2020 > 04

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 (
Thomas Ranius, Department of Ecology, SLU (

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.

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