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Research Projects at the Archipelago Research Institute

The future of the Baltic Sea and us: the effects of climate change to the Baltic Sea pelagic ecosystem

clu_har_small.gifThe purpose of the project is to provide information on the key changes that can be expected in the Baltic Sea pelagic ecosystem if the current sea stagnation continues and/or climate change is progressing to increased precipitation in the Baltic watershed area. Besides ecological changes we deepen the analysis to include occurring biochemical changes in the ecosystem, especially in the phytoplankton - zooplankton - herring food chain. The food chain analysis will define whether the herring's nutritional value for human consumption (like type of fats) has changed resulting from the Bothnian Sea zooplankton community change making it less favorable diet for herring. The research aims to explain the human contribution in the Baltic Sea ecosystem functioning as well as the consequences of possible changes in the human life. The study is funded by the  Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and the Turku University Foundation

Research group: 

Doc. Jari Hänninen,  Archipelago Res. Inst.
Prof. Ilppo Vuorinen, Archipelago Res. Inst.
Doc. Marjut Rajasilta, Archipelago Res. Inst.
Doc. Juha-Pekka Suomela, Food Chemistry and Food Development
Prof. Heikki Kallio, Food Chemistry and Food Development

Habitat selection and the frequency of tick-borne diseases (Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis) of Ixodes -ticks in the Archipelago Sea

Nettisivukuva_Ixodes.jpg

The aim of the study is to determine the occurence and frequency of the most common tick species (Ixodes ricinus) in Finland. The research identifies ticks favored habitats with associated environmental conditions during summer. In addition, the developmental stages of ticks will be examined with PCR analysis for better identification (bardcoding) of tick types and to identify potential Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi s.l.) and tick-borne encephalitis carriers. The study is conducted in cooperation with the Section of Ecology (Department of Biology), Zoological Museum (Department of Biodiversity) and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Turku. The research is funded by e.g. the Turku University Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and independent donator. More information about the project here and at Ticks in Southwest Finland -website (both in Finnish).

Research group:

Prof. Ilppo Vuorinen, Archipelago Res. Inst.
Doc. Jari Hänninen, Archipelago Res. Inst.
Doc. Ritva Penttinen, Zoological museum
Doc. Ilari Sääksjärvi, Zoological museum
PhD. . Eero Vesterinen, Department of biology
Doc. Kai Ruohomäki, Department of biology
Doc. Tero Klemola, Department of biology
M.Sc. Jani Sormunen, Department of biology
M.Sc. Maija Laaksonen, Department of biology
Doc., Jukka Hytönen, Faculty of Medicine
M.Sc. Eeva Sajanti, Faculty of Medicine

 Assessment and Modelling Baltic Ecosystem Response (AMBER)

amber-logo.gifThe general aim of AMBER is the implementation and application of the Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM) to the Baltic Sea with a focus on the coastal ecosystem (CE). The first step of AMBER is the separation of climate from anthropogenic signals in the CE by means of a combinatorial variation in model’s boundary conditions using the output of existing regional climate change scenarios and the output of a watershed model simulating changes in land use.Read more: http://www.io-warnemuende.de/amber.html


BALTEX Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin (BACC 2)

BALTEX (the Baltic Sea Experiment) was launched in 1992 as a Continental-scale Experiment (CSE) of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) within the World Climate Research Program (WCRP).

The research focus of BALTEX has primarily been on the hydrological cycle and the exchange of energy between the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth, because they control and regulate the climate in a fundamental manner. BALTEX Phase II extends the scope of research to regional climate change, water management and air and water quality. The study region of BALTEX is the Baltic Sea and its huge catchment region, which constitutes a unique European water basin, creating specific demands on models and scientific concepts.


 Baltic Herring and Herring Research

Research on the reproductive biology of Baltic herring was started at the Archipelago Research Institute and the Department of Biology of the University of Turku in the beginning of the 1980's. Since that, herring research has continued in the form of several scientific and monitoring projects that have been carried out in the Archipelago Sea area, and especially at the vicinity of the City of Turku, where one of the major herring reproductive areas is situated. The data are based on field sampling of the spawning fish, and direct monitoring of the spawning beds by scuba diving. During this two -decade biological survey, the environmental conditions of the spawning area have changed considerably, e.g due to eutrophication and decreasing salinity of the Baltic Sea. Research Group: PhD, Adjunct Professor Jari Hänninen, PhD, Adjunct Professor Marjut Rajasilta, PhD Päivi Laine, PhD, Adjunct Professor Ilppo Vuorinen. Read more: Herring homepage. 


Co-operation Research Projects

Alga - grazer interactions in marine littoral environment

Read more at the projects website: http://users.utu.fi/veijor/project/fuindex.html


Plant-herbivore interaction and plant mating system: a geographic view to coevolution

Interspesific interactions are seldom uniform across a species’ range and very rarely involve only two species. As stated by the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution, variation in species interactions is the raw material for the coevolutionary process, which takes place over a large geographic scale. Understanding the causalities of variation in the outcome of species interactions is fundamental for understanding the evolution of interacting species. We examine spatial variation in the outcome of plant-herbivore interactions focusing on both the herbivores’ and plant’s point of viewnterspesific interactions are seldom uniform across a species’ range and very rarely involve only two species. As stated by the geographic mosaic theory of coevolution, variation in species interactions is the raw material for the coevolutionary process, which takes place over a large geographic scale. Understanding the causalities of variation in the outcome of species interactions is fundamental for understanding the evolution of interacting species. We examine spatial variation in the outcome of plant-herbivore interactions focusing on both the herbivores’ and plant’s point of view

Read more at the project website


The effect of organotin compounds on the baltic tellin (Macoma balthica L.) and the distribution of organotin compounds in the Archipelago Sea, SW Finland

Organic tin compounds, particularly tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT), have been widely used in marine antifouling paints. Organotin compounds accumulate in bottom sediments where biota is exposed to them. In 2005 to 2008 a series of toxicity tests on the baltic tellin were carried out to find out the LC50-values for organotin compounds. Moreover, an extensive mapping of organic tin compounds in the bottom sediments and fish from the Archipelago Sea was carried out. The results showed that organotin compounds are distributed nearly everywhere in the Archipelago Sea. In parts of the Archipelago Sea the organotin concentrations exceeded the observed LC50-values. At the same areas where the organotin concentrations were high in the sediments, the concentrations were high in fish, too. The study was funded by the Ministry of the Environment and it was a collaborative project between the Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre and the University of Turku. PhD, doc. Harri Helminen (Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre), M.Sc. Jani Peltonen (University of Turku) ja Maria Toivanen (University of Oulu).


How small is too small? Implications of species-area relationship for conservation biology

This project (funded by the Academy of Finland during 2008-2009) aims to explore species-area relationships for different kinds of small (ranging 10-2 … 107 m2) isolated terrestrial habitats in order to identify conditions under which the species richness may vary independently of island area (a phenomenon called the Small Island Effect). In early summer of 2009, I established colonization experiment with soil patches ranging in area from 0.01 to 2 m2. Seili is one of four geographical replicates of this experiment; other experimental sites are Kevo (Northern Finland), Lisino (Leningrad region, Russia), and Apatity (Murmansk region, Russia). Starting from the autumn of 2008, I will monitor species richness and abundance of vascular plants in all these patches in order to check, whether the occurrence of the Small Island Effect is associated with certain stages of succession. Researchers: Dos. Mikhail Kozlov.


Impact of endemic insect herbivory on structure and productivity of vegetation in Northern Europe under a changing climate

This project (funded by the Academy of Finland during 2008-2011) aims at exploration of potential effects of climate-driven changes in the endemic herbivory (i.e. herbivory during the years, when no pest outbreaks occur) on vegetation structure and ecosystem parameters such as net primary production, carbon fluxes and albedo. The research includes monitoring of endemic herbivory and manipulations with plant damage; results will be used for parameterisation of the dynamic ecosystem model LPJ-GUESS. In early summer of 2009, we established at Seili one of six study plots by planting ca. 150 young (20-60 cm tall) individuals of four tree species (Pinus sylvestris, Picea abies, Betula pendula and B. pubescens). The experiment consists of two parts: (a) protection from herbivores by repeated insecticide treatment compared to non-manipulated control (i.e. natural herbivory), and (b) four levels of simulated herbivory (2, 4, 8 and 16%) applied to insecticide-treated plants compared to insecticide-treated control. The damage will be applied twice (1 : 1) in the growth seasons of 2009-2011. Plant performance will be evaluated by measuring radial and vertical growth, counting leaves and shoots, measuring shoot length, fluctuating asymmetry and chlorophyll fluorescence. Researchers: Dos. Mikhail Kozlov, FT Elena Zvereva, FT Vojtech Lanta, FM Vitali Zverev.

 
 
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