background_mobile_2

2020

Pictures from camera traps may not only produce useful research data, but are also interesting to go through since you never know what may turn up. Here are two exciting examples from the last period of one of the 32 camera stations used in Grimsö´s surveys, one big male moose (Alces alces) and a young crane (Grus grus) with one of its parents.

SITES reported about the wildlife monitoring using camera traps in Grimsö before


 

A male moose (Alces alces). 

A young crane (Grus grus) with one of its parents.

All regular wildlife surveys run as planned, where the most noticeable this fall is the strong peak in the vole populations (small rodents, e.g. Microtus spp.) with the 3rd highest numbers since this monitoring started at Grimsö 1973. To follow the vole dynamics is a classic aspect of wildlife ecology, since these ups and downs are key factors for some processes among also other species, for example that small game species like grouse and hares suffer less predation in good vole years. One of the common explanations for when vole peaks arise includes that the previous winter should have been snowy, with long periods of snow coverage, which allows for vole reproduction more or less throughout the year (in winter in the sub nival space where predation is relatively lower than on bare ground). However, the winter 2019-20 offered a rather poor and short termed snow coverage around Grimsö. So, there seems to be room for additional explanations!

Besides the grouse species that also show high numbers this year, the research area got a minor invasion of Great grey owls (Strix nebulosa) which otherwise is a rare guest in the region. Within Grimsö research area (13 000 ha) at least 10 reproductions were recorded (although not within any monitoring scheme).

The present strong peak in the vole population around Grimsö benefits many species, for example both generalist and specialist predators on small game. This Summer at least 10 pairs of Great grey owls reproduced within the research area, and the picture shows one of the parents feeding the young with a vole. Photographer: Rick Heeres

A new instrumentation on the shoreline of Lake Almbergasjön has been installed by our research engineers in Abisko. At this new sampling point a pole to measure net radiation has been constructed recently, but also a permanent weather station will be moved from the floating platform on the lake to the same location in the near future. In addition, a modem link will be implemented to allow automatized data downloads and transfers to the research station.

Several benefits will be the result of this work: in the future permanent meteorological parameters will be available to closely link to all the SITES Water programme data for Almbergasjön. Until now, the data was limited to the ice-free season and the floating platform on the lake. Parameters will be more accurate as movement of the platform has an impact on, e.g. wind speed measurements. Furthermore, additional parameters, e.g. net radiation, fixed water level measurements will be added to the list of the station´s long-term monitoring.
Find data and more information of Abisko´s additional weather stations here.
 

 A new net radiation installation being monitored by Niklas Rakos, one of our research engineers in Abisko at the shore of Almbergasjön. Photographer: Erik Lundin

The end of the season brought several visitors to Lönnstorp Research Station interested in the perennial cereal system, which is part of the SITES Agro-ecological Field Experiment (SAFE). An exciting activity in this context has been that this system was used for the production of a scene for the recording of a documentary about plant roots for the German 3Sat TV channel. The documentary will be aired in March 2021. The focus of the documentary will be on the root system of the perennial cereal intermediate wheatgrass, commercially known as kernza, in comparison with annual cereal root systems. The recording included the kernza harvest, a comparison of annual wheat vs perennial kernza roots, and an excavation of a soil profile in the kernza crop. The soil profile showed that the roots of the perennial cereal reach deeper soil layers than the annual cereals. This trial system will be kept for teaching purposes and to present to visitors of the station. The documentary will also include an extensive interview with the researcher, and former SITES station manager, Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson. We are looking forward to see the final result!

Additionally, the journal ATL Lantbrukets Affärstidning visited the station, to record a late harvest in the kernza strip. This report includes the first semi-commercial field of kernza in Sweden. Once again, Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson was interviewed since she is the station´s specialist in the topic - read more here.

“We are really happy that this new concept of perennial cereal is gaining interest and different journalists are approaching us, so the general public is informed about our activities.” - Ana Barreiro (SITES Lönnstorp representative station manager)

Caption of the interview with Linda-Maria Dimitrova Mårtensson in front of the kernza crop field. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.
 

Detail of wheat (left) and kernza (right) plants, showing a remarkable difference in the root size. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.
 

Soil profile excavated in the kernza crop. Photographer: Ana Barreiro.
 

Concrete plans are established to link the thematic programmes SITES Water and SITES AquaNet stronger together by testing a new automatized Greenhouse Gas (GHG) flux measurement system developed by David Bastviken et al. in the SITES AquaNet infrastructure. This automatic GHG flux system will also be tested to be used for SITES Water´s measurements in the future. Establishing this system includes benefits from different perspectives: less manpower will be needed to run the long-term monitoring campaign for SITES Water. In addition, the system covers continuous time series sensor measurements not only for carbon dioxide, but also for methane. Furthermore, the system can be offered to researchers using the AquaNet mesocosm facilities for experiments. Beyond that, it is expected to improve measurements for future use AQUACOSM Plus facilities to support scientists on an international scale. Last but not least, this test phase is done in cooperation with David Bastviken´s research group from Linköping University, which nicely shows how SITES is developing together with external scientific expertise.

The first exchange programme between the SITES stations Skogaryd Research Catchment and the Erken Laboratory with support from David Bastviken´s research group is scheduled for next week at Lake Erken. Updates on the status of progress will follow soon.

SITES AquaNet - mesocosm platform and SITES Water - floating platform alongside on Lake Erssjön, Skogaryd Research Catchment. Photographer: Bengt Liljebladh.

New automatic Greenhouse Gas flux measurement system deployed on Följesjön, Skogaryd Research Catchment, for a first test. Photographer: Haldor Lorimer Olsson.

Ana Isabel Ayala, a PhD student at the Department of Ecology and Genetics at Uppsala University, recently completed a set of comprehensive simulations showing future changes in Lake Erken’s water temperature and thermal structure.
The work contributes to the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Inter-comparison Project. It examines the potential changes that can be expected under a stringent mitigation scenario (Graph (b), RCP 2.6) and an intermediate scenario (Graph (c), RCP 6.0). The RCP 2.6 scenario keep global warming below 2 ⁰C above pre-industrial temperatures by 2100. In contrast, under the RCP 6.0 scenario the global mean temperature will continually increase by 2.5 ⁰C and 4 ⁰C by the end of the century. Under the most optimistic assumptions (RCP 2.6) the lakes surface temperature was projected to increase by approximately 1.8 ⁰C and the length of the stratified period would increase by approximately 2 weeks by the end of this century. However, under the intermediate pathway (RCP 6.0) a surface water temperature increase of up to 3 ⁰C and a 22 days longer stratified period are predicted. The graph illustrates the average water temperature heat maps calculated over the entire historical control period and the two future RCP 2.6 (stringent mitigation scenario) and RCP 6.0 (intermediate scenario) scenarios. This clearly illustrates that future water temperatures will be warmer, and that thermal stratification will be more stable and longer lasting.


SITES Water measurements of lake water temperature were used extensively to calibrate and validate the GOTM hydrodynamic lake model used to make these simulations. Meteorological data collected from Malma Island in Lake Erken were used to test the quality of the model, which ultimately allowed many hundred years of simulations to be run in a more effective manner. The publication describing this work is available here

A new experimental stream infrastructure has been under construction at Svartberget Research Station during August and September. This exciting new project led by Lenka Kuglerová, jointly funded by grants from the Wallenberg foundation and FORMAS, will provide a set of 12 each 14.4 meter long and 0.2 m wide experimental flumes fed with water from a nearby stream. These flumes will allow gradient, substrate and flow conditions, water temperature and nutrient status to be controlled in a natural but reproducible setting. Flow in each flume is designed to be variable from 0 to 1 L s-1 and gradient from 0 to 1.5 degrees with the potential to alter the angle along the flume length to create pool and riffle sections within each artificial stream. The design and construction phase of this new facility led by Meredith Blackburn is expected to be completed in early October and the first experiment will be undertaken at the beginning of 2021.
 

Photographer: Meredith Blackburn.

Photographer: Meredith Blackburn.

As every year, autumn arrived fast in Abisko and plans to end the open water season in the coming weeks on Lake Almbergasjön are establishing (first ice expected soon, removal of equipment necessary). On Lake Almbergasjön most of Abisko´s SITES Water long-term monitoring installations are located. The monitoring programme provides a unique opportunity to not only measure the lake’s water temperature and oxygen profile, but also to take a deeper look into the fluxes of greenhouse gases from its sediment and water column. Therefore, floating flux chambers developed by David Bastviken and his research group are used. The uniqueness of this data series becomes apparent when considering the fact that it is the only sub-arctic lake where this type of data is available globally.

Before the end of 2020 the first data sets will be provided on the SITES Data Portal open to use by the research community.
 

Short facts - Lake Almbergasjön:

  • Location: 68°19'54.89"N, 19° 9'15.15"E
  • Altitude: 380 m a.s.l.
  • Area: app. 5.7ha
  • Maximum depth: 4.5 ± 0.5m
  • Trophic status: oligotrophic
  • Additional information: stable stratification during winter, non-stable stratification during summer i.e. the lake mixes several times every summer. 

Greenhouse Gas flux chamber located on Lake Almbergasjön (Abisko research area) measuring Carbon dioxide emissions. Phographer: Erik Lundin

Do not miss the 17th Annual Krycklan symposium, which this year has the theme:
“Drained wetlands – effects of continued forestry and restoration”.

Take this opportunity to get an insight into the most recent research questions within the Krycklan Catchment Study.

Read more about Krycklan Catchment Study here
Sign up for the symposium here.
Download the programme here


Programme
The schedule (all times in Swedish – Stockholm – time):

Krycklan: Wetlands – forestry and restoration
13.00 - 13.10     Welcome to land of opportunity (Hjalmar Laudon, SLU)

13.10 – 13.20    The changing management of mires over time (Eliza Hasselquist, SLU)

13.20 - 13.40     Long-term nutrient leakage from drained forests
                          (Mika Nieminen, Luke, invited)

13.40 - 14.00     Methods for evaluation of peatland restoration success
                          (Hannu Marttila, University of Oulo, invited)

14.00 - 14.10     Leg stretch  

 
Trollberget a new infrastructure in the infrastructure
14.10 - 14.30    Trollberget Virtual tour

14.30 - 14.45    How does rewetting affect the greenhouse gas balance of a drained                                   peatland forest in boreal Sweden? (Järvi Järveoja, SLU)

14.45 - 15.00    Ditch cleaning and wetland restoration – what are the effects on
                         stream carbon?
(Marcus Wallin, SLU)

15.00 – 15.15   Ditch cleaning versus wetland restoration – Effects on mercury in water.
                         (Karin Eklöf, SLU)

15.15 – 15.30   Restored wetlands – hotspots for methane emissions and mercury                                     methylation? (Mats Öquist, SLU)

15.30 – 15.45   EviWet: How do mires regulate flow extremes? (Kevin Bishop, SLU)

15.45 – 16.00  Flatter curves and bigger bundles; the WetKit-ES project for                                                multifunctional agricultural wetlands. (Martyn Futter, SLU)

16.00 – 16.15   Discussion


Welcome!

Usually about 450 guest researchers who spend around 6,000 guest nights are hosted at Abisko Scientific Research Station during a field season each year. So far, the research station has only seen 115 guests. Quiet, empty, different… In normal years, it is quite noisy in the lunch room at ten o'clock, when there is a combined morning Fika for staff and guests. This year, only the station staff is allowed in the lunch room, practicing social distancing. Passage corridors at the station have been closed as well, so guests have to move outdoors. In addition, all common areas are closed so the guests do not see much of each other either. An exception are guest kitchen and the lab but their usage has been scheduled in a way that only one project at a time can be conducted.

Despite the fact that restrictions have made it more difficult for the guests of the research station, the general atmosphere has been positive and respectful. On the contrary, most people are very appreciative that the station is open and that guest researchers are allowed to come. Of course, for some foreign researchers, the pandemic has posed problems. Therefore, the station staff tries to help them with their field work as much as possible and reasonable, but it is a “mission impossible” to take over 450 people´s field campaigns.

However, nothing bad without something good in it: usually the only calmer period happens during the dark half of the year and that is when the station staff can take care of the station and the five field cabins. During COVID-19 times there is some extra time to do things that are only visible and can be done in the snow- and ice-free period. In addition, it is also rewarding to be able to give a little extra support to the external researchers who are still at the station. Then, there are still mixed feelings about the next sampling season: many new projects, which were planned for this year, were forced to be postponed. So, the 80 beds available to host researchers conducting their projects in Abisko will face a higher demand next season…….
 

COVID-19 and its impact on Abisko Scientific Research Station - common areas are closed, social distancing is practiced including to avoid contact between station staff and guests; no less important: A good hand hygiene! Photographer: Magnus Augner.

The summer course in forest regeneration with its final field week in Asa was completed in August 2020.

The course goal is to give students insight in the complexity of forest regeneration in modern forestry in northern Europe and is open for master and PhD students with a background in forest science/forest management as well as ecology or environmental science.

The course is divided into three parts, with a field project, a literature study and a final field week situated at Asa Research Station.
 
The field projects are designed by the students and typically involve measurements of seedlings in the forest, the green house or a different designated site. The outcome is later presented in a poster session during the field week.
The literature study in combination with assignments aims to prepare the students for their field week in Asa which is considered the “heart” of the course.
During this week, the students learn about plant physiology, visit different kinds of regeneration areas and examine ongoing experiments in and around Asa and discuss the experimental designs.

Next to intensive days in the field, the students also attend a webinar with experts presenting their field of research such as plant short-day treatment, dormancy, genetics, etc.
 
Despite several challenges due to the Corona virus, the course responsible Kristina Wallertz and her team of skilled teachers could realize this year’s course much to the appreciation of the students. So far, 13 students have completed the course and students who couldn’t participate due to travel restrictions and illness will be welcome next year.
 
More information can be found here - In-depth course in forest regeneration
& PhD course Forest regeneration 2020.

Students got an insight into practical forestry when silviculture experts at Södra gave them a guided tour on their forest property in Attsjö outside Växjö.
Photographer: Kristina Wallertz.

 

One of many exercises during the field week was to dig up seedlings, here at a demonstration site in Asa. Photographer: Kristina Wallertz.

The summer is over and looking back at the growing season 2020 at Röbäcksdalen Field Research Station there is both good and bad experiences.

Northern Sweden had a very difficult winter this year. The constant changes between warm and cold weather did major damage to the perennial crops, especially the leys. As a result, a lot of weeds sprouted this year. Even though this presents major problems for the researchers and farmers it also opens up possibilities, e.g. for spectral studies of a non-typical year. The annual crops had a much better season. The end of May and June was very warm and cereal crops and potatoes have been thriving this year. Röbäcksdalen also has some projects with atypical crops running this summer. Two examples are faba beans and soy beans. These throve with the initial warm summer, but especially the soybean suffered a bit with all the rain that came in July. However, it will be exciting to see how far these new crop types will mature up in Västerbotten. 

Organic cereal crops in Röbäcksdalen – a warm early summer provided good conditions for this year´s growing season and harvest. Photographer: Boel Sandström.

Soybeans – a new crop type in Röbäcksdalen! A validation of the growing success is yet to come. Photographer: Boel Sandström.


We, The Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES), are in the process of recruiting a new assistant director. The position is for 2 years, but we are hoping to recruit someone for a more long term engagement (given we get new VR funding). 
 
Do not miss the chance to be a part of SITES and the opportunity to contribute to further development of our infrastructure.
 
We look forward to receiving your application!

Read more and apply here.

Apply by: Deadline extended - 2020-09-06
Read more and apply here.

Subject area description
Ecological, biogeochemical, and environmental research have traditionally focused on specific ecosystems with strict ecosystem boundaries. Yet system interactions, feedbacks and large-scale consequences calls for approaches that integrate across ecosystems to consider whole catchments, landscapes and regions. Landscape biogeosciences deals with the spatial variation (landscape heterogeneity) in biogeochemical fluxes and processes. The subject deals with the exchange of elements and energy between biosphere, pedosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, leading to an integrated understanding of the biogeochemical cycles on the landscape scale.

Job assignments
The main job assignments are research within the subject areas, as well as being manager of the GU infrastructure ‘Field stations for Earth System Science’, which is part of the SITES and ICOS networks. Teaching duties (20 %) cover Bachelor and Master courses in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environmental Sciences. Time for competence development will be granted (at least 10%). Other assignments (committee work, administration) may be a part of the position.

The research focus of the successful candidate should focus on how water and nutrient cycles are linked across landscapes, integrating different ecosystems (e.g. forests, wetlands, lakes) within a land-unit. Your research is expected to complement and strengthen the existing research areas biogeochemistry, hydrogeology/hydrogeochemistry and regional climate at the department and to bridge to research at neighbouring departments, as well as other Universities.

As station manager for the GU infrastructure ‘Field stations for Earth System Science’, the successful candidate will be responsible for the facilities, its personnel (currently 5 field and lab technicians) and the quality of data produced at the infrastructure. The main activities within the infrastructure are taking place at the Skogaryd Research Catchment. The aims for the infrastructure are to promote and develop quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) balances at the landscape scale including land-atmosphere, land-water, and water-atmosphere exchange, as well as to promote investigations of the underlying biogeochemical processes, eco-physiological studies and within-canopy atmospheric chemistry. This infrastructure has several micrometeorological towers for GHG flux measurements, including a roving Eddy covariance system (3D-SkyGas), and a large number of water-flow stations and lake stations, where matter-flow is measured.

The successful candidate is expected to collaborate with the surrounding society and specific stakeholder by connecting the research to societal demands and practical applications. Outreach activities and communication are important job assignments.

Impacts of multiple environmental disturbances on ecosystem metabolic rates inferred from high frequency sensor monitoring

Application
The project is open for application of Master candidates with strong motivation on disturbance ecology and statistical modelling. Please contact Silke Langenheder (silke.langenheder@ebc.uu.se) or Pablo Urrutia Cordero (pablo.urrutiacordero@ebc.uu.se) from Uppsala University (Limnology Unit) for further information.
 
Background and project description
The project aims to determine the impacts of multiple environmental disturbances on ecosystem metabolic rates (gross primary production, ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem production). The candidate will use an extensive and unique database generated with a modularized experiment conducted along a latitudinal gradient in Scandinavian lakes (see one of the sites in the picture below). Data will be analyzed using developed R packages for handling high frequency sensor data and calculating ecosystem metabolic rates from dial oxygen measurements. We are therefore seeking a highly motivated candidate with an interest in technical and statistical methodology and an affinity for data analysis in R. The knowledge generated within the project will be highly valuable for anticipating potential changes in lake functioning in response to environmental disturbances. The project also aims to publish the results in a high-impact scientific journal.
 

Last week, Holger Villwock from the SITES Secretariat took the chance for a short summer break from the office work to visit the SITES station in Skogaryd. The goal was to better understand the installations behind the data which are currently structured for uploading on the SITES Data Portal and also to work on data to prepare the upload. Leif Klemedtsson the station manager and thematic programme coordinator of SITES Water provided a guided tour through all installations and informed in depth about the monitoring infrastructure and historical background.

The research focus of the station is on greenhouse gas emission from different ecosystem types including lakes, streams, mires, forests and restructured sites in transition phases. The purpose is to better understand ecosystem processes within a catchment and how anthropogenic habitat alteration effects the biogeochemical cycles.

Even though Skogaryd is the youngest among the nine SITES stations (officially announced as a research station in 2013), it already has a well-established variety of installations on a catchment scale level.

Overview of the Skogaryd Research Catchment with its sub-catchments.
Creator: Haldor Lorimer-Olsson.


The tour followed along the different ecosystems and the monitoring installations, which are explained in more detail in the following paragraphs. The starting point was Skogaryd 800 (address to use for a google search), which served as the base camp during the stay.

Skogaryd 800 – the so called “Torpet” house, one of two accommodations on site. Photographer: HV


The main research catchment is divided in six sub-catchment with unique features – one of which is Följesjön, the first visit during the stay. This sub-catchment is mainly represented by a lake which is in progress of siltation. On site installations monitor plant succession with phenology cameras and the biogeochemical fluxes with eddy covariance towers.

Siltation processes ongoing at Följesjön. The eastern part of the lake still has open water patches, while the western part is already fully overgrown. Photographer: HV

 
One unique feature of the installations at Lake Följesjön is a 3D-Skygas equipment, which can measure greenhouse gas fluxes in 3 dimensions across an approximately 500 square meter large area over Följesjön. The system is developed by a research group at the University of York (Great-Britain) and is the only one in existence on that scale.

3D-Skygas equipment functioning like a birds-eye soccer stadium camera to monitor greenhouse gas fluxes across a 500 square meter transect. Photographer: HV


Another unique monitoring site is Följemaden which is connected to the runoff from Följesjön and served as the second stop during the tour. The former forest site with highly fertile soil from historical agricultural land use has been clear cut. One part will be rewetted and planted with alder and birch trees this year, the other drained part will be reforested with spruce trees. Micrometeorological flux towers will measure greenhouse gas emissions throughout this process.

Creative installation at Följemaden, a clear-cut site getting prepared for a control-impact monitoring campaign. Photographer: HV


The last site visited on the first day was the Central sub-catchment with its installation of a 38 meter high flux tower monitors meteorological and biogeochemical parameters at several different heights in a spruce forest on mineral soil. Future planning also includes a control-impact concept for this site. An opportunity to harvest and re-forest parts of the sub-catchment is provided by the land owner. This is a great chance to test and monitor different forest types at Skogaryd Research Catchment in the future.

Picture 6 Flux tower at the Central sub-catchment monitoring meteorological and biogeochemical processes in a 60 year old spruce forest. Photographer: HV


On the south eastern side of Skogaryd the mire “Mycklemossen” shows processes of forest succession. Man-made drainage of the ecosystem leads to forest growth on highly fertile soils. Mires are considered to be net CO2 sinks, thus the loss of the mire can lead to large carbon emissions for the atmosphere. An additional negative effect is the loss of species associated with the mire ecosystem, e.g. bird species adapted to open landscape of the mire, will be outcompeted by birds of prey which use the growing trees as observation points. This exciting site in a visual transition phase served as the first stop on the second day.

Eddy-covariance system measuring greenhouse gas fluxes over the mire Mycklemossen. Bushes and first pine trees indicated the beginning of forestation which is based on man-made drainage of the area. Photographer: HV

 
Along several discharge monitoring installations across the whole catchment, Erssjön resembles the main part of the SITES Water programme at Skogaryd. Here, several monitoring campaigns run simultaneously to observe chemical, physical and biological parameters of the limnic systems. The lake can easily be reached from the Mycklemossen mire and was visited as a second stop on the second day.

Floating platform at Erssjön equipped with a spectral mast to monitor above surface mechanisms and sub-surface profile installations to observe the limnological processes. Photographer: HV

 
Like all other SITES Station, Skogaryd Research Catchment is open to use for researchers and the team around the station manager Leif Klemedtsson welcomes everyone to visit the unique infrastructure. The SITES Secretariat can strongly recommend a guided tour by one of the staff members :) !

The SITES team around Gunhild ‘Ninis’ Rosqvist and Pia Eriksson has successfully finished the recent monitoring campaign near the Kebnekaise massif at Tarfala Research Station.  

View towards the Kebnekaise summits from a helicopter. Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist.
 

During four weeks of field work, the group has been blessed with mostly sunny weather thanks to Freyr the Norse God of rain and sunshine - a great opportunity to maintain the long-term monitoring stations for SITES Spectral and SITES Water. As an example, the spectral masts have been maintained to continue the long-term monitoring of terrestrial primary production at Laevasvagge. An additional weather station at the location measures complementing meteorological parameters to monitor the local weather and climate and potential changes in the future.
 

SITES installations at Laevasvagge consisting of two spectral masts with an additional weather station in close vicinity. Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist


The team further conducted several discharge campaigns aiming to cover the higher water levels during the spring flood to validate the stream water level monitoring in Tarfalajokk. The measurements of higher discharges from the snow melt are extremely valuable. When these points are added to the calculation of the water level-discharge function the rating curve will become more precise. The deviation of the high discharge points from the curve is larger than the points for medium and minimum events in descending order. More data points for the high discharge events increase the precision of the rating curve to calculate the runoff from the Tarfalajokk catchment area.

Usually, it is difficult to cover such high discharge events as the snow melt happens earlier in the season when the station is still closed. However, this year the team was lucky and valuable validation points could be added to the overall discharge equation.

View towards Tarfala Research Station and Tarfaladalen with Tarfalajokk running through it. Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist


Not only the Tarfala SITES team, but also the vegetation in the Swedish mountains is in Freyr´s hands and the unpredictable and sometimes rough weather conditions. One example is the beautiful specimen of Silene acaulis (Swed. Fjällglim). The pink flower is a common resident in alpine and arctic zones and with its cushion forming habitus perfectly adapted to high UV radiation, strong winds and low temperatures. Silene acaulis is also called “compass plant” as the first flowers often appear on the South-oriented part of the cushion (Ref 1).

Ref 1: Link here.

Silene acaulis (Swed. Fjällglim) at the base of the Kebnekaise massif – a common and well-adapted species in the alpine landscape. Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist.

As in previous years, staff from Grimsö Wildlife Research Station is busy running external projects at the station and data collections within the base monitoring program during June. Among the latter, it is now peak season for controlling red fox (Vulpes vulpes) dens, but also to support external projects that monitor reproductive success of other species such as the lynx (Lynx lynx).

Within wildlife monitoring, camera traps have been proven to be a useful tool to estimate biodiversity and population dynamics. Therefore, a high capacity server for storage of pictures and films from camera traps will be installed at Grimsö this summer. For this platform, a new software for automatic recognition and QA/QC of unwanted pictures (e.g. no animal/people in picture) can be applied. The investment is part of a collaborative research project with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the Swedish Transport Administration, but the server will be available for projects related to Grimsö and SITES in the future.

A lynx (Lynx lynx) kitten gets weighted, sampled for DNA (blood) and marked with a chip. Photo; Henrik Andrén.

Curious badger (Meles meles) cubs looking out from one of the ca. 200 dens that are checked annually in Grimsö Wildlife Research Area since 1973. This survey mainly aims to follow red fox reproduction, but badgers are more frequent inhabitants in the dens than foxes. Photo: Linda Höglund

Two GPS-collared wild boar (Sus scrofa) sows with their piglets.
Photo: Anders Friberg

On Friday the 12th of June, the SITES Water coordination team received the horrible news about a fire that happened in the TEMA laboratory which is under the umbrella of Linköping University and David Bastviken. First results of the investigation indicate that the fire started during the night from Thursday to Friday that week. Luckily, no one got injured during the incident, but significant damage to especially the field equipment and the workshop occurred.

The SITES community sends the best wishes to David and his team and hopes that the overall damage is minor and that the LiU team can get back to regular operations soon.

More detailed information about the incident and the status quo can be found here.

Since last week, Tarfala Research Station has opened for the spring season. The weather during this time of the year is difficult to predict in the mountain peaks in the north of Sweden and it might happen that the researchers face week-long snowstorms. This year the sunny conditions have kept the team very busy in maintaining the long-term monitoring infrastructure. Yesterday, a tower for SITES Spectral has been equipped with sensors in Laevasvagge, which will monitor the continuation of the snow cover and transition into vegetation growth during 2020.
 

The Tarfala-SITES team Gunhild “Ninis” Rosqvist and Pia Eriksson in front of the research station taking a well-deserved rest after a long and intensive day in the field.

Vi på SITES önskar alla
en fin midsommar!

During the last months, a substantial progress has been made to develop a robust data structure for the different layers of the thematic programme SITES Water. The goal is to make it possible for all stations within the infrastructure to upload their data deriving from the individual monitoring campaigns into the same templates. The challenges about this work lie in the well-established, pre-existing long-term monitoring of each individual station before the start of SITES. “The devil is in the details” – describes the day-to-day work of the data management team quite well! The team consists of the programme coordinator and his working group at Skogaryd Research Catchment, support from Umeå´s SITES team, Lund´s system administrator, the secretariat and a strong team of staff at each station. This is a major challenge, but the community is confident to provide the research community with high quality data until the end of the year. The first data sets for the SITES Water programme are already available from the Skogaryd Research Catchment and Tarfala Research Station and can be discovered on the SITES Data Portal - many more to come in the coming months, so make sure to check the Portal regularly for new updates! Feedback is always welcomed and can be send to the SITES Secretariat.
 

SITES Data Portal – preview of the stream level data (Summer 2018) of Tarfalajokk, part of Tarfala Research Station´s monitoring. 

The instrumentations for SITES Water on Almbergasjön in Abisko are being installed at the moment. A central part of the monitoring are the measurements deriving from the floating platform. Here, weather data, water temperature profiles, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations in the water are measured throughout the open water season to capture seasonal changes and the impact of the warming climate on limnic systems in the sub-arctic. To install the system physical demanding field work is required, but maybe it is a small comfort to spend time in the amazing landscape surrounding Almbergasjön.
 

Research engineers Niklas Rakos and Erik Lundin piloting the floating platform out on Lake Almbergasjön in Abisko. Photographer: Thomas Westin

Shangharsha Thapa Shangharsha Thapa

This spring Shangharsha Thapa, a master student at Lund University, has validated SITES Spectral data for his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Garcia and Prof. Lars Eklundh. Shangharsha is originally from Nepal where he has studied Geomatics Engineering at Kathmandu University. He has spent the last two years in Lund being part of the master programme in Geomatics. Shangharsha has used near-surface remote sensing data from phenocameras, fixed sensors and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flights, which were sampled within the Spectral monitoring of  Asa Research Station. He has evaluated the seasonal dynamics of tree species on a  local scale and he could prove that phenocameras and multispectral sensors correlated well in regard to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Overall, Shangharsha has been satisfied with the structure of the thematic programme and its data organization.

‒ “The best part of the research work was the reliability of the datasets from SITES”, says Shangharsha. “Also the well-managed metadata and hardware facilities for data processing were good.”

Shangharsha explains that he wants to contribute to the academic and research sector in Nepal in the field of geomatics and wants to take his studies further as a PhD student and Postdoc.

‒ “I want to thank SITES staff, especially Virginia Garcia Millan for supervising and guiding me throughout the thesis. And lastly, thanks to SITES Spectral for providing me an opportunity to work with a wide range of sensor datasets.”

All the best of luck for the future from the SITES community!

The Erken Laboratory has this week started its greenhouse gas  flux campaign. By using floating chamber devices, the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20) from limnic systems are measured at different transects on lake Erken. These novel chambers are developed by David Bastviken and his research team at Linköping University. The monitoring campaign is part of SITES Water and runs throughout the open water season at five stations (Abisko, Asa, Svartberget, Skogaryd and Erken). These unprecedented times in regard to COVID-19 has made it more difficult to commence this sampling campaign; station staff has been retained abroad and measures to keep social distancing on a small boat has been implemented. By “outsourcing” staff from the SITES secretariat and engaging a master student, the campaign has successfully started and by the end of the season a unique monitoring series will be provided to the research community.

The Erken team around Christer Strandberg, Evelina Hiltunen and Holger Villwock practicing social distancing on a boat during the Greenhouse Gas monitoring campaign for SITES Water. Photographer: Holger Villwock.

 

One of Erken´s transects equipped with floating chambers along a certain depth gradient (<1m, 1-2m, 2-4m, >4m). Photographer: Holger Villwock

Katarina Hedman at Svartberget Research Station is working for SITES Water since May. Katarina Hedman at Svartberget Research Station is working for SITES Water since May.

Katarina Hedman started to work at SITES Svartberget and the Krycklan catchment study in May. She will be working for SITES Water as well as helping out with other tasks related to the station´s monitoring programmes.

Her background is a Master of Science in Natural sciences and Geoecology from Umeå University in 2004. Since then, she has been working at UMSC, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre, as a marine biologist in two large national programmes. She has been planning expeditions, done extensive field sampling and run the chemical analyzes. Already in 2016 she worked at Svartberget Research Station supporting several research projects, which included tasks as measuring gas fluxes at forest sites and taking samples in the Krycklan catchment. Therefore, she is a perfect addition to the station´s team.
 
Very warm welcome to the SITES community!
 

Within the framework of the project “Host-parasite-interactions in freshwater phytoplankton blooms” Ingrid Sassenhagen from Uppsala University is currently sampling the diatom spring bloom in Lake Erken. The project aims to test if parasites preferentially infect highly abundant microalgal species, thereby controlling the diversity of phytoplankton communities. Many environmental sequencing studies recently revealed very high abundance and astonishing diversity of unicellular, eukaryotic parasites in different aquatic habitats. Such parasites might significantly contribute to the termination of the diatom blooms in Lake Erken. Taking advantage of the long-term monitoring data set from Lake Erken, Ingrid will also be able to trace the relative abundance of different parasitic groups through time and identify potential correlations with bloom-forming phytoplankton species. This spring, several fungal infections (Chytrids) were already observed in the diatoms Aulacoseira sp. and Asterionella sp.

 The chain-forming diatom Aulacoseira sp. infected by chytrids.

A new study shows that the evapotranspiration from boreal peatlands will increase in a future warmer climate. This has a major importance for the global water balance and could lead to lead to accelerated peatland carbon loss.

The study is based on data from 95 different flux towers on the northern hemisphere (including several within SITES) and underlines the importance of long-term and well distributed networks of measurements of the natural environment.

The study also provides an example on the importance of open data for scientific progress.

Access the article here.

Tower at station Svartberget, one of three SITES stations that have contributed with data to the study. Photographer: Andreas Palmén.


Ana Barreiro and Lina Fransson-Engman will start to work at SITES Lönnstorp during 2020.

Ana will act as a station manager for SITES Lönnstorp from the beginning of August until the middle of January when Johannes Albertsson is on parental leave. She has been working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Cropping Systems Ecology Group in the Biosystems and Technology department (SLU) for the last three years. She did her PhD in Spain, as well as her master (Environment and Natural Resources) and bachelor degree (Biology). Her main research focus is the soil microbial ecology. Currently, she is involved in a project about the impact of grassland management intensity on the soil microbial communities, which coincides with her PhD and the post-doctoral work. During her time at SLU, she has been involved in several activities related to SITES Lönnstorp and she has also been working at Röbäcksdalen Research Station during 2017. Ana is planning to integrate new experiments at the research station and she is looking forward to the new task.

Ana Barreiro.



Lina Fransson-Engman started her position as a field technician at SITES Lönnstorp in the beginning of May this year. She has been studying at Campus Alnarp (SLU) and became a Lantmästare (Higher Education Diploma in Agricultural and Rural Management) in 2009. The last three years she has been working at a small company that sells vegetable seeds. At that company she was among other things responsible for the seed germination tests. She has also several years experienced from practical work at farms and garden companies. Lina will be involved in many different tasks, which are mainly related to the SAFE experiment. In addition, she will be a back-up drone pilot for SITES Spectral.

Lina Fransson-Engman. Photographer: Johannes Albertsson.


Very warm welcome to the SITES team Ana and Lina!
 

During the winter, staff from Abisko Scientific Research Station has replaced one of the three houses at Latnjajaure. Latnjajaure, located at 982 m a.s.l. 14 km west of Abisko, is the most commonly used field huts of the research station and has been a site within the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) for more than 30 years. The old cabin started to tilt and was slowly but surely sliding towards the lake. In addition to solve this problem the new cottage makes the use of the infrastructure at Latnjajaure more flexible. Abisko Scientific Research Station has a total of five field huts that can be used for research purposes.

Latnjajaure´s new (and old) huts . Photographer: Thomas Westin

Spring is arriving with sunny days and increasing temperatures. This is long awaited weather not only for the staff at Asa Research Station, but also for the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus). Due to draught, southern Sweden has experienced high levels of damage in spruce forests the past two seasons. How the situation will be this season remains to be seen.

A number of spruce bark beetle research projects are currently being established. One of them is a project aiming to determine the effect of sun exposure (and temperature) on attack rate and fecundity of the spruce bark beetle following a climate gradient. The experiment is laid out in six regions from Tönnersjöheden in the south to Ätnarova in the north, spanning some 1200 km. 
 

Spruce logs are placed out in transects from clear-cut (sun-exposed conditions) into a neighbouring spruce stand (shaded conditions). Bark beetle attack and development will be monitored every week during the summer of 2020.


The project is funded by Carl Trygger´s Foundation.

Contact persons:
Martin Schroeder, Department of Ecology, SLU (martin.schroeder@slu.se)
Thomas Ranius, Department of Ecology, SLU (Thomas.ranius@slu.se)

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the crucial need for access to long-term, real-time data sources in order to advise policy makers and react appropriately from the regional to national and global scales. More than 100 scientists are engaged in the EU funded initiative European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Infrastructure (eLTER), who today published a position paper in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. Read it here

In the beginning of the week, SITES Röbäcksdalen finally got permission to install the last water logger for the SITES Water stream flow measurements. The two creeks Röbäcken and Degernäsbäcken are sampled at five different spots and during the fall 2019 four of them were equipped with loggers to measure the water level and temperature. There was a delay for the measurements at the fifth location as a more advanced structure around the creek had to be installed to allow precise measurements. Now Umeå municipality has approved the blueprint and as soon as the ground has thawed the structure will be put in place. The station staff has also worked on the catchment model for the creeks. The challenge with this catchment is the large amount of roads and paved ground in the catchment area. During 2019, the laborious job of getting GPS points for all the water passages under roads was started and is expected to be completed in May 2020.

Any researchers interested are welcome to contact the station for more information about the creeks and the SITES Water programme.
 

Flow measurements in Degernäsbäcken. Photographer: Johanna Wallsten

Fig 1. Excavator heaps up mounds to restructure the drained organic soil site at Följemaden. Photographer: David Allbrand
 

Drained organic soils, like Följemaden in Skogaryd are large sources for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Research studies show if these soils are restructured and rewetted the net climate effect from all GHG will be reduced, even if methane emission increases, due to short atmospheric residence time of methane. A recently publish Nature article supports this conclusion (Günther et al., 2020). Följemaden was drained in 1875 first used for agriculture, then re-planted with spruce in the 1950ies. The trees were harvested in 2019 and the northern part of the area will be rewetted in order to reduce GHG emissions by building a dam construction in 2020. This is a major task for Skogaryd Research Catchment. The southern part was re-drained and the site prepared in February-March (Fig. 1) and will be replanted in spring 2020. At Följemaden we have performed flux studies within the forest stand, which will now be continued after the clear-cut and the following restoration by using micrometeorological techniques. Two flux towers in the northern and southern area respectively combined with automatic and manual flux chamber systems will allow a great coverage for the monitoring of GHG emissions.

Fig 2. The VIRV project aims to study GHG emissions on restored nutrient poor mires at Skogaryd Research Catchment. The flux measurements started on the 7th of April. Photographer: Leif Klemedtsson
 

For studying GHG flux spatial variability affected by wetness gradient or disturbances a new manual chambers system was designed (Fig 2). This equipment will be used both by a Formas project at Skogaryd (A guide to convert high GHG emitting drained organic soils into areas with negative emissions) and within an EU project (GRIP on Life IP (LIFE16 IPE SE 009 Action C6.2, called VIRV) in co-operation with the Regional County board of Jönköping and Jämtland.

 

Fig 3. The Swedish Radio (SR) visited the Anderstorp Stormosse in Jönköping County the 7th of April to report on the importance of these projects in regard to mitigations of GHG emissions. Photographer: Leif Klemedtsson

SITES AquaNet is happy to announce that our standardised mesocosm infrastructure available in five lakes across Sweden is now part of AQUACOSM-plus. AQUACOSM-plus is an EU-funded research infrastructure project for mesocosm-based research in marine and freshwater ecosystems starting in April 2020. Within AQUACOSM-plus, we will offer transnational access for researchers to join a large cross-sites experiment using the SITES AquaNet mesocosms in 2022.
 
For 2020, there are still open slots for running experiments at SITES AquaNet facilities. Don´t miss this great opportunity to conduct your research! More information and a link to the application form can be found here.

One out of five available mesocosm facilities within SITES AquaNet. Here the platform at Asa Research Station. Photographer: Ola Langvall.

The field work this spring has started several weeks earlier than usual due to the lack of snow at Grimsö Wildlife Research Station.

One of several ongoing activities at Grimsö is the initiation of a new external research project working on a large scale evaluation of practical techniques to manage human-wildlife problems. The main focus lays on wildlife accidents and collisions on railways and roads, but also regarding crop-damages. The project, funded by Trafikverket, SJ and SEPA, will test different motion-activated acoustic signals to trigger flight behaviour in moose, wild boar and roe deer. If the results show significant effects, the method will be used to scare animals away from dangerous and/or conflict areas in the future.

First tests of acoustic devices and movement sensors. The equipment will be used in a new project aimed to evaluate if and how animal movements may be affected and directed by sounds. Photographer: Gunnar Jansson

During the last month, work on a new Greenhouse Gas (GHG) flux system was finalized at Svartberget Research Station. The new infrastructure is located at Kulbäcksliden. After some fine-tuning and small modifications the system is now up and running.

In 2018, preparations began to install a series of new GHG flux sampling locations close to the Degerö mire at Kulbäcksliden. The mire itself has a long history of research, and is one of the most intensively studied mire ecosystems in the northern hemisphere. The new locations are south of the existing infrastructure at Degerö Stormyr and are part of a series of long-term and large-scale field studies of high-latitude mires and their behaviour during increased nitrogen deposition.
 

Installation of the GHG flux tower at Lake Stortjärn, where also the AquaNet mesocosms are located. Photographer: Andreas Palmén
 

The project involves four locations – three of which are situated on different mires in the area, and the fourth is based in a drained peatland forest. The focus of each location is carbon dioxide and methane flux measurements, along with variation radiation, meteorological, and soil measurements. The mire-location instruments are installed on a 6m tower with power and fiber-optic/4G connections to the existing infrastructure at Degerö Stormyr. The location at the drained peatland forest is equipped with a 21m flux tower, as well as an 18m flagpole for radiation and meteorological measurements in a less densely vegetated mire close to the primary location.

The process of construction and installation has taken place during the previous year and although things have to be optimized, all four stations are currently running and collecting data. The project will be integrated into the SITES Spectral network with spectral flights over the area, as well as using the drones for the distribution of fertilizer over selected areas.
 

Troubleshooting of the flux instruments at Hålmyran, one of the new locations equipped with a flux tower measuring carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Photographer: Rowan Dignam.

The Erken Laboratory has monitored the duration of ice cover of lake Erken since the 1940s. The data shows a strong decrease in the average duration of ice cover over time. This year, in particular, the situation is special as the lake has so far only been frozen for 5 days this winter. If the situation remains like this, it would be by far the shortest duration of ice cover since the start of measurements.

You can also listen to an interview with Gesa Weyhenmeyer by the Swedish Radio on the topic here.

Photographer: Silke Langenheder.

Spring came early this year to Lönnstorp Research Station. The weather this "winter" has been characterized by rain, high temperatures and strong winds. If it continues to be warm, spring operations will start in a few weeks.

Electric van and high speed internet at Lönnstorp Research Station
Our SITES Lönnstorp Research Station recently purchased an electric van that will replace an old gasoline van for transports between the research station and Alnarp Campus, as well as between the research station and the experimental fields. The van was funded by the SLU climate fund and the Department of Biosystems and Technology. We estimate that this investment will reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2.5 tons per year!

Figure 1: The new electric van from Lönnstorp Research Station will help to reduce the carbon footprint from the station significantly.

Already in December, high speed internet was installed at SITES Lönnstorp. This upgrade will allow more people to work at Lönnstorp, which would facilitate communication between researchers, entrepreneurs and technicians. In addition, high speed internet makes it possible for us to use new equipment, which hopefully will attract more projects to the station.

Production of organic leafy greens as a winter crop in poly-tunnels – a new exciting project at Lönnstorp Research Station
One of the principles of organic production is that the plants have to be in direct contact with the soil. The Nordic countries have had an exemption from this principle due to tougher winter climates, but with new EU-directives concerning organic production (2018/848) this will no longer be allowed. One of the largest issues of growing directly in soil is proliferation of soil borne diseases. Many greenhouse and poly-tunnel growers specialize in a few types of crops; a grower specialized in, e.g. tomatoes produces only tomatoes year after year – a practice made possible only by being able to change the growing substrate in between cultures. In the future, organic greenhouse and poly-tunnel production will have to adapt to the new directives. Therefore, long term crop rotations or short term green manure crops combined with a multitude of plant types grown throughout the year have to be used in order to maintain a fertile and healthy soil. For a more cost-effective use of the greenhouse and poly-tunnel area, and at the same time keeping up a diverse crop rotation, a project with organic vegetable production in poly-tunnels will start at SITES Lönnstorp Research Station in April 2020. The project is supported by the Ekhaga foundation, and its main focus is to study the possibility of growing leafy green vegetables during the winter months in poly tunnels (without heating) when production would normally be at a standstill.

If you want more info about the project, please contact Anna Karin Rosberg (anna.karin.rosberg@slu.se).

Figure 2: Lönnstorp Research Station with its experimental fields. Soon, the new ‘organic leafy greens as winter crops’ project will be part of the facilities. © Pekka Kurpa

The year 2020 has started with high levels of precipitation especially in the south of Sweden. Together with relatively few days of sub-zero temperatures this has led to high discharge in streams and rivers. Several of the rivers in southern Sweden have been reported to flood their surroundings to various extent. Geographically Asa Field Research Station is localised in the headwaters of Mörrumsån which is one of the rivers that is causing flooding. SVT news (Sveriges Television Aktiebolag) reported about the situation in Blekinge (in Swedish).

The water level in the reference stream at Asa Field Research Station has been above the average level of 252mm (reference water level) for the whole month. The average level for February 2020 will be about 370mm above reference height, which is the highest since the start of the monitoring programme in 2013.

However, not only the first months of the year have been wet. At the meteorological station in Asa the highest level of precipitation was recorded during 2019 since the station was established 30 years ago: In total 1106 mm, which exceeds the former peak value with over 200 mm (900 mm in 2004).


Air temperature (°C) and precipitation (mm) recorded at Asa Field Research Station for the years 2018 and 2019 in comparison with the average over the years 1990-2018.

Water level monitoring at Asa´s reference stream; high water levels in 2020 compared to the long-term mean (years 2013-2019).

RTK measurements performed by researchers from Luleå University of Technology in Kärkevagge, Swedish Lapland. Picture: credits GAS. 

Last summer, four researchers from Luleå University of Technology visited Kärkevagge. Kärkevagge is a valley about five miles west of Abisko with very special glacier-like landforms (GLFs). The research team found that it was sometimes impossible to distinguish GLFs in Kärkevagge from those found on Mars. In preparation for the upcoming Mars project, one needs to understand how different landforms have arisen. The project carried out precise geomorphological and thermal surveys in the area using the GNSS RTK (Global Navigation Satellite System - the European GPS system - and Real Time Kinematics). RTK is an accurate form of position measurement where fixed base stations and a drone with GPS receivers are used simultaneously. In this way, an extremely accurate survey of GLFs and other periglacial land formations was obtained.
 
As a further preparation for future Mars projects, the group has applied to participate in upcoming expeditions to Wasa, the Swedish station on the Antarctic, to test the mapping system and other instruments in extreme environments.

Röbäcksdalen Field Research Station welcomes new staff to strengthen their team. First person to support the team is researcher Julien Morel, who is specialised in remote sensing and has a lot experience in running the equipment in the Spectral Lab at Röbäcksdalen. From 2020 on, Julien will be a support for researchers who want to use the Spectral Lab. In addition, he will be a back-up drone pilot for SITES Spectral.

Next in line is Niklas Björn who is already a technician at the field station. Like Julien he will be more involved in SITES activities from 2020 onwards, starting to support the team with the collection of water samples for SITES Water. Additionally, he will  be one of the bee keepers at Röbäcksdalen.

Last, but not least, Jenni Burman will start as the new research technician in the dairy barn on March 1st. Her job in SITES will mostly be within the data collection program SMURF, which aims to make all the data deriving from the field experiments available to researchers through the SITES Portal. In time she will also be responsible for the GreenFeed equipment, which measures greenhouse gas emissions from the animals in the dairy barn.

Very warm welcome to the SITES team Julien, Niklas and Jenni!

Julien Morel is using the FieldSpec 4 to do spectral measurements in a barley field.
Photographer: Uttam Kumar.

New research technician Jenni Burman. Photographer Jenni Burman. 

In order to raise awareness of the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, the Wetland Convention was adopted on February 2nd, 1971. On February 2nd the year after it became "World Wetlands Day".

Wetland research is a central part of Skogaryd´s research station work; with special focus on their function and how they are affected by land use and a changing climate. "World Wetlands Day" was celebrated on Sunday, February 2nd, with an open house at Skogaryd Research Catchment (SRC) where research activities at wetlands were shown to the public. It was a beautiful day where the approximately 100 visitors walked between different installations. The day was much appreciated and the visitors requested a continuation for years to come.

In addition, the Faculty of Science at University of Gothenburg organized the first workshop in a series called "What Do We Do?" on the "Global Goals for Sustainable Development" on the 3rd of February that dealt with ditched wetlands ("How can we convert ditched peatlands from emission source to sink?”).

The background to the workshop is the large Greenhous Gas (GHG) emissions from drained peatlands in Sweden, which in the national reporting is estimated to emit 10 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents of greenhouse gases. This equals to approximately as much as the national passenger car traffic. How can we use and manage the peat so that the GHG emissions are reduced and the ecosystem can potentially be transferred to a carbon sink again? What trials are there in Sweden and what do they look like? Are there alternative approaches?

To reduce GHG emissions it is necessary to clearly show how the land must be managed to reach minimum emissions or even a GHG uptake. Perhaps ditched spruce forest must be shifted towards a wetland with meadow vegetation. A new Formas project funded at the Department of Earth Science at University of Gothenburg will focus on “how land-use management can convert high-emitting drained organic soils into areas with negative emissions”.
 

At the workshop, Leif Klemedtsson (Station manager) informed the participants about measurements and experiments started at SRC (SITES). After harvesting a spruce forest grown on ditched fertile peatland the emissions from the re-planted forest will now be compared with rewetted sections of the research area. Similar experiments were reported by Matthias Peichl during the workshop, who is responsible for the boreal ecosystem focused research at Svartberget Research Station (SITES). Here, the soil has low fertility and study sites include both ditched forested peatland (Kulbäcksliden) and a comparison between drained and rewetted peatland forests (Trollberget) in a similar way as in Skogaryd. The low fertility of the soil results in relatively low GHG emissions from the ditched soils and therefore rewetting will probably have a limited climate benefit.

Installation of micrometeorological flux towers to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) after clearcutting a forest on drained organic soils at the Skogaryd Research Catchment. Photographer: Johan Martinelli

Photographer: Urla Ewender

Representatives from several universities, authorities, companies and organizations participated. Overall, the workshop had 45 participants and many were thankful for a rewarding event

The Rabot Glacier, situated on the western side of the Kebnekaise massif, is now included in the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS). The glacier has been continuously monitored by Tarfala Research Station since 1981. To qualify as a reference glacier the mass balance data series of the glacier must be longer than 30 years.
 
Storglaciären, situated on the eastern side of Kebnekaise massif, is already a reference glacier. Together with 40 other glaciers, the two glaciers in Tarfala´s vicinity provide a unique record of the state of the world´s glaciers and their response to climate change.
 
Glacier mass balance describes how much a glacier gains or loses mass over a year. Data input to the calculations of glacier mass balance is provided by measurements of snow-accumulation and snow-density at the end of the winter. Ablation, i.e. melting of snow and ice, is measured during the summer melt-season.
 
Read more about the World Glacier Monitoring Service here.  

The location of Rabot Glacier. 

Field technician from Tarfala Research Station measuring mass balance on the Rabot Glacier.
Photographer: Gunhild Rosqvist.

A new monitoring series based on photos from wildlife cameras (‘camera traps’) was initiated at Grimsö Wildlife Research Station in 2019. Wildlife cameras are now in use at 32 survey plots where additional data on both wildlife and vegetation are collected. Camera traps have become a common tool in wildlife management and research worldwide and are also frequently used by the general public (partly due to simplified permission procedures). Greater understanding of how to use and interpret camera-based data is therefore important. Part of this project aims to examine the relationship between camera data and traditional population indexes obtained by, e.g. pellet surveys, aerial counts and hunters’ observations.

Wildlife cameras are commonly triggered by movement in the surroundings, heat sensors and/or are set to take photos at fixed intervals. However, the interpretation and how to process this data is not always obvious: Detectability varies among species, e.g. due to size or behaviour; data may be hard to process and sorting might be ineffective due to large storage volume sizes, and the understanding of the data can be challenging in regard to scientific or statistical aspects. Depending on the method design and camera set-up the data can e.g. be used as frequency of photos (of species X) or total number of photos in a given time period, but it may be unclear to which extent these data categories actually reflect the studied population. Using this new monitoring data, we aim to improve the interpretation of camera data and the mentioned challenges biologists are facing with it.

One of the camera traps, here with the camera mounted in a fixed metal box to ensure the exact same position after switches of memory cards and batteries.

Due to the activity pattern of many species, most pictures are taken in the hours of darkness, but here a moose (Alces alces) female just happened to take a rest in front of a camera during daytime. This exemplifies another potential difficulty with cameras; how to process the data when one single visit (‘passage’) by one individual results in hundreds of pictures.

A capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) male more or less displaying in front of the camera.

Latest News

Archive