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Fr.om. januari 2020 publicerar SITES nyheter enbart på engelska

Discharge measurements at Lillsjön, Tarfala Valley. Photo: Karuna Sah. Discharge measurements at Lillsjön, Tarfala Valley. Photo: Karuna Sah.
Tarfala Research Station personnel have been busy this summer measuring the Tarfalajokk discharge.

Wide-spread mass loss from the glaciers in the Tarfala valley this summer, together with some impressive rainfall events, has made Tarfalajokk almost double in size. Continuous measurements throughout the summer, using a fluorescein tracer dye, have been conducted and it is now soon time to go back to Stockholm to analyse the data.

Stream discharge data from Tarfala can be found in SITES Data Portal.

Field work in the Tarfala Valley. Click on the photos for larger versions and more info. Photos by Karuna Sah.

Etiketter: tarfala
Map illustrating the geographical distribution of sampling sites in Europe. Distribution between different lake types and the characteristics of the lakes is shown as a pie chart. Map illustrating the geographical distribution of sampling sites in Europe. Distribution between different lake types and the characteristics of the lakes is shown as a pie chart.
Have you ever wondered about the invisible bacteria, archaea, viruses and protozoa hiding in our lakes? Each drop of water contains millions of unicellular organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye, and in order to map and describe the diversity and function of these organisms, we need to use new methods based on their genomic information.
 
In the project called "PELAGICS" (Pan-European Lake Sampling - Microbial Eco-genomics), an international group of researchers use new genetic methods to map freshwater microbial diversity on a European scale. Under the leadership of Michaela Salcher and Rohit Ghai, both from the Czech Republic, 70 large lakes, located in 16 European countries, will be sampled for both bacteria and protozoa. The samples will be used to isolate cultures of bacteria and protozoa, that will be analysed using cultivation methods, and, furthermore, sequencing of the total microorganism genome (metagenomics) will be done.
 
The most recent country visited by the PELAGICS sampling team was Sweden, where researchers collected bacterial samples from Lakes Mälaren, Erken, Vänern, Vättern and Torneträsk. By establishing a collaboration with the SITES Research Stations Abisko and Erken, as well as county administrative boards and the tourism industry, sampling efforts have been organized efficiently and safely and a broader collaboration formed.
 
The project will produce a large amount of sequencing data (20 Tb) in the coming months, and researchers hope that the data will help answer several challenging questions, such as, which organisms make up the freshwater microflora and their distribution in Europe.  The researchers also hope to answer more general questions concerning species formation of microorganisms and local evolutionary adaptations.
 
For the Swedish part of PELAGICS, Professor Stefan Bertilsson (SITES Director/SLU), Dr. Matthias Hoetzinger (SLU) and Professor Silke Langenheder (Uppsala University) are participating.
Etiketter: erken abisko
The new SITES-Spectral mast at Stordalen. Photo: Magnus Augner. The new SITES-Spectral mast at Stordalen. Photo: Magnus Augner.
The Stordalen nature reserve is one of the major study areas of the Abisko Scientific Research Station (ANS). This summer there have been some new installations there, as Magnus Augner, Abisko Station Manager, tells.
 
"To the uninitiated, coming to the Stordalen mire to pick cloudberries or do some birdwatching, the area probably causes some raised eyebrows. Instead of a tranquil, wide mire landscape, it may seem more like a “Sculpture park” with quite strange installations.
 
The most recent additions to the installations are wooden structures that reduce precipitation, simulating drought conditions, and the new SITES-Spectral mast. The old Spectral mast fell over when corrosion made one of the guy wires break. The new construction has four aluminium legs for stability, with some extra guy wires attached to the top of the mast proper. The mast itself is easily lowered, swung around a fulcrum half-way up – so there is no need to climb it.
 
Right now, we are in the process of putting up signs, both for the area as such, and for each installation. To make this easier for the researchers, we provide them with poles with mounted wooden plates, and templates for the signs."
Stordalen and, in the centre of the photo, the installation for the drought experiment. Photo: Magnus Augner.
Stordalen and, in the centre of the photo, the installation for the drought experiment. Photo: Magnus Augner.
Etiketter: abisko
Mikael Andersson (on the left) is hosting one of the groups in a 29-year-old stand of Hybrid larch. Photo: Kristina Wallertz. Mikael Andersson (on the left) is hosting one of the groups in a 29-year-old stand of Hybrid larch. Photo: Kristina Wallertz.
The covid pandemic has affected the work at the field stations within SITES in many ways. One of the most significant impacts has been the absence of visitors to SITES stations. Therefore, SITES is very happy to report that the first forest excursion in a very long time was held at Asa research station on Wednesday evening the 25th of August.

Almost 60 forest owners participated in the event as a part of the project “Climate adapted forestry”. The theme of the excursion was focused on tree species selection in a changing climate as well as windthrow mechanisms and mitigation of risk with silvicultural tools. During the event participants were guided through Asa's forest stands, such as the 29-year-old stand of Hybrid larch (Larix x marschlinsii) as seen in the photo above.

The event was held in cooperation with Linneaus University and Vuxenskolan.
Etiketter: asa
Intern Pierre Mothes (left) and research assistant Sanna Bergquist (right) are removing the Liefplan equipment before the second harvest of grass. Photo: J. Wallsten Intern Pierre Mothes (left) and research assistant Sanna Bergquist (right) are removing the Liefplan equipment before the second harvest of grass. Photo: J. Wallsten

In May, Röbäcksdalen and Lönnstorp station received the good news that they can be a part of the Lifeplan project, which is a global project to monitor biodiversity. Many of the other SITES stations are already participating. However, intensive management and the urban location of the two agricultural stations made it difficult to fit into the original model of Lifeplan. However, SITES and Lifeplan have now agreed on a modified participation for the two agricultural stations.

The modified participation includes two monitoring activities, where Lifeplan provides the equipment and SITES supports analyses cost. The stations will collect insects, with a Malaise trap, and spores, with a cyclone sampler. The samples will be collected and analysed in the same way as for the regular participating Lifeplan stations.

The Lifeplan equipment will be on the same field the whole experimental period. Photo: J. Wallsten The Lifeplan equipment will be on the same field the whole experimental period. Photo: J. Wallsten

The Lifeplan project at Röbäcksdalen will follow the crop rotation of one of the fields. A crop rotation is typically five years; one year with barley, one year with ley establishment undersown in barley and then three years of ley. Since Lifeplan will continue for five more years, chances are good that the collections at Röbäcksdalen will be made during all the different crop rotations. This system means the Lifeplan equipment will have to be removed from the field each time there is a harvest or a management practice taking place on the field.

If things go well, Röbäcksdalen hopes to continue to collect biodiversity samples even beyond the scope of the Lifeplan project. All data from this collection will be available on the SITES Data Portal, and additional information on the fields will be available through the SMURF data project- compiled data from the dairy barn’s 300 ha cultivated land.

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