether intercropping reduces the benefits of break crops in rotations, for instance, since the diversified rotation only has one year of legume-free break, it will provide information about the risk of increased legume disease incidence when increasing the frequency of legumes. We will assess if the diversification strategies increase resilience with more diversified income sources and with less use of external inputs.


 



Pictures above: The two crop rotations compared on the DiverIMPACTS field experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Image: Nicolas Carton.

Link to DiverIMPACTS homepage: https://www.diverimpacts.net/

Contacts:       
Nicolas Carton nicolas.carton@slu.se,
Georg Carlsson georg.carlsson@slu.se
Erik Steen Jensen erik.steen.jensen@slu.se

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This winter the whole mesocosms infrastructure has suffered from the harsh weather. Due to the strong winds of Alfrida's storm, with gust winds reaching more than 27 m/s, the whole infrastructure was hard shaken and separated in three pieces, which are now pushed into each other by ice stress. Fortunately, no experiments were going on this winter!! We are waiting until the ice melting to properly evaluate the damages and fix the whole infrastructure to be back again for the next season

Don´t miss the chance!
It´s still time to apply to use SITES AquaNet mesocosm infrastructure, More info here.

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What are your expectations for your assignment as SITES deputy director?
To be part of and continue develop the shared infrastructure that is SITES and its nine research stations. To be part of making conditions optimal to ensure that research coming out based on SITES is of absolute world-class. My role is to support and ensure that everything functions smoothly.
 


Tell us about your background?
My background is in geology with focus on glaciology. I did my masters in Tarfala and after this I worked at Tarfala, Greenland and Antarctic with focus on ice-cores and long-term data series during my thesis work. After finishing my thesis, I felt it was more fun to coordinate and facilitate. Which I did during almost eight years at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat with international as well as national collaborations. An important part of this was to make data accessible, both hands-on and with regards to strategic policy work.
 
What is your relation to terrester/limnic field research?
I have a background in geoscience with focus on glaciology, for example through field work at Tarfala, Greenland and Svalbard. Moreover, I have basic training in biology as well as a deep personal interest.
 
Why are research infrastructures of importance today?
Good infrastructure enables a strong positive interaction between research groups and the research infrastructure. To achieve this an ongoing long-term dialogue on what the researchers need and what the infrastructure can provide is needed. The infrastructure should make it possible also for individual research applications to be deemed possible to conduct. The good research idea should not be hampered because of lack of good infrastructure. Moreover, the infrastructure should provide a creative platform for meetings, collaborations and new ideas.
 
What will be your strongest contribution to SITES?
I hope my contribution will be within at least two areas. First, to ensure that SITES has solid routines for data flows, make sure that data is uploaded to the SITES data portal and becomes a natural part of the research process for staff and researchers using the research stations. Second, to be part of and create the team spirit at SITES through my coordinating role. Through this I hope to create a stable ground for SITES long-term development.
 
Where is SITES in five years?
SITES is a clear asset for long-term research programs and an important gateway into Sweden and Swedish ecosystem science for international collaborations. SITES has by then grown even bigger with even more associated stations.

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Large scale reconstruction work is currently ongoing at the old barn at Grimsö research station, which has until now mainly ben used as storage, freezer room and for repairing vehicles. The new building will be done by this this summer and host a new game handling facility, improved capacity for sampling in laboratory environment as well as a larger kitchenette for guests and students and has been awaited for in many years. New energy efficient freezers with doubled storage capacity are already in place in an external building.

Picture above: Preparations to mould the concrete base and draw water pipes into the 140 year old barn. Photo: Gunnar Jansson.


Picture: The Roebuck ”Millennium”, with traps in the background, that 2013 was number 1000 in terms of marked deer within the Grimsö research station area. Photo: Linda Höglund.

January-March is the most important period for marking deer, one of the long-term data series within the Grimsö wildlife monitoring programs. This data series is unique in the world due to its longevity, starting already in 1975/1976, and probably also in terms of number of marked and followed animals. In January 2019 we had marked in total 1300 deer’s including several animals being recaptured every season, which gives new data during the individuals life cycle. The data series includes life history traits, such as size, weight at different ages, as well as kinship between animals in several continuous generations, seasonal- and migration data etc.

 
During the spring, or rather, as soon as the snow has melted away enough to drive on most of the roads, a couple of news will be introduced in the Grimsö measurement programs in the form of two camera projects. One relates to plant phenology and is part of SITES Spectral, and the other is about continuous surveillance of a selected number of our 600 sampling plots for wildlife and forest data.
 
When it comes to field work amongst external projects, this time of the year, is for example high season for tracking, catch and marking of big predators (wolf, lynx and wolverine).
 
We also want to take the chance and welcome Eskil Sveinsen! Eskil is our new co-worker and will mainly focus on service and commissariat for SITES as well as other Grimsö activities.

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The Swedish Oikos Society, a society for ecologists, conducted its annual conference at SLU in Uppsala. The conference took place between 5 and 7 February and offered exciting lectures, poster presentations and intensive networking.

SITES was represented by director Stefan Bertilsson together with Ulf Grandin and Silke Langenheder (coordinator for SITES AqauNet and station manager at Erken). Many came to visit our corner and Stefan, Ulf and Silke had the opportunity to answer questions about SITES and hand out SITES popular calendar for 2019.

We thank OIKOS for three well-arranged days with interesting discussions.

More about OIKOS here

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We welcome Ulf Grandin to SITES secretariat, where he will work 10% from January with SITES internationalisation linked to LTER Europe. 

Ulf Grandin is a plant ecologist and works with research, environmental assessment and teaching at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment at SLU.

Main research focus on large-scale and long-term dynamics and change in vegetation on land, mainly forest vegetation, linked to the international network ICP Integrated Monitoring (ICP-IM) which is effect-oriented activities under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and LTER Europe. Ulf is chair of the international ICP-IM, and coordinator for LTER Sweden, hence the representative for Sweden and for a couple of years also deputy chair of LTER Europe.

Welcome Ulf!

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