Arctic and Alpine Stream Ecosystem Research

Updated 2015-09-17

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.

Comments and additional information:

The project is now completed, but similar activity is being undertaken in the project HASTE (High Arctic Ecosystems - structural and functional diversity of high Arctic stream ecosystems and climate change) - Research in Svalbard (RIS) ID 3075.

Time frame

Project time span
1996 - 2006
Data collection
1997 - 2004
Data processing
1998 - 2006
Data reporting
1998 - 2006

Contact information

Contact person
John E. Brittain
Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries Laboratory, Natural History Museums & Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern, 0318 Oslo, Norway.
+47 22 85 17 27
+46 22 85 18 37

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Biological effects
Climate change effects
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Algae (algae, phytoplankton)
Freshwater benthos


Regions studied
Climate change effects
Climate change effects

Data availability

References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Brittain, J.E. , Adalsteinsson, H. Castella, E. Gislason, G. M. Lencioni, V. , Lods-Crozet B., Maiolini, B. Milner, A. M. Petts, G. E. & Saltveit, S. J. 2000. Towards a conceptual understanding of arctic and alpine streams. Verhandlungen der internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie 27: 740-743. Brittain, J.E. & Milner, A.M. 2001. Ecology of glacier-fed rivers: current status and concepts. Freshwater Biology 46: 1571-1578. Brittain, J.E. & Milner, A.M. (eds) 2001. Glacier-fed rivers - unique lotic ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 46: 1571-1847. Castella, E., Adalstinsson, H., Brittain, J.E., Gislason, G.M., Lehmann, A., Lencioni, V., Lods-Crozet, B., Maiolini, B., Milner, A.M., Olafsson, J.S., Saltveit, S.J. & Snook, D.L. 2001. Macrobenthic invertebrate richness and composition along a latitudinal gradient of European glacier-fed streams. Freshwater Biology 46: 1811-1831. Lods-Crozet, B., Lencioni, V., Olafsson, J., Snook, D., Velle, G., Brittain, J.E., Castella, E. & Rossaro, B. 2001. Chironomid (Diptera: Chironomidae) communities in six European glacier-fed streams. Freshwater Biology 46: 1791-1809. Maiolini B., Lencioni V. & Brittain, J. E. 2004. Invertebrate drift in a high arctic stream under natural and experimental light conditions: preliminary results. Verhandlungen der internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie In press. Milner, A.M., Brittain, J.E., Castella, E. & Petts, G.E. 2001. Trends of macroinvertebrate community structure in glacier-fed rivers in relation to environmental conditions: a synthesis. Freshwater Biology 46: 1833-1847. Brittain, J.E., Castella, E., Knispel, S., Lencioni, V., Lods-Crozet, B., Maiolini, B., Milner, A.M., Saltveit, S.J. & Snook, D.L. 2003. Ephemeropteran and plecopteran communities in glacial rivers. In Gaino, E. (Ed.) Research Update on Ephemeroptera and Plecoptera. University of Perugia, Italy, pp. 271-277.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
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