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2022 > 10

A workshop at SITES Svartberget Research Station, within Vindeln Experimental Forests, took place on Sept 6-7, 2022, with a focus on existing and future research infrastructures (RIs) in the area. The main objective of the workshop was to 1) exchange information about the RIs, 2) discuss ways to optimize and maximize the potential synergies between the RIs, and 3) discuss possible research activities and research papers made possible by the RIs establishments. In total, 23 persons participated in the workshop, representing specific RIs in the Vindeln area. A main outcome from the meeting resulted in plans to apply for funding to create and develop environments that support research collaborations around a common theme connecting the RIs.

Discussion during the workshop at SITES Svartberget Research Station. Photo: Johannes Tiwari.
Discussion during the workshop at SITES Svartberget Research Station. Photo: Johannes Tiwari.

Currently SLU Svartberget contributes to three geographically distributed RIs, all supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR); SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science), ICOS Sweden (Integrated Carbon Observation System) and ACTRIS Sweden (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure). In addition, the tower-based radar at Svartberget, BorealScat-2, is a recently established RI. Overall, the RIs at Svartberget reflect a broad ecosystem research focus; from long-term forest management trials and their effect on forest production and diversity to water and carbon balance of boreal ecosystems, as well as studies of the direct climate effects of short-lived climate forcers such as aerosols.
 
Since SITES formation in 2012, Svartberget has played an active role in the RI and includes activities related to the terrestrial environment, such as long-term experimental forest trials and the Krycklan catchment, and the three SITES Thematic Programs – Spectral, AquaNet and Water. Svartberget will continue these activities during SITES next funding phase (2023 – 2028) with plans to develop the connection between SITES activities to other RI activities ongoing at the station and the surrounding area as explained below:  

The Mast house at ICOS Svartberget and also the house that will room ACTRIS Svartberget. Photo: Paul Smith. The Mast house at ICOS Svartberget and also the house that will room ACTRIS Svartberget. Photo: Paul Smith.

ICOS 

ICOS is a European research infrastructure, formed in 2008, with the aim to provide accessible, high-quality data to improve the understanding of greenhouse gas sinks and emissions and to contribute to measures aimed at limiting the climate impact.  All stations in the national networks across Europe follow the same standardized protocols for data gathering. The measurement data are sent to central ICOS facilities where they are quality controlled and processed before being forwarded to the ICOS Carbon Portal and made available to users (Link to data here). SLU contributes with three measuring stations within Vindelns Experimental Forests; an Atmosphere station and an Ecosystem station located in the coniferous forest at Svartberget and an Ecosystem station located on the mire at Degerö, Kulbäcksliden experimental forest. The Atmosphere station measures the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at different levels up to a height of 150 meters. The purpose of the two Ecosystem stations is to understand the uptake and release of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), how they are affected by climate change and to understand whether the northern forests and mires causes an increase or counteracts the greenhouse effect. At the Degerö station, continuous measurements of the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2 by eddy covariance already started in 2001, before becoming an ICOS Ecosystem station.

ACTRIS

 ACTRIS is a pan-European research infrastructure initiated in 2011 that provides a network of stations that observe short-lived climate forcers (SLCF). The SLCFs have a short residence time in the atmosphere and include airborne particles, aerosols, and reactive trace gases. The Swedish branch of the research infrastructure is run by ACTRIS Sweden with six organizations (Lund University (Coordinating), Stockholm University, Gothenburg University, SLU, SMHI, and Uppsala University) currently taking part in a 5-year implementation phase.  ACTRIS Sweden has chosen to co-locate its measuring stations with the ICOS infrastructure and from 2022 also at Svartberget.

BorealScat-2 is a 50 m radar tower for studying temporal variations in forest radar measurements. Photo: Albert Monteith. BorealScat-2 is a 50 m radar tower for studying temporal variations in forest radar measurements. Photo: Albert Monteith.

BorealScat-2

BorealScat-2 is a radar tower experiment established in 2022 at Svartberget Experimental Forest for studying temporal variations in forest radar measurements. The tower, previously used in the BorealScat experiment in Southern Sweden, has been relocated and upgraded. The aim is to investigate forest moisture variations in P-/L-/C-/X-band tower-based radar observations and to develop methods for estimating forest evapotranspiration from space borne radar observations. Evapotranspiration plays a central role in the carbon, water and energy cycles and is closely related to drought-induced tree mortality. Radar observations are directly sensitive to the spatial distribution of water. By establishing a relationship between radar observations and variables contributing to evapotranspiration, space-borne radar is expected to contribute to high spatial and temporal resolution of evapotranspiration observations.

There will be a scheduled maintenance on 24.10.22 from 6:00 to 10:00 AM UTC, during which time the SITES Data Portal with all its attached services may not be available. Please plan SITES Data Portal use accordingly.

In Abisko, autumn arrived in vibrant September-colours. But autumn does not equal calm at the research station. Throughout September, the station continued to be at full capacity. 

Autumn colours in Abisko!  Photographer: Emily Pickering Pedersen
Autumn colours in Abisko! Photographer: Emily Pickering Pedersen
Students from Lund University analysing samples with the gas chromatograph. Photographer: Thomas Holst Students from Lund University analysing samples with the gas chromatograph. Photographer: Thomas Holst

Among other activities, two student courses were hosted: a biogeochemistry course from Lund University and an arctic ecosystem ecology course from Umeå University. In the biogeochemistry course, students focused on the carbon cycle and greenhouse gas exchange between the biosphere and atmosphere. As a part of this course, students also built their own eddy covariance tower at SITES Lönnstorp station and spent two days at the ICOS site Hyltemossa. In the arctic ecosystems course, students gained hands-on experience with ecological research, focusing on topics such as nutrient availability, plant-soil-organism interactions and feedbacks between arctic ecosystems and the climate system. This year, the course had more than twice the number of participants as in previous years!

September was also a month of events – both in Abisko and abroad: A preparatory course was hosted for this winter’s polar expedition to the Swedish research station in Antarctica. This year’s expedition will be a logistics expedition, focusing on maintaining and developing the physical infrastructure. The Abisko research station also hosted the annual Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) Symposium, connected to Umeå University, this year attended with nearly 40 participants.
 
On the international scene, three delegates from the research station participated in the international ICOS conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. This was a great opportunity to network and learn more about environmental monitoring programmes and equipment. Abisko was also represented at the INTERACT meeting in Iceland, comprising the Station Managers Forum and the General Assembly. Abisko Scientific Research Station is part of the INTERACT network, which is an international collaboration between arctic and alpine research stations.

Newly deployed snow depth sensor near Abisko research station. Photographer: Niklas Rakos Newly deployed snow depth sensor near Abisko research station. Photographer: Niklas Rakos

In the field, SITES Water is preparing for winter. In Almergasjön, the winter measurement string has been deployed. The “winter string” consists of three sets of sensors attached to a string, which is held in place with an anchor and a submerged buoy. The buoy is installed more than a meter below the water surface in order to not freeze into the ice during the winter. The sensors measure oxygen (O2) concentration, conductivity and temperature and are installed at depths 1, 2 and 3.5 meters above the bottom.

In preparation for winter, the Almbergasjön summer raft, which hosts sensors and equipment for open-water measurements during the ice-free period, has been taken to shore. This year’s series of lake carbon dioxide (CO2) flux chamber measurements has also been concluded. This week, a snow depth sensor will be deployed as a part of the long-term environmental monitoring programme in Abisko. The automated sensor is another step in the process of converting the station’s long-term manually collected data series to automated data collection.

The 19th Annual Krycklan Symposium took place Sept. 21, 2022, with the focus on “The Next Generation for Water: Buffers, Maps and Peatland Management”. There were about 100 people in attendance for the hybrid Symposium, with about 20 of those participating online. In total there were 40 presentations with 4 different sessions; general Krycklan research (highlighting new projects), riparian buffer management, state-of-the-art mapping, and peatland management.
 
Research presented at the symposium connects to ongoing SITES Water activities at Svartberget Research Station and has relevance to activities at other SITES stations (e.g. Eddy Covariance, rewetting). Check out the live tweets of the event to find out more!

Following the Symposium an excursion, with 40 participants, took place at Svartberget Research Station in the Krycklan catchment . Photo:  Shokoufeh Salimi
Following the Symposium an excursion, with 40 participants, took place at Svartberget Research Station in the Krycklan catchment . Photo: Shokoufeh Salimi

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