Research projects

Some of the major projects currently underway at Lammi Biological Station.
Beaver habitat and mammalian diversity

Janne Sundell and Petri Nummi
Beavers are well known as ecosystem engineers that greatly affect the environment they live in by damming streams and felling trees, and this activity has been known to increase biodiversity of invertibrates. In this project researchers are examining the effect of beaver habitat on the mammalian community. 

Metapopulation ecology of the Glanville Fritillary

Marjo Saastamoinen and Suvi Ikonen
The Glanville Fritillary butterfly has become a model species for the study of metapopulations through the efforts of researchers at the University of Helsinki. Experimental work to get precise information on what affects the persistence of populations is essential to begin to understand how we can help conserve species in the future. 

Evolution of warning signals. Predator-prey interactions. Bird behaviour, learning and cognition

Johanna Mappes

How does aposematism (chemical defences combined with warning signals) evolve and how can it be maintained, even when there is variation in warning signals? These are the types of questions that we aim to answer at our experimental facility at Lammi Biological Station. Work takes place in Lammi from autumn through to spring using predators (e.g., great or blue tits) and insect and artificial prey. For more information about our research see our research group's website

Vole fever project: using vole disease ecology research to understand and prevent human infection risk

Kris Forbes, University of Arkansas
Understanding sources of variation among individuals and populations in pathogen susceptibility, transmission and spread is crucial for predicting and managing infectious disease impacts on wildlife and humans. In this project, we investigate how habitat quality and coinfections influence vole hantavirus transmission as a way to understand ways to mitigate human infection risk. This project is highly multidisciplinary, including laboratory experiments, field experiment in forests around Lammi, and mathematical modeling.

Lake food webs

Kimmo Kahilainen

We research lakes with differeing catchment charateristics and their food webs to understand the effects of climate change and land use on their quality, structure and functioning. This is integrated with the study of the nutritional quality of fish communities through analyses of mercury, fatty and amino acids. 

Age at maturity in Atlantic Salmon

Craig Primmer

Professor Craig Primmer's group researches the genetic architecture influencing age at maturity in the Atlantic Salmon to discover what drives the timing of salmon spawning. At LBS, long term experimental work is underway to find out the exact mechanisms that influence when salmon return to riverine habitats to reproduce.

Brownification of lakes

Celine Arzel, University of Turku
Water color has been measured in several lakes of the Evo Natura 2000 area by Lammi Biological Station along with water chemistry for the past 3 decades. In parallel several institutes have gathered long-term data on invertebrate, fish and waterbird populations in several of these lakes. Since 2018 a large effort has been launched to combine these data sets in order to unravel the impact of brownification (the change of watercolor towards brownish colors) on aquatic ecosystem. Brownification has been witnessed in the Northern Hemisphere and beyond with yet lots of uncertainties about its origin and consequences on ecosystem functioning. Lammi Biological Station in collaboration with Turku university, Helsinki university, Luke, the university of Angers (France) and the Vanajavesikeskus are working together to address the causes and consequences of brownification in the Evo area with the aim to provide a better understanding of the processes at stake and mitigation solutions from local to larger scale.

Amphipod Crustacean evolution

John Loehr, Janne Sundell
The amphipod Pallaseopsis quadrispinosa is a glacial relict species inhabiting lakes and and four springs in Finland. It is an excellent species to investiage morphological and behavioural evolution due habitat dependent adaptations that is has developed. Currently this project is investigating the evolution of antipredator behaviour and morphology.

Understorey plant phenology

Matt Robson

The CANSEE group at the University of Helsinki uses LBS's forest to investigate the effects of spectral composition on the phenology of understorey plant species. By gaining knowledge about how plants react to different wavelengths of light, the project will help understanding of what triggers plants to bud in spring or lose their leaves in fall. This information will help understand how plants will react to ongoing climate change.

Ecology of forest birds

Timo Pakkala and Juha Tiainen
In this project habitat selection, population trends, and regional variation of forest bird species is studied with over 40 years of uninterrupted data in the Lammi region. Studies have also concentrated on indicator species for forest biodiversity. Special focus has been placed on cavity nesting bird species and the importance of cavities and cavity trees for forest biodiversity.