Long-term Research Series

Big game 1967– The big game research series are the oldest in the station. These are one of the most important both scientifically and practically of the research done in Varrio and have also beget many publications in the past years. Most of the research has been done in co-operation with the Finnish Border Guards, consisting of systematic snowline tracking of the border zone to Russia and, if necessary, elsewhere in the park.

Nest boxes 1970– The data of birds nesting in boxes is unique in its long duration. This has also led to many publications and has high recognizability and scientific value. The annual fieldwork period is quite short, about two months in the spring and summer. The nest box series provide numerical data.

Bird nests 1970– The long-term research data on bird nests in the wild is valuable, though lacking a systematic methodology. The nest data, however, is of high interest to ornithologists especially because of its long duration. The data about bird nesting in Värriö is collected, checked and archived by both the Universities of Oulu and Helsinki.

Animal tracks 1971– Data on animal tracks have been collected systematically as snow transect observations. The number of animal tracks are observed weekly on the snow transects in the surroundings of the station. The research is unique because of its systematic and long-term nature. The animal track observation provides numerical data and all the data is available in electronic form since 1970’s.

Snow transects 1971– The snow depth and the snow water content is measured by systematic observation weekly during the snow covered period, which is approximately from October to May. The longer transect (6 km) runs in various ecosystems, e.g. treeless hill top, old-growth pine forest and bushy river valley, whereas the shorter one is located on the fell range. All the data is available in electronic form since 1970’s.

Weather 1971– Daily weather observations are done following the guidelines of the Finnish Meterological Institute and as a part of the national network of weather observation. The manual observation began already in 1971, and during the 1990s an automatic observation station was built in Värriö.

Cone series 1972–2009 Cones were collected every spring from the same group of 50 Scots pine and Norway spruce trees. Such systematic long-duration research was unique in Finland. There is both numeric data and from this study. From each of the trees, all cones were collected and counted. Then from each cone, all seeds were counted and weighed as a lump. All the dried seeds are archived at the Oulanka Research Station.

Marten 1975– Data on pine marten (Martes martes) was gathered in the winter, primarily based on the observation of tracks. There exists material both as written observation notes as well as in the form of frozen feces that were pre-processed at the Oulanka Research Station laboratory for later analysis.

Berries 1976– The berry yields have been surveyed by systematically collecting wild berries (blueberry, lingonberry, cloudberry – and all other berries within the sample plots) from the same sample plots for decades now. The berries are weighed for the fresh weight, dried, weighed again for the dry weight and stored for later analysis at the Oulanka Research Station. The weighing provides numerical data.

Nocturnal insects 1976– Nocturnal insects are collected during the snow free season with light traps. The collected insects are send to the University of Oulu, where their species are determined. The data have revealed that moth species are moving towards the North: several new moth species have been found in Värriö during the decades, when the sampling has been ongoing.

Snow depth 1978– The snow depth and water density are measured twice during winter (January and April) from a marked square with a total length of 4 km. This is done in collaboration with the Finnish Meterological Institute, where the data are archived.

Phenology 1981– Phenology means the periodic biological phenomena that are correlated with climatic conditions. In Värriö, phenological observations such as birch bud burst and the first observations of migratory birds are collected among other studies.

Game bird 1981– The counting of game birds is done systematically every year in early summer.

Moles 1982– Moles are captured systematically with traps every spring and autumn. The captured moles are frozen and stored at the Oulanka Research Station for later analysis.

Bird counting 1984– Bird counting is carried out systematically as a transect count every year. There are counting transects both in the strict nature reserve and in the surrounding commercial forests. The data collected is numerical.

SMEAR data series 1991– The first data points at the SMEAR I measuring station were recorded in August 1991. The data series on aerosols, ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and weather date back in 1991 and are still ongoing. The photosynthesis measurements using measuring chambers in Scots pine canopies started in spring 1992. Later many more data series have begun. The measurements are mainly automated and run 24/7 year round.

Winter bird counts 1992– The winter bird counts follow the nationally set principles. It provides only numerical material to be saved in the Natural History Museum of the University of Helsinki.

Dotterel walk 1993– The systematic observation of the rare fell bird, dotterel (Eudormia morinellus), is important for bird protection and ornithology. The annual observation is based on one working day typically in late June: the Värriö fell range is walked back and worth (20 km) in a line of five observers. The number of dotterels and other fell birds is calculated. In recent years, the number of dotterels has decreased.

Willow grouse 1993–2006 The observation of willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) was based on radio tracking. The last transmitters have stopped working, so the data series has ended. Only numerical data was collected.

Capercaillie 1998–2006 The observation of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) was also based on radio tracking. The research provided valuable data on the movement of male and female capercaillies.