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University of Helsinki Faculty of XXX

Environmental Change Research Unit - ECRU


Tracking carbon dynamic patterns and climate forcing through post-glacial mire development history by combining modern flux measurements and palaeoecological information
Impacts of climate change on Arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)
Biomarkers – a new potential method to study highly humified peat components
Past water table fluctuations and related changes in carbon accumulation rates in mires – a quantitative multi proxy-based reconstruction from different climate regimes
Impacts of multiple environmental stressors on subarctic lake food web dynamics (MESS)
Climate variability in NW Europe during the past 4000 years and its ecological consequences (CLIM-ECO)
Science workshop on past, present and fututure climate change
Long-term changes in lake ice conditions in northern Finland
Responses of Boreal ecosystem carbon exchange to changing environment in different spatio-temporal scales
Former Projects

Contact information:

Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Department of Environmental Sciences
P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Phone: +358-9-1911
(main switch board)
or see People


Jan Weckström



Lakes and mires in NW Finnish Lapland, Photo: Gerd Weckström


Academy of Finland ; Contract 204291

Duration: 2004-2005

General description:

A peat profile from Enontekiö Finnish Lapland, Photo: Gerd WeckströmAlthough mires have been studied in Finland intensively since the 19 th century, little information exists on the development and succession of aapa- and sloping mires in northwestern Finnish Lapland. There is even less information available on the influence of peatlands on the limnology of lakes, especially on pH, watercolour, and on the carbon content. The carbon content and watercolour have been shown to be the most effective factors to protect the planktonic organisms from UV-radiation. UV radiation has increased by more than 40% in parts of the Arctic increasing the rate of mortality of planktonic species. The predicted increase in mean annual temperature and the increase in humidity in the Arctic will considerable affect the vegetation by enhancing the dispersion of the tree-line northwards and by enhancing the development and spread of peatlands. Both the forests and especially peatlands situated on the barren tundra are major sources of humic substances. The overall objective of the project is to determine the temporal and spatial succession of peatlands, factors controlling their formation and spread, and the impact of peatlands on the properties of freshwater lakes, especially on pH, watercolour and the carbon content in northwestern Finnish Lapland.

Specific objectives:

•  to describe the temporal and spatial dispersion of peatlands in relation to climate change

•  to describe the diatom flora and the environmental factors controlling their composition in five subarctic lakes

•  to infer lake water pH, colour and DOC to determine the impact of peatlands on lake water properties, especially the DOC content

•  to produce background information of processes controlling mire formation and its influence on lake water properties

•  to use the collected data for predicting the future of peatlands, their indirect role in protecting freshwater organisms from increasing UV-radiation, and the impact of northern peatlands on the global carbon cycle (in conjunction with the project REBECCA)

Expected results:

•  new temporal data of the expansion of peatlands during the Holocene and mechanisms controlling mire formation in northwestern Finnish Lapland

•  detailed quantitative history of water pH, colour, and TOC/DOC content of five subarctic lakes

•  new scientific evidence and information on the influence of peatlands on lake water properties, especially the carbon content

•  new background information of Holocene environmental change

Principle researcher:

Jan Weckström

This project is closely linked with the project REBECCA