Keynotes, sessions and workshops

Below you find information on the content of the meeting.

Anna-Liisa Laine: How human impact changes disease dynamics in natural ecosystems

Human impact on natural ecosystems is pervasive, resulting in habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity. In my talk I will describe how the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions are influenced by this change, and how biodiversity loss changes community level regulation of disease in the wild. I will discuss the importance of high-resolution long-term data, and global datasets for answering these questions.


Chris Evans: Quantifying and mitigating peatland greenhouse gas emissions: From sites to national and global inventories, and then back again

Peatland degradation and drainage accounts for around 2-4% of global CO2 emissions, and ~20% of CO2 emissions from agriculture and land-use. Despite this, peatland greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are often overlooked or inadequately represented in national emissions inventories, global assessments and Earth system models. The 2013 IPCC Wetland Supplement provided a framework for reporting peatland emissions in national inventories, but was limited by the availability of robust and representative measurement data for many peat and land-use types. In the UK, there has been a concerted effort to address this issue through the establishment and operation of a growing number of flux measurement sites, including a unique network of around 20 eddy covariance flux towers on peat, ranging from intact blanket bog and fen to intensively drained arable land.

Data from the flux tower network and from a wider synthesis of UK and European data have now been used to develop a full GHG inventory for UK peatlands, which are estimated to be emitting 18.8 Mt CO2e yr-1. A high proportion of the total emission is associated with intensive agricultural management of lowland peat. Since lowland peat provides some of the UK’s most productive and valuable farmland, this creates a challenging trade-off between economic and environmental sustainability, requiring novel solutions.

A new synthesis of data from the UK flux tower network highlights both the magnitude of peatland GHG emissions and the overriding influence of drainage depth on emissions, which appears to dominate over other factors including peat type, vegetation and other aspects of land management. The relationship suggests that raising water levels in agriculturally drained peatlands will reduce emissions by around 5 t CO2e ha-1 yr-1 for each 10 cm, implying that halving average drainage depths over the entire cropland and grassland area on deep peat could reduce emissions by 3.3 Mt CO2 yr-1, equivalent to around 1% of UK emissions. Methane emissions only become significant when water tables are within 25 cm of the peat surface, with the optimal GHG balance of a peatland estimated to occur when water table depth is 5-10 cm. Similar relationships observed across a large global dataset suggests that these relationships are to a large extent generalizable, and imply a global peat agricultural mitigation potential in the region of 500 Mt CO2e yr-1, equivalent to 1.2% of global GHG emissions.

Growing field data and understanding of controls on the peatland carbon cycle are offering new opportunities to mitigate peatland GHG emissions, while new lower-cost sensor systems offer the potential to dramatically expand the spatial scale of ground observations, and to link these observations to high-resolution satellite data. Simultaneously, the inclusion of peatlands in national and international emissions reporting methodologies provides growing impetus to mitigate peatland emissions as part of national emissions reduction and Net Zero commitments, and a framework for the monitoring, reporting and verification of privately funded mitigation and restoration activities. This rapidly changing policy environment is leading to the development of a number of novel approaches to peatland management in the UK, including several farmer-led schemes, and the developing concept of actively managing peatlands for greenhouse gas removal. This presentation will provide an overview of recent UK and international work in this area, and consider the extent to which peatlands might transition from being part of the climate change problem towards becoming a part of the solution.


Werner Kutsch: The European Climate Law and its consequences for ICOS – a first brainstorming

By 21. April 21 European Parliament, Commission and Council achieved a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law. Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans stated: “This is a landmark moment for the EU. We have reached an ambitious agreement to write our climate neutrality target into binding legislation, as a guide to our policies for the next 30 years. The Climate Law will shape the EU's green recovery and ensure a socially just green transition.”

Some parts of the law such as the recognition of the need to enhance the EU's carbon sink through a more ambitious LULUCF regulation (Commission will make proposals in June 2021), a commitment to negative emissions after 2050, and the establishment of European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, that will provide independent scientific advice are directly touching the principle task of ICOS to facilitate research into multi-scale analysis of GHG emissions, sinks and their driving processes.

The presentation will provide some first thoughts on the carbon sink/negative emission topic and will draw some general conclusions on the challenges for ICOS RI in developing services for independent scientific advice in this field.

Thematic sessions

We have four sessions:

  • Biodiversity links to ecosystem functioning (Tue)
  • Natural climate solutions (Tue)
  • Scaling - how to use measurements for modeling at different scales (Thu)
  • Lateral element transport between boundaries and fluxes across boundaries (Thu)

All the abstract can be downloaded here:

Biodiversity links to ecosystem functioning

Biodiversity is currently declining at alarming rates. This encompasses all aspects of biodiversity, from the level of genetic diversity to species, functional diversity and ecosystems. Biodiversity underpins many ecosystem functions and services that society relies upon (including provisional services, regulating services and cultural services).  While changes in abiotic drivers affect biodiversity, species also shape ecosystems by modifying their abiotic environment, redistributing resources (energy and matter) and modifying species interactions. Hence, species underpin essential ecosystem functions, and thus, where such functions are exploited by human society, ecosystem services. Crucial in this respect is the need to maintain or even enhance ecosystem resilience. 

We invite presentations on how the different biodiversity aspects are linked to ecosystem functioning and services, and what kinds of data is (or should be made) available to improve our understanding on the mechanisms behind these complex interactions.


Nature climate solutions - ways forward to enhance land carbon sink and reduce adverse climate impacts of land use

There is growing international interest in better managing soils to enhance terrestrial carbon uptake and to increase soil organic carbon content to contribute to climate change mitigation. This theme focuses on methods and management options which could enhance C sequestration into terrestrial ecosystems. We also ask, what are the key areas and methods to reduce soil/ecosystem carbon losses. Along with C uptake it is important to assess other, possibly adverse climate impacts related to e.g. albedo change, other GHG’s or evapotranspiration. Furthermore, since soil organic carbon content cannot be easily measured, a key barrier to implementing programmes to increase soil organic carbon at large scale, is the need for credible and reliable measurement/monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) platforms, both for national reporting and for emissions trading. We invite presentations broadly tied around the topic - both experimental and modelling contributions are welcome. 


Scaling - how to use measurements for modeling at different scales

Understanding ecosystem schemes on a large scale is important as climate change is a global phenomenon. Modelling is an essential part when integrating different measurements and inferring information brought by the measurements to regional and global scales, as well as estimating and predicting at various temporal dimensions. This theme focuses on modelling approaches which use various local scale measurements in estimation of ecosystem processes, carbon fluxes, atmospheric and hydrological transports. We invite presentations widely related to the topic, such as those using process-based, upscaling, statistical and inversion methods, to discuss the use of the measurements in modelling and model developments, and the techniques of synthesising those data.


Lateral element transport between boundaries and fluxes across boundaries

Lateral land‐to‐water transport of elements plays an important role in the biogeochemistry of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Fluxes across physical boundaries change the element concentrations in adjacent environments on different spatial scales. This theme will focus on the mechanisms that control the variation, magnitude and speciation of elements being transported across ecosystems, habitats or zones. The theme is inclusive to the emergent approaches and methodologies that highlight how global change may perturb these fluxes, and identify major knowledge gaps and key avenues for future research.



There will be three parallel workshops on Wednesday.

  • Dynamic data and data linking
  • Stable Isotope Measurements
  • Integrated modelling

Dynamic data and data linking

The "Dynamic data and data linking - databases as  source of data from point of view of data management" -workshop session focuses on data citation in both publishing scientific data and referring to different kinds of data sources. It will include short introductory presentations followed by discussion on how to secure referring possibilities with different data types or structures when publishing data.

  • Data citation why and how? - Jessica Parland-von Essen, CSC
  • Data Citation of Evolving Data: RDA recommendations - Ari Asmi, UH
  • Using DataCite DOI with cumulative data & star-schema; GBIF example - Hanna Koivula, CSC

Convener: Hanna Koivula/CSC

Integrated modelling

This workshops aims at promoting integration between the RIs. We will invite participants from each infra to present their views on the themes to be discussed:

  • Methods for upscaling site-specific results to regional applications in carbon modelling and ecosystem processes (e.g. combining models of lateral and vertical fluxes).
  • How does scale impact uncertainty estimates?
  • How best to utilize data for model development and application?

Initial thoughts will be presentad by:

  • Upscaling site-specific to regional - Maria Holmberg
  • How do we best utilize data for model development and application? - Aki Tsuruta
  • How does scale impact uncertainty estimates? - Virpi Junttila
  • How do we increase the benefit from cooperation and integration between the research infrastructure networks? - Martin Forsius

Format: 3 x 15 min presentations with 10 min discussions after each presentation, 30 min general discussion. Comments and questions collected in chat or on a discussion wall.

Convener: Maria Holmberg/SYKE

Stable Iso­tope Meas­ure­ments

In this workshop we will discuss available isotope measurement systems in ecosystem sciences in Finland. We will collect information about different applications of stable isotope techniques and the aim of the measurements. Further, we will highlight important findings from isotope measurements and brainstorm about possibilities to further develop the stable isotope measurement network in ecosystem sciences in Finland. The overall aim of the workshop is to strengthen collaboration between ICOS, eLTER and AnaEE networks and to encourage dialog across different disciplines, approaches (isotope and non-isotope) and institutions. The workshop will provide space for informal exchange and brainstorming between scientists involved.

Convener: Christina Biasi/UEF


14:35 Discussions 14:40 Break-out session 14:55 Break 15:00 Guest talk: SIP approaches in Microbial Ecology - Daniel Buckley (Michigan Univ., US) 15:10 Discussions 15:20 Lightening talk 3: Studying effects of labile carbon on anaerobic decomposition processes in permafrost wetlands by using 13C labelling approaches - Maija Marushchak (JYU) Lightening talk 4: Studying peatlands below ground methane processes with in-situ stable isotope methods - Xuefei Li (UH) 15:25 Discussions 15:30 Lightening talk 5: Planning Pulse labelling studies - Yann Salmon (UH) Lightening talk 6: Tree growth and C allocation dynamics impact the δ13C of CO2 from stem and soil - Tang Yu (LUKE) 15:35 Final Q & A 15:45 Future directions, wrap-up - Christina Biasi (UEF)

Time Agenda Item Speaker
14:00 Welcome to the workshop Christina Biasi (UEF)
  Questions to the audience  
14:15 Lightening talk 1: Drivers of spatial and temporal soil water isotope variability in a sub-arctic catchment Filip Muhic (Oulu)
  Lightening talk 2: Spatiotemporal variations of isotopes in snow and snowmelt in the subarctic setting at Pallas catchment, Finland Kashif Noor (Oulu)
14:20 Discussions  
14:25 Invited talk: Committed to Science: Stable isotope analysis with CRDS –practical considerations and use cases Magdalena Hofmann (Picarro)
14:35 Discussions
14:40 Break-out session  
14:55 Break  
15:00 Guest talk: SIP approaches in Microbial Ecology Daniel Buckley (Michigan Univ., US)
15:10 Discussions  
15:20 Lightening talk 3: Studying effects of labile carbon on anaerobic decomposition processes in permafrost wetlands by using 13C labelling approaches  
  Lightening talk 4: Studying peatlands below ground methane processes with in-situ stable isotope methods Xuefei Li (UH)
15:25 Discussions  
15:30 Lightening talk 5: Planning Pulse labelling studies Yann Salmon (UH)
  Lightening talk 6: Tree growth and C allocation dynamics impact the δ13C of CO2 from stem and soil Tang Yu (LUKE)
15:35 Final Q & A  
15:45 Future directions, wrap-up Christina Biasi (UEF)

You can download the meeting abstracts here:


Guidelines for presentations:

The idea of the presentations is to let the others know what you are working on. Focus on the overview and highlights!

In orded to give space for many of us, the presentation time is strictly limited to 5 minutes.

You can use a couple of slides to support your talk. One slide is enough, 5 slides is the absolute maximum. Consider using graphical formats rather than lots of texts.

Please send you slides to the organisers very latest on 30 April. The slides will be shown centrally to allow smooth transision.

The presentation slides will not be shared after the meeting, but may be available upon request from the author.