EU project secures preservation of long-term data collected in Lapland

The EU funding received by the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station and the Kolari office of the Finnish Forest Research Institute will ensure the preservation of internationally unique research data and make them publicly available.

EU project secures preservation of long-term data collected in Lapland

Long-term monitoring data can at their best prevent global environmental problems because without them environmental changes might go unnoticed.

In the Kilpisjärvi LTSER project the data collected in western Lapland over the decades will be assembled together, digitised and organised for use by researchers. The project also promotes the international networking of research stations in Lapland.

Research data from the 1940s

The natural beauty of Lapland’s fells, its fauna and natural phenomena attract natural scientists in particular. Due to this long research tradition, data has been collected from the fell area since the 1940s.

– Long-term data are the backbone of the research conducted at Kilpisjärvi and Kolari stations. New research projects are often integrated as a part of long-term monitoring, says Tuomo Heikkilä, project manager.

Monitoring data collected include information on the population variation of small mammals, blueberry and birch seed crop, monitoring of the tree line and birds’ nesting biology.

– The monitoring data is internationally unique and renowned for their length and comprehensiveness. The monitoring research attracts Finnish and international researchers to the stations.

Cooperation network brings international visibility

Due to the lack of resources, much of the long-term data collected in the area is dispersed in notebooks and files. In addition to saving the research data, the EU funding will be used for organising an international workshop and an environment-themed photography competition. A touring exhibition to nature centres and a teaching and information package will be produced from the results.

The project parties belong to the LTSER (Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research) network comprising research stations and clusters, which ensures that the data will receive international visibility.

Text: Kirsikka Mattila ja Tuomas Heikkilä
Photo: Heikki Kauhanen
Translation: AAC Global

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