Projects/Activities

The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.

Displaying: 1 - 20 of 52 Next
1. Lakes; Chemistry

Annual measurements of physical, chemical, and biological variables are taken in small to medium sized, mostly minimally disturbed lakes, situated across the country. Of the 108 lakes that are part of the Trend Station Lake monitoring programme, 20 are situated in AMAP area. The main aim of the monitoring programme is to document long-term changes related to global or regional change and human-generated stressors. To complement the Trend Station Lake monitoring programme, national lake surveys provide spatial data needed to determine regional patterns, and coupled with time-series data, changes in surface water quality. The National Lake Survey (the Surveillance Stations, re-sampled stations) programme for lake water quality, started in 2007 and results in data of all Swedish lake conditions. Each year some 800 new lakes are sampled to determine chemical and physical conditions; lakes are resampled at 6 year intevals. 4824 lakes are sampled in the country during a six-year sampling cycle, with 1270 situated in AMAP area. The variables included in the Trend Station Lake monitoring programme include water chemistry, fish, phytoplankton, macrophytes, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates, whilst the National Lake Survey is focused solely on chemical and physical parameters.

Absorban acidification Al algae Arctic As Benthos Biological effects Ca Cd conductivity Contaminant transport Cr Cu Data management Discharges Environmental management Epiphyton Eutrophication Fe Fish Food webs Hydrography K Local pollution Long-range transport Mapping Mg Mn N NH4 Ni NO2-NO2 Nutrients Pb pH phytoplankton Sediments Si Spatial trends Temperature Temporal trends TOC Total nitrogen Total phosphor V Zn zooplankton Turbidity Benthic fauna Chlorophyll Secchi depth Litoral zone Sublitoral zone Profundal zone Pelagic zone
2. Metals in reindeer

National Environmental Monitoring Programme in Sweden. The objective of the project is to follow time trends of available metals in vegetation and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in Lapland, Sweden. Analysed metals in liver and muscle samples are: Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mg, Mn, Ni,Hg, Pb, Zn. Analyses were performed on a continuous basis until 2005. Since then there has only been a collection of samples to be stored in the Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM).

Al Arctic Biology Ca Cd Contaminant transport Cr Cu DDT Diet Fe Food webs Hg Long-range transport Mapping Mg Mn Mo Ni Pb PCB PCBs Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Pesticides Rangifer tarandus Reindeer reinder Spatial trends Temporal trends Terrestrial mammals V Zn
3. INTERACTIONS

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
4. BioBasis - Zackenberg

The purpose of the BioBasis programme is to monitor basic qualitative and quantitative elements of biodiversity in the terrestrial ecosystems at Zackenberg in Northeast Greenland. The programme provides data on typical High Arctic species and processes that can be expected to react on year to year variation in climate as well as long-term climate change. It includes 30 variables of terrestrial and limnic plant, arthropod, bird and mammal dynamics in the Zackenberg valley.

Biological effects Biology Fish Terrestrial mammals Modelling Ice Biodiversity Arctic Food webs Ecosystems
5. Monitoring of natural products in Finnish Lapland

The project monitors the artificial radioactivities in natural products in Finnish Lapland. The work mainly started after Chernobyl accident.

Fish Radioactivity Radionuclides Arctic Local pollution Reindeer Food webs
6. 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
7. Spatial and long-term trends in organic contaminants and metals in fish species important to the commercial, sports, and domestic fisheries of Great Slave Lake and the Slave River ecosystem.

i. Determine mercury, metals and persistent organic contaminant pollutants (POPs) concentrations in lake trout harvested from two locations (West Basin near Hay River, East Arm at Lutsel K’e) and burbot harvested from one location (West Basin at Fort Resolution) in 2015 to further extend the long-term (1993-2013 (POPs) and 1993-2014 (mercury)) database. ii. Determine POPs trends in lake trout and burbot using our 1993-2014 data base. iii. Continue our investigations of mercury trends in predatory fish to include lakes in the Deh Cho, Great Bear Lake, and other lakes as opportunities arise. iv. Participate in and contribute information to AMAP expert work groups for trend monitoring for POPs and mercury. v. Integrate our mercury trend assessments with studies we are conducting in the western provinces as part of Canada’s Clear Air Regularly Agenda for its Mercury Science Assessment. vi. Work with communities in capacity building and training.

Slave River biomagnification Catchment studies Pollution sources Contaminant transport Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Organochlorines Mackenzie River Basin PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people Long-range transport Spatial trends Environmental management Climate change Emissions Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Food webs Atmosphere Temporal trends Ecosystems Great Slave Lake
8. Plants obtained from permanent study plots as bioindicators for radioactive fallout

Vascular plants and mosses are also terrestrial bioindicators for radioactive fallout, The summer fodder of reindeer consist of 200- 300 vascular plants . Therefore vascular plants are an important link in the foodchain plants - reindeer/game - man. STUK has several permanent plant sampling sites, usually in the vicinity of the lichen plots. Only a few of of them are included in Finnish NIP. The results obtained are gammanuclide or occasionally also 90Sr concentrations, Bq/kg.

reindeer/game man Soils radiocaesium foodchain vascular plants strontium Radionuclides Arctic Food webs Ecosystems
9. Lichens obtained from permanent study plots as bioindicators for radioactive fallout

Lichens are the best terrestrial bioindicators for radioactive fallout and also the most important link in foodchain lichen - reindeer - man. Generally, Fenced permanent sampling plots are used to study the biological half-life of 137Cs in lichen. However, some of the STUKs sampling plots are unfenced which are subjected to grazing by reindeer. Start year: early 60's as a project of the Radiochemistry Department of University in Helsinki. Stuk's participation since 1975. Data are collected from 1961, 1980, 1982 or 1986, continuously every 3-5 years. Data processing/work-up and data archiving/reporting work are conducted from 1961, 1980, 1982. Continous data sets from 1986 to 2010.

man Soils radiocaesium strontium. Radionuclides Arctic reindeer Food webs foodchain lichen Ecosystems
10. Contaminants in Polar Regions – Dynamic Range of Contaminants in Polar Marine Ecosystems (COPOL)

The IPY-project ‘COPOL’ has a main objective of understanding the dynamic range of man-made contaminants in marine ecosystems of polar regions, in order to better predict how possible future climate change will be reflected in levels and effects at higher trophic levels. This aim will be addressed by 4 integrated work packages covering the scopes of 1) food web contaminant exposure and flux, 2) transfer to higher trophic levels and potential effects, 3) chemical analyses and screening, 4) synthesis and integration. To study the relations between climate and environmental contaminants within a project period of four years, a “location-substitutes-time”-approach will be employed. The sampling is focussed towards specific areas in the Arctic, representing different climatic conditions. Two areas that are influenced differently by different water masses are chosen; the Kongsfjord on the West-coast of Spitzbergen (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 22 E). The main effort is concentrated in the Kongsfjord. This fjord has been identified as particularly suitable as a study site of contaminants processes, due to the remoteness of sources, and for influences of climatic changes, due to the documented relation between Atlantic water influx and the climatic index North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The water masses of the Rijpfjord have Arctic origin and serves as a strictly Arctic reference. Variable Atlantic water influx will not only influence abiotic contaminant exposure, but also food web structure, food quality and energy pathways, as different water masses carry different phyto- and zooplankton assemblages. This may affect the flux of contaminants through the food web to high trophic level predators such as seabirds and seals, due to altered food quality and energy pathways.

Biological effects Organochlorines Heavy metals Fish Climate variability Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Seabirds Food webs Ecosystems
11. The fate of Hg in the marine food web along west Greenland

The aim of the project is to describe and model mercury accumulation up the Arctic food chain. Based on existing knowledge from old projects and new measurements made on frozen tissue samples. This project will contribute to a better understanding of the fate of mercury in the Arctic.

Heavy metals Food webs
12. Marine food webs as vector of human patogens

Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.

Pathways Biological effects Hydrography Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Shipping Polar bear Exposure Arctic Local pollution Seabirds Shellfish Food webs Waste Human health Human intake Marine mammals
13. Digestibility of Ice Algae and Phytoplankton: The Potential Impacts of Changing Food Supply to the Arctic Benthos

Sea ice is a dominant feature of marine ecosystems in the Arctic. Its presence directly or indirectly impacts Arctic marine ecosystems, especially on the shelves where benthic and pelagic systems are extensively coupled. If the extent and thickness of sea ice continue to decline, we predict a shift in the type of algal material reaching the benthos (from ice algae to phytoplankton), which will potentially impact the food requirements of the benthos. We have several pieces of evidence showing that both types of ice algae (below-ice ice algae dominated by Melosira arctica and within-ice ice algae dominated by Nitzchia frigida) presently reach the benthos in significant quantities. What we don’t know, and what we propose to address is: “What is the digestibility of ice algae and phytoplankton-derived organic matter by the Arctic macrobenthos?” From the perspective of a macrofaunal organism, digestibility includes three separate components: 1) selection (is encountered organic material ingested or rejected?); 2) absorption (is ingested organic material absorbed during passage through the gut, or does it get egested in the feces?); and 3) assimilation (is absorbed organic material assimilated into biomass?). We propose a series of hypotheses to guide our assessment of digestibility: H1: There is no difference in the quality of ice algae and phytoplankton as food for benthic organisms. H1i: There is no difference in the long-term assimilation of ice algae and phytoplankton by benthic organisms of different trophic groups (suspension feeders, deposit feeders, omnivores). H1ii: There is no difference in the short-term absorption efficiency among different trophic groups feeding on phytoplankton and ice algae. H2: The response of benthic organisms to ice algae and phytoplankton as food sources is the same when assessed on a Pan-Arctic scale. Assessment of long-term assimilation of the various types of algae (within-ice ice algae; below-ice ice algae; and phytoplankton) will be conducted by determining lipid biomarkers and their isotopic ratios, and by determining CHN and protein signatures of organisms collected during all aspects of the work (summer ’02; spring ’03; fall ’03; and summer ’04 in both Norway and Kotzebue, Alaska). Assessment of short-term absorption will first use the ash-ratio method in a whole core delivery experiment. Following the whole-core experiments, dominant taxa from each trophic group will be identified and used in a comparison of 1) absorption efficiencies as calculated by the ash-ratio method, and 2) carbon retention efficiencies as calculated using a pulse-chase radiotracer approach. Finally, we will repeat the dominant taxa absorption efficiency experiments in both Svalbard, Norway at the Ny Ålesund lab and in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska.

Biology Sea ice Geochemistry Food webs Sediments
14. 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
15. Interactions between appendicularian and copepod grazing on dinoflagellate blooms

To be completed.

Biology copepod grazing dinoflagellate blooms Food webs Diet
16. Energetics of copepods in non-steady state food conditions

Most studies of energetics in marine filter feeders have focused on animals living in steady state food conditions. However, copepods experience highly variable access to food because of food patchiness and behavioural avoidance of predators. For small copepods this is especially important since they lack the potential of energy storage, e.g. in the form of lipids. After a period of food deprivation Acartia tonsa show a compensatory increase in ingestion rate, but only temporarily and on the time scale of the gut filling time. The copepods are able to compensate for the lacking input of food. On the other hand, longer periods of starvation (6-14h) induce elevated ingestion rates that lasts longer than gut filling time. Under these circumstances other energetic factors influence the ingestion rate. Consequently, the energetics of the copepods are highly variable in a patchy food environment.

Biology ingestion rate energetics food patchiness copepods Food webs
17. Microalgae as Cell Factories for Chemical and Biochemical Products

• To survey and document the state of the art in microalgal technology • To examine legislative and regulatory matters connected with the field • To bring together the various information on European algal collections into a single on-line portal • To develop the on-line database into a comprehensive tool for dissemination of knowledge pertaining to microalgae and microalgal research • To investigate current barriers to the use of microalgae and identify possible future uses of microalgae and microalgal technology • To help steer the direction of European research • To carry out technology transfer to the end users within the network, with measurable benefits for efficiency • To ensure the strategy involves dissemination to end-users outside the network partners • To ensure network cohesion and good communication between the partners • To develop an ongoing ‘virtual institute’ model and lay the groundwork for future RTD projects

Biological effects Food webs
18. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
19. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
20. 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