ENVINET Activities Catalog

ENVINET Activities Catalog

ENVINET (European network for arctic-alpine multidiciplanary environmental research) is a research infrastructure network focusing on multidisciplinary environmental research in Europe. The network involves representatives from 18 environmental research infrastructures from the European Alps to the Arctic, representatives of their users and representatives from relevant international organizations and networks. The participating infrastructures cover a broad range of environmental sciences primarily within atmospheric physics and chemistry as well as marine and terrestrial biology.

The ENVINET project directory covers data and observation activities at these stations.

Other catalogs through this service are AMAP, SAON and SEARCH, or refer to the full list of projects/activities.

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Important progress has been made in recent decades to describe and understand how arctic terrestrial vertebrate interact, especially concerning predator-prey interactions. Indirect interactions between different prey species modulated by shared predators (e.g. Arctic fox) are believed to have important impacts on the structure and/or dynamics of some communities. Yet, our understanding of these types of interactions is still fragmentary. To fill that gap, we will build on ongoing projects exploring related questions in Canada (Marie-Andrée Giroux, Nicolas Lecomte, Joël Bêty) and Greenland (Olivier Gilg, Niels M. Schmidt), while taking advantage of existing networks (ADSN in North America and “Interactions” program in Greenland and Eurasia). The aim of the project is to promote the implementation of several common protocols that will (1) improve each collaborator’s knowledge at the site level and, more importantly, that will (2) be merged across sites and years to improve our understanding of the functioning and the influence of indirect interactions on arctic vertebrate communities in general.

Five types of data have been identified (by the 5 initiators of the project already mentioned above) as being mandatories to answer questions related to this topic. These data sets will be collected using 5 specific protocols described in the following chapters:

  1. Monitor predation pressure using artificial nests
  2. Monitor real predation pressure on Calidris nests using Tiny Tags
  3. Observations of predators and lemmings (3b: fox scats DNA barcoding)
  4. Assessing lemming (or “rodent”) relative abundance using different methods
  5. Assessing “herbivores” (excl. rodents) relative abundance using “faeces transects”
Arctic Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate change Diet Ecosystems Environmental management Food webs Modelling Populations Reproduction Spatial trends Temporal trends Terrestrial mammals
2. FUVIRC-Finnish Ultraviolet International Research Centre

FUVIRC will serve ecosystem research, human health research and atmospheric chemistry research by providing UV monitoring data and guidance (i.e. calibration of instruments, maintenance of field test sites), research facilities (laboratories and accommodation), instruments and equipment.

Arctic Atmosphere Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate change Ecosystems Forest damage Geophysics Human health ozone Populations Reindeer Temporal trends UV radiation
3. LAPBIAT-Lapland Atmosphere-Biosphere facility

The main objective of the facility is to enhance the international scientific co-operation at the seven Finnish research stations and to offer a very attractive and unique place for multidisciplinary environmental and atmospheric research in the most arctic region of the European Union. Factors such as, arctic-subarctic and alpine-subalpine environment, northern populations, arctic winters with snow, changes in the Earth's electromagnetic environment due to external disturbances and exceptionally long series of observations of many ecological and atmospheric variables should interest new users.

Arctic Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate Climate change Climate variability Data management Ecosystems Emissions Environmental management Exposure Geophysics Human health Local pollution Long-range transport Modelling ozone Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Populations Reindeer Spatial trends Temporal trends UV radiation
4. Arctic and Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research

The project, Arctic and Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research (AASER), started within EU’s Climate & Environment Programme and now continues with national funding, primarily Norway, Italy and Austria. The objective is to study dynamics and processes in rivers systems in Arctic and Alpine regions. Emphasis is given to the relationships between benthic invertebrates and environmental variables, especially in glacier-fed systems and in relation to climate change scenarios. On Svalbard research is concentrated around Ny Ålesund, particularly Bayelva and Londonelva. In 2004 the focus will be on the use to stable isotopes to detect transfer processes within and between ecosystems.

Glaciers Biology Catchment studies Spatial trends Climate change Biodiversity Arctic Food webs Temporal trends Ecosystems
5. Haliclona natural products

In contrast to many other marine regions, chemical interactions between organisms in Arctic waters are little understood. This project investigates natural products and chemical interactions in the sponge genus Haliclona in temperate and polar waters. Several new secondary metabolites isolated from Haliclona show feeding deterrence and activity against bacteria and fungi, but the compound composition varies with habitat and year. That raises the question whether sponges of the genus Haliclona as a model are able to adapt to changing environmental factors such as water temperature and colonization by bacteria by varying their secondary metabolite composition.

Biological effects Climate change Biodiversity natural products Ecosystems
6. Investigation of the physiological and cellular adaptation of plants to the arctic environ-ment – comparison with high alpine conditions

The objective of our work with arctic terrestrial plants and with algae is to study the range of climate adaptation as is expressed in special ultrastructure of cells and tissues, in photosynthetic metabolism, in antioxidative and sun screen compounds under a cold and reduced PAR / UV-B environment (climate different to alpine conditions). This is a comparison of ecophysiological processes already worked out mainly from high alpine plants, which live periodically under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B and PAR irradiation. We want to find out, whether adaptations found in some alpine organisms occur similarly in polar forms.

Ultrastructure Biological effects UV radiation physiology stress adaptation Climate change Arctic Cold stress Ecosystems
7. ARCTAPHID: biology and ecology of aphid populations in arctic environment.

In a context of global change, arctic ecosystems are exposed to deep modifications not only of the biology and ecology of endemic species but also of the interactions they may have with an increasing number of introduced species. This project attempts to assess in Svalbard, the impacts of global changes on aphids. These phytophagous insects are particularly relevant organisms for studies on the effects of global warming and biological invasion because 1) of their extreme sensitivity to micro- and macro- changes due to their spectacular rate of increase and phenotypic plasticity and 2) of their colonizing capacity conferred by their parthenogenetic mode of reproduction and their dispersal potential

ecology Biological effects Biology Populations adaptation Climate change life cycle invasive species Arctic Reproduction aphids Ecosystems
8. Study of the ice phase in Arctic mixed-phase clouds and its influence on the cloud-radiation interaction (EPOPEE) within the international atmospheric research project ASTAR (Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation)

The project EPOPEE is embedded in the international project ASTAR to study direct and indirect climate effects of aerosols and clouds in the Arctic. The particular goals of the project EPOPEE are to experimentally characterize the ice phase in Arctic clouds (including the ice phase) in situ, to study the aerosol-cloud as well as cloud-radiation interactions, and to develop adequate methods to validate remote sensing cloud parameters. In 2004 the project EPOPEE is mainly organized around in situ observations of detailed microphysical and optical cloud properties onboard the Polar-2 aircraft during the transition from polluted Arctic haze (observed especially in late winter, early spring months) to clean summer aerosol conditions. The transition from Arctic haze to clean summer conditions is quite sharp (a large amount of aerosols coming from Eurasian industrial areas accumulate over the Arctic and cover the Arctic by a layer of a smog-like haze of the size of the continent of Africa) due to a radical change in atmospheric transport patterns and is, thus, easy to identify. During Arctic summer, the high latitudes are then more or less “protected” from long-range transport of air masses from lower latitudes. The principal scientific objective of the project EPOPEE in 2004 will focus on studying the aerosol-cloud interactions with particular attention given to the ice phase nucleation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The interpretation of the instrumental observations will broadly benefit from a very close cooperation with the LaMP modelling group for theoretically coupling small-scale processes (cloud particle nucleation) with meso-scale dynamics. Furthermore, the project will focus on cloud-radiation interaction and the development of adequate methods to validate cloud parameters retrieved from remote sensing techniques. Therein, we will experimentally answer the question of how the different ice crystal shapes govern the scattering phase function of respective crystals. Moreover, the in situ cloud measurements will allow to develop an adequate strategy for the interpretation of remote sensing data from a depolarisation Lidar onboard the same aircraft (Polar-2).

Atmospheric processes Arctic haze Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Modelling Arctic Atmosphere Ecosystems
9. The Effect of solar UV on lipids in the planktonic food chain of polar freshwater ponds

Plankton of shallow polar freshwater water bodies is exposed to increasing levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) due to the limited water depth. Daphnia (Crustacea, waterflea) and algae are common representatives of the food chain in these water bodies. Daphnia almost exclusively use lipids for energy storage, which they obtain from their food (mainly algae). Therefore, Daphnia and algae are closely linked to each other. Preliminary experiments on the UV-induced damage in phyto- and zooplankton point to lipids as one of the key players. With this application we want to identify how algae specific lipids and fatty acids (FA) are modified by UVR. The factors modifying UV-doses to the animals and their food are depth of the waterbody and DOC (absorbs UV). A pondsurvey shall provide a wide spectrum on ponds which vary in DOC and depth. Lipid analysis of Daphnia and their food of these ponds as well as physical parameters of the pond waters shall identify correlations between UV-exposure and specific fatty acids. This shall enable us to estimate the effect of solar UVR on the freshwater plankton community in polar ponds.

Biological effects UV radiation freshwater plankton Climate change Exposure Arctic Food webs Diet Ecosystems lipids
10. Long distance pollen transport in the Arctic: 1. Greenland

The submitted proposal aims to perform the monitoring of the pollen rain in the Greenland atmosphere by distinguishing the local pollen production, relatively low, from pollen grains originating from other Arctic areas. A regular monitoring of the atmospheric pollen content must be performed in order to evaluate the amount emitted and characterise the seasonality of the emission. A comparison with air mass trajectories must allow the modelling of long distance transport

Biology Climate variability Spatial trends Modelling Biodiversity Data management pollen Atmosphere Ecosystems
11. Living in a spatially structured environment: evolutionary ecology of seabird-parasite interactions

The aim of this research program is to examine the response of animal populations to environmental variability at different spatial scales. We attempt to determine how individuals respond to the spatial heterogeneity of their environment, and what are the consequences of this response for the dynamics of subdivided populations. Specifically, we consider an ecological system involving biotic interactions at three levels: seabirds, their tick _Ixodes uriae_, and the microparasite _Borrelia burgdorferi_ sensu lato (Lyme disease agent). Colonies of seabirds represent discrete entities, within and among which parasites can circulate. Our previous work on this system in the norwegian arctic has enable us to show that (1) host dispersal can be affected by local conditions, (2) seabird tick populations are specialised among different host species, namely between sympatric kittiwakes _Rissa tridactyla_ and puffins _Fratercula arctica_, (3) in the kittiwake, females transmit antibodies against _Borrelia burgdorferi_ when their chicks have a high probability to be exposed to the tick vector. We propose to combine different approaches, incorporating field surveys and experiments and population genetic studies (of hosts and parasites), in order to better understand the role of local interactions and dispersal in the dynamics of such a system. The research program implies collaborations with researchers from other french groups, as well as with Canadian (Queen’s University) and Norwegian colleagues (from NINA and the University of Tromsø).

Biology Populations Epidemiology Evolutionary ecology Spatial trends Biodiversity Seabirds Ecosystems
12. Bacterial growth in cloud droplets

It is well known that the atmosphere is a conveyor of microorganisms, and that bacteria can act as ice or cloud condensation nuclei, but clouds have not been considered as a site where organisms can live and reproduce. We could show that bacteria in cloud droplets collected at high altitudes are actively growing and reproducing at temperatures at or below 0°C. Since ~60% of the earth surface is covered by clouds, cloud water should be considered as a microbial habitat.

bacterial activity Biology cloud droplets Atmosphere Ecosystems supercooled water
13. Determination of atmospheric fluxes of Radionuclides, Heavy Metals and Persistent Organic pollutants in well defined watershed, lakes and coastal marine sediments of Svalbard from the beginning of nuclear age

The 2003 field activity will be mainly dedicated to coring activity which includes: 1. the sampling of snow and ice cores from a Ny-Ålesund nearby glacier (midre Lovenbreen). 2. the collection of near coast (Kongsfjorden) and lakes sediments (maximum under pack depth 30 m). Sampling collection of ice and sediment cores will be performed using a portable, electric operated, sampling corer. The transport of all materials up to each sampling station should be performed with snowcats.

Atmospheric processes Biology Hydrography Heavy metals Radioactivity Radionuclides Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Sediments Atmosphere Ecosystems
14. Measurement and Modeling the Mercury Depletion Events in the Arctic at the Ny-Ålesund Site

One of the major benefits of performing measurements at Ny-Ålesund is the availability of a monitoring station on Mount Zeppelin, 474m asl. Given the typical height of the Arctic inversion layer during the envisaged measurement period, it will be possible to continuously monitor mercury and particulate in the free troposphere at the same time as performing ground level monitoring. The simultaneous measurements above and below the boundary layer should provide evidence for the mode of elemental Hg replenishment, whether it is from due to exchange with the free troposphere, or transport occurring at sea level. The proposed collaboration, by collecting data from two strategically placed Arctic stations, in the paths of different air masses and data from above the Arctic inversion layer would provide the most comprehensive set of Arctic mercury measurements performed to date.

Pathways Atmospheric processes Mercury depletion Emissions Geochemistry Data management Atmosphere Ecosystems
15. Interactions between meiofauna and mat-forming microbes at the sediment-water interface - implications for benthic-pelagic coupling in coastal systems

The project investigated small-scale biotic interactions between laminated microbial communities and meiofauna at light-exposed sediment-water boundaries of estuarine lagoons. The production and biological structure of these systems is mainly determined by complex processes at the sediment-water interface which depend on finely scaled patterns, requiring appreciation of how the biota interact within these scales. We tested whether changing light conditions and active emergence of the harpacticoid species Mesochra lilljeborgi and Tachidius discipes are mediated by the activity of benthic oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophic microbes. Two hypotheses were tested which addresses to the question of causality between changing light conditions and active emergence of the harpacticoid copepods. (1)The harpacticoid copepods T. discipes and M. lilljeborgi will enter the bottom water during daylight when oxygenic photosynthesis of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae is blocked and conditions at the sediment-water interface have turned anoxic. (2)Both species will not emerge during dark exposures when transferred to sterilized sediments.

Biological effects Biology copepod microbial communities interactions Sediments Ecosystems
16. Structure and function of shallow marine coastal communities

Shallow coastal areas on the Swedish west coast are generally considered highly productive and important nursery grounds for both invertebrates and fish. Several commercial important coastal fish species utilize the abundant food resources in the shallow bays during their juvenile life history stages. In my research, trophic relationships are characterized among a guild of epibenthic fish and crustaceans in some shallow embayments along the Swedish west coast. I focus principally on the influence of physical factors (temperature, salinity, exposure, sediment type, oxygen level and habitat structure) on predator-prey dynamics which are quantified in a multi-level approach involving laboratory experiments and field sampling. My intention is to study biotic regulation of populations within the limits set by naturally occurring abiotic factors in coastal areas. The general hypothesis is that habitat structure (sediment and vegetation) in a coastal area has a decisive importance for community structure and function. The structure of the habitat influence the carrying capacity of the area and set the limits within which population size may fluctuate. Population dynamic, production and consumption of epibenthic fauna and fish has been estimated quantitatively in some shallow soft bottom bays, and energy flow models have been constructed for both a sandy habitat and an eelgrass bed. Interactions between habitat structure (sediment and vegetation) and the structure of epibenthic fauna has been evaluated in several types on coastal environments in the Skagerrak and the Kattegat. For example, changes in macrovegetation in shallow coastal areas and its effects on recruitment and population structure of associated crustaceans and fish has been investigated. Distribution of filamentous algae has been assessed by aerial photo documentation, and interactions between vegetation and fauna has been studied in laboratory experiments and field investigations. Structure of fish assemblages has been related to vegetation type in both rocky and soft bottom communities. In shallow sandy bays recruitment mechanisms in flatfish has been studied. Further, the structuring role of hypoxia on demersal fish communities has been investigated in SE Kattegat and York River, Chesapeake Bay, including studies of species structure, biomass, growth, migrations and food selection.

Biology Ecosystems
17. Climate Change and Competitive Interactions

The effects of climate change in a dynamic competitive interaction between two or more species can be bought about either as direct responses of species to change or indirectly through effects on competing species. Intertidal barnacles are ideal model organisms to test these alternative causal mechanisms, being easily censussed and directly competing for space. Single- and multi- species models will be developed for barnacles in SW England to determine whether direct or indirect mechanisms better predict responses to change. The models will include functions for space-limitation, environmental influence and, in the latter models, functions for interspecific competition. Historical data from a network of sites collected over a 40-year period will be used to develop and test the models.

Climate variability Spatial trends Climate change Biodiversity Temporal trends Ecosystems
18. Reducing the environmental impact of sea cage fish farming through the cultivation of seaweeds

Although the most visible effect of fish cage aquaculture is the output of particulate organic waste, 80% of the total nutrient losses from fish farming are plant-available as potentially eutrophicating substances. This project will assess the ability of commercially important seaweeds, cultivated in the immediate vicinity of caged fish, to reduce the impact of such nutrient releases. The algae cultivated in high nutrient sites will be tested as a food source for humans and for cultivated shellfish, and a model of the distribution of dissolved contaminants from sea-cage fish farms will be developed to predict the impact of introducing algal cultivation at any site.

Pathways Biological effects Fish Spatial trends Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Sediments Pesticides Temporal trends Ecosystems
19. Environmental sensitivity of cold water corals

Distribution • What is the current distribution of coral colonies in the North Sea? • Where are coral colonies located on the structures? • Do any colonies show evidence of exposure to drill cuttings? Monitoring & Environmental Recording • What hydrodynamic regime and levels of suspended particulate material are coral colonies exposed to? • Does the coral skeleton retain an archive of any past contamination? • Does skeletal growth vary over time and does this correlate with any past contamination? • How variable is the rate of coral growth and does this correlate with any environmental variables? Environmental Sensitivity • What effect does increased sediment load have on coral behaviour and physiology? • What effect does exposure to discharges (e.g. cuttings and produced water) have on coral behaviour and physiology? • Are such exposures realistic in the field?

Shelf seas Biological effects Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Petroleum hydrocarbons Oceanography Biodiversity Local pollution Ecosystems
20. Phosphorus Cycling in the Cryosphere

This project will construct detailed phosphorus budgets for polar catchments occupied by glaciers and freshwater systems undergoing rapid response to climate warming. These are Midre Lovenbreen, Svalbard; Jebsen Creek, Signy Island (maritime Antarctic) and Storglaciaren, northern Sweden. The relationship between meltwater production, pathway and phosphorus liberation from glacial sediments will be examined closely. Emphasis will be given to phosphorus sorption dynamics in turbid glacial streams and their receiving waters (fjords and lakes).

Glaciers Catchment studies Phosphorus Climate change Arctic Geochemistry Ecosystems