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Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

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Contact information:

Kilpisjärvi Biological Station
Käsivarrentie 14622
FIN-99490 Kilpisjärvi
phone +358-294140340
bio-kilpis (at)

Office in Helsinki:
Kilpisjärvi Biological Station/
Antero Järvinen
P.O. Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
puh.+ 358-( 0)40-5034473
antero.jarvinen (at)

Locations of visitors to this page

Travelling exhibition

Travelling exhibiton presenting long-term studies in the Western Lapland was opened in March 2013. The exhibition is bilingual, and You can visit it at Fell Lapland Visitor Centre until end of February 2014. It offers You a varied way to explore the nature and long-term studies in Northern Finnish Lapland. Click the images below and You can have a first impression about the exhibition.

Project bochure

Project brochures offers an introduction to research history at Kilpisjärvi and Kolari. It also presents results of selected long-term studies.

Screen version (pdf, 2,6Mb) Print version (pdf, 16 Mb)

Kilpisjärvi LTSER-project - workshop on 13-15 March 2013

About the workshop

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Abstract book (pdf)

“Long-term ecological studies in Northern Fennoscandia” workshop is connected to Kilpisjärvi LTSER-project, funded by EU Regional Development Fund / Lapland Centre for Economical Development, the Transport and the Environment.

Project was set up to promote connections to European-wide and world-wide LTSER-programme. During this project, a large set of ecological monitoring data has been localized, organized and digitized. This data will be available for scientists in the future. With better usability of long-term data sets, this project aims also to promote sustainable land use and to detect local changes in ecosystems.

In this workshop, project personnel will present preliminary results of digitized ecological data. Invited guests will broaden the topic to neighboring countries and similar studies.

Pre-workshop programme (optional)

Travelling exhibition presenting long-term studies at Kilpisjärvi and Kolari, with some key results, will be opened at Kellokas Nature Centre, Kolari, prior to workshop, on Wednesday March 13 (starting at noon). Should you wish to attend opening ceremonials (in finnish), please inform tuomas.a.heikkila (a) in advance. We will organize transportation from/to Kilpisjärvi. Exhibition is bilingual (Finnish & English).

Kellokas Nature Centre:

Preliminary programme at Kilpisjärvi

Wednesday, March 13

18:00: Get-together, cold dinner & wine, lake-shore sauna available

Thursday, March 14

8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Opening words by director (Antero Järvinen, Kilpisjärvi biological station)
9:15 Invited talks (c. 20 mins) and discussion
- Kilpisjärvi LTSER –project: Catch-up of previous 2½ years
(Project manager Tuomas Heikkiä)
- Vole and lemming fluctuations at Kilpisjärvi over 60 years (Heikki Henttonen)
- Sea vs. Mountain, Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca: results of 26-year population studies in Skibotn & Kilpisjärvi (Antero Järvinen)
-More than 20 years of monitoring of breeding Tengmalm's owl in Troms county, Norway
(Karl-Birger Strann)

12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Invited talks (c. 20 mins) and discussion
- Long-term botanical research at Kilpisjärvi: background and preliminary results (Kari Laine)
- The changes of forest timberline in Northern Finland during 1983-2009 (Mikko Hyppönen)
- Climate change and shifts in the distribution of moth species in Finland (Reima Leinonen)

15:00 Coffee break
15:30 Invited talks (c. 20 mins) and discussion
- Ecology of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus L.) in subarctic Lake Kilpisjärvi
(Kimmo Kahilainen)
- Long-term studies following experimental density depletion of a stunted Arctic charr population (Per-Arne Amundsen)

17:00 Break
18:00 "Gala" dinner
Saunas will be heated up…

Friday, March 15
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Conclusions and discussion
11:00 Lunch & farewell

Programme is subject to change.

Registration & enquiries: Please, send your name & affiliated institute to tuomas.a.heikkila (a) .

Abstract book: Abstract book will be handed out at the workshop, free of charge.

Accommodation bookings: pirjo.hakala (a)

Costs: accommodation is available at the Biological station, in one-bed or two-bed rooms. Limited availability.

Kilpisjärvi LTSER (project) - data sets

Data sets being rescued are shortly described here (Data sets by Kilpisjärvi biological station) and below (Data by Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla).

Timberline research - the longest follow-up study of a kind in Nordic countries

In order to study timberline and treeline dynamics in Finland, 16 study areas were established in 1983 in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) timberline across Finnish Lapland. Study plots are situated for example at Kilpisjärvi, Lemmenjoki, Kevo, Saariselkä and Värriö. Study includes monitoring of seed germination and forest regeneration in uniform forest, at timberline, at treeline and in open mountain heath.

Image 1. Timberline study areas in Finland. Modified from: Vesa Juntunen & Seppo Neuvonen (2006): Natural regeneration of Scots pine and Norway Spruce close to the timberline in Northern Finland. Silva Fennica 40(3): 443-458).

Tree plantations experiments at Kilpisjärvi

Different foreign tree species have been planted at Kilpisjärvi during many kinds of forest research. Key topics have been survival and growth of coniferns north of natural treeline. Study species include Scots pine (planted in 1957, 1982 and 1984), Norway spruce (in 1957), Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa, in 1960, and Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi, in 1957). A part of these plantations have died off, but for example Subalpine firs still persist.

Image 2. Despite of very different phenotype, coniferns are not easy to see when mixed in the Mountain birch forest. Study area in the southwest slope of fjell Saana (planted in 1957).


Image 3. Research being carried out in Subalpine fir study plot. Man in picture: Viktor Mannela. Image: Seppo Ruotsalainen.

Image 4. Same study plot in 2011. Most of the firs have grown taller than 2 metres.

Image 5. Scots pine study area at Kilpisjärvi (planted in 1984).

Kilpisjärvi LTSER is an EU-funded research project aimed to gather, organize and digitize old follow-up study data gathered in the project study area. Project study area is:

• Kilpisjärvi LTSER area (the “arm” of Finland, see map: and
• Kolari, western Finnish Lapland

With the help of follow-up studies, local changes in environment are more easily observed. Data can be used e.g. in assessing impacts of climate change or as a tool in landscape planning. Long-term follow up studies are essential in assessing changes in environment. Without measurements over a long period of time, no changes (if they are any!) can be seen.

Three work packages (WP) are carried out in this project:

1) Gathering and saving old long-term follow-up study material from the study area since the 1950s. Material will be saved in digital format to ensure usability in the future

2) Networking which involves saving study material in the same format as in the international LTER-project to ensure international coverage for data and linkage to other LTER-projects

3) Information in which an exhibition on project results is done together with brochures and web-site. Exhibition will be mainly done only in Finnish.

As a result, project will e.g. produce databases on long-term follow-up data, a GIS-based database with aerial images and rules for using these data.

Main target of this project are national and international research workers, other experts in the field of environment research, local communities and tourists. Results will enhance sustainable tourism and promote environment consciousness.

This project is funded by EU’s Regional Developmental Fund / Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Parties of this project are Kilpisjärvi Biological Station (University of Helsinki) and Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kolari. Project employs one full-time project manager and several part-timed experts and project secretary.

More information

Project plan (only in Finnish)

Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kolari:

Finnish LTSER network and map:

European LTER network:

International LTER network: