Abisko Scientific Research Station: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Abisko Scientific Research Station as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

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Displaying: 21 - 40 of 52 Next
21. Optical reflectance properties of tundra vegetation

The aim of this project is to characterise the spectral reflectance properties of a range of tundra (dwarf shrub and lichen) species using a high-resolution spectroradiometer, and to relate these properties to physiological state, especially biomass. This will provide us with control data for our remote-sensing investigations of the impact of air pollution on tundra vegetation around nickel smelters in Russia, by indicating the natural (unpolluted) optical properties. Species to be investigated will include empetum nigrum, vaccinium spp, rubus chamaemorus, cetraria nivalis, cladonia rangiferina, and some grasses and bog.

22. To study the trace-fossils and the trilobites in the Cambrian layers at Loupakte/Louvárri.

To investigate the availability of trace-fossils and trilobites in the Cambrian sand-, silt-, and limestone formation at Loupakte. Large bedding planes with trace fossils will be searched for. Studies will then be conducted on the diversity and behaviour of trilobites and the trace-fossils and their makers.This is a preliminary study that hopefully will constitute a part of a Ph.D-project.

23. PINE

PINE (Predicting Impacts on Natural Ecotones) will investigate the potential impacts of key land-use management decisions on the European tree-line ecotones under different climatic change scenarios. The focus is on identifying critical thresholds of change, some of which may be irreversible. The aim is to inform decision makers of the consequences of their actions in terms of sustainable development, landscape change and biodiversity. The first step will be to assess the decision-makers’ and stakeholders’ perceptions of environmental change and risk. We will then go on to produce a spatially explicit, dynamic forest succession model (TreeMig) tuned specifically to tree-line ecotones. The model parameters are defined using variables which initiate, control and terminate tree growth. These are derived from cambium dynamics and an innovative multi-proxy approach in which the proxies used are tree ring width, density, stable carbon isotope ratios, height increment, needle production and pollen deposition. Data will be collected from a range of tree-line tree species at sites in Sweden, Finland, Austria, Italy and Slovenia. The model will be evaluated using the past response of tree line plant communities to climatic change under varying management regimes and then used to predict changes in the tree-line ecotones in response to climatic change under different land-use change scenarios.

24. Gaseous exchange in tundra mires

Continous real time measurements of corbon dioxide and metheane exchanges at different subhabitats at the Stordalen mire in relation to the winter and spring shift.

25. DART: Dynamic response of the forest-tundra ecostone to environmental change

The overall aim of our research is to increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics at the forest–tundra ecotone in northern Europe and, in particular, to quantify the dynamics of the response of this ecotone to changes in climate and in land use. In order to achieve this overall objective we are addressing the following more specific objective: To investigate the extent to which potential dynamic responses of the ecotone to environmental changes are modulated by other limiting factors, including propagule dispersal, seedling establishment, disturbance régime and herbivore impacts. Current experiments will involve the sowing of tree seeds within/without vertebrate exclosure plots established in 1997 and subsequent counting of seedlings.


Detailed inventory of four peaks at altitudes ; just above subalpine, between low alpine and middle alpine, between middle alpine and high alpine and at highalpine. Vegetation cover and plant species with abundance are inventored with different methods. Temperature loggers are burried in main geographical directions. The purpose is to reinventory these peaks after a longer period (about 5 to 10 years) and analyse eventual differences. The project is coorinated by the University of Wien in Austria. The peaks inventoried is west of Tornehamn, south and east of Latnjajaure and Kårsatjåkka.

27. Effects of freeze-thaw events on arctic soil organisms

The project aims to describe the effects of increased frequency of freeze-thaw cycles on the soil fauna in an arctic environment. Little is known about the effects of global warming on soil animals in habitats of limited nutrient supply and with high climatic stress. Manipulations of the soil temperature will be conducted to increase the frequency of freeze-thaw events. Springtail and mite species diversity and abundance will be investigated, together with screenings of the nutrient availability in the soil after such events. Mesocosm studies will be conducted for a closer study of the effects of temperature changes on decomposition and mineralization. Species of springtails and mites will be returned to the laboratory to investigate cold and drought hardiness. A project including soil warming has been conducted in Abisko for over a decade, and it is our intent to include investigations of soil fauna (springtails and mites), and the interactions between these and the microbial fauna. It is interesting to see whether 10 years of soil warming have changed the springtail and mite species diversity and abundance, and whether this has affected the natural nutrient cycles.

28. Sampling of tundra soils for isolation of psychrophilic Pseudomonas spp. bacteria

In order to isolate bacteria with a potential for cold-resistant production of enzymes, antibiotics, detergents, etc. I would like to sample a number of different tundra soils in the Abisko area. This will include soils representing a variety of organic matter, degree of humification, water-logging and soils surrounding different types of vegetation.

29. Ectomycorrhizae in the Arctic - implications for plant nutrition and ecosystem functioning

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbioses are omnipresent in the Arctic, and shifts in ECM communities may be expected in a future warmer climate. As large functional differences exist among ECM fungal genera, species and isolates, this could affect several important ecosystem processes, such as plant C fixation and allocation belowground and plant uptake of different nutrient pools. The objectives of this project are 1) to characterize responses of ECM associations of a circumpolar plant species (Betula nana L.) to manipulations of air temperature and soil nutrient availability and 2) to relate functional characteristics of ECM communities to ecosystem C and N cycling.The project consists of three elements: 1. Quantitative analyses of responses in ectomycorrhizal morphotype communities associated with B. nana to manipulations of air temperature and soil nutrient availability at two sites (Abisko, Sweden, and Toolik Lake, Alaska). Fieldwork 2002. 2. Field and growth chamber studies of functional differences among ectomycorrhizal fungi and communities from Abisko and Toolik Lake. Fieldwork 2002. 3. Along a natural gradient, relationships between ECM communities and availability and uptake of different N forms will be examined under natural conditions. Fieldwork 2003-04.

30. Photographic Guide to the Butterflies of Europe

Preparation of a photograhic guide to the Butterflies of Europe. This involves photograhing European butterflies in their natural habitats. A small number of voucher specimens are collected to confirm the identity of the photographed taxa.

31. Colonisation of mountain birch above timberline in relation to climate change

Study of the colonisation of mountain birch above timberline: -Determining age classes of trees (by dendrochronology)=> datation of colonisation event(s). -Inflence of climate change by comparison to climatic datas. -Determining fitness of individuals above timberline and comparison to individuals in the forest. -Origin of the individuals above timberline => kin relatedness study by molecular and morphometric methods.

32. Debris mobilisation and transfer within periglacial catchments, Abisko mountains, Sweden

The purpose of the project is to study the geomorphological processes that accomplish sediment transfers in mountain catchments in the Abisko area. Using both field data and remote sensing methods, an attempt will be made to model the processes and the resulting effects on landforms within a GIS. Methods of estimating process frequency or rate, e.g. by lichenometry, will be used. Main field site is the Nissunvagge valley, previously studied in the 1980´s (Nyberg 1985). The results will be evaluated from a climate change perspective.

33. Variation in life history traits in P.vulg

Study of factors influencing flowering probability in Pinguicula vulgaris. Ongoing measurements in the field will continue.

34. Effects of UV-B and CO2 on sub-arctic heaths

Continuation of long standing UV-B x CO2 enrichment on the heath below the station as a possible pre-cursor to future EU funding.

35. Resource allocation in butterflies

Recent findings on the highly polyandrous and nuptial gift giving butterfly Pieris napi shows that females may use resources (nitrogen) from thorax, presumably from breakdown of wing muscles, to increase their reproductive potential and the results indicate that also males can use thorax material in their reproduction. This possibility that males in polyandrous species use thorax material in a similar way as females is up to now unknown. As the degree of polyandry increase, males invest more to reproductive parts and equals females with respect to size.This possibility that males in polyandrous species use thorax material in a similar way as females is up to now unknown and very interesting. As the degree of polyandry increase, males invest more to reproductive parts and equals females with respect to size. This shift between the sexes in how resources are used may also be valid to breakdown of resources in thorax. The first part of the study has focused on these aspects, i.e. what are the differences in how males of species with different mating systems use their resources (especially nitrogen). For this purpose we participate in a large comparative study of Swedish and US butterflies.In the Abisko area we are interested especially in collecting one satyrid species, Erebia pandrose, since this species (in contrast to other satyrid species)is highly polyandrous.

36. LTER Cross Site: Interactions between climate and nutrient cycling in arctic and subarctic tundras

In this field project we will study vegetation characteristics along natural geographical gradients, and monitor vegetation dynamics in long-term field experiments. The measurements will be combined with remotely sensed images (i.e. satellite images) and computer models to quantify vegetation carbon exchange and to test whether these techniques are suitable to detect changes in the unique and vulnerable ecosystems of the arctic.﷡This summer a survey of leaf area indices along an east -west gradients of yearly rainfall and geography will be carried out, and one hillslope gradient and a small catchment will be studied in more detail. For each location leaf area estimates of the vegetation will be obtained using light measurements and the vegetation samples will be taken to be analysed in the lab.

37. Comparison of lichen communities in snowbeds in the Subarctic Scandes and High Sudetes

Lichen flora of snowbeds in the Massif of Slattajakka and Njuollja will be studied in close relation to the objectives of Swedish-Czech project "Comparative ecology of cryogenic landforms in the Subarctic Scandes and the High Sudetes" (C.Jonasson, L.Papáčková-Soukupová). Sampling of lichen species and assessment of their abundance will be carried out repeatedly in short-, mid- and long-term snowbeds from the beginning to the end of melting season. Similar sites will be analysed both in Slattajakka-Njuollja Massif, N Scandes and Luční-Studniční Mt., the High Sudetes. In both massifs, specific lichen zonation is characteristic for various types of snowbeds occurring in different cryogenic landforms situated in the leeward of anemo-orographiic systems, which modify snow deposition in winter (Jeník 1961). Apart of in situ easily recognizable lichens, the determination of difficult groups will be performed in laboratory by standard LM procedures, spot reactions or - if necessary - by TLC. Poorly known and taxonomically difficult tundra microlichens will be selectively collected for eventual molecular analyses.

38. Fruitset in Linnaea borealis along an altitud gradient in the subarctics

Fruit set in Linnaea borealis is known to be low. Plausible reasons for low fruit/seed set in self-incompatible plants are: pollinator shortage, xenogamous-pollen shortage and environmental conditions. Preliminary results from a study Abisko 2001 suggest that fruit set in L. borealis is partly pollinator limited. Wilcock and Jennings (1999) concluded, however, that fruit set in some Scottish populations of L. borealis was xenogamous-pollen limited. In a study on Ranuculus acris in the Norwegian mountains it was shown that the physical environment (temperature and wind) together with pollen shortage limited seed set.Does fruit set vary among populations of L. borealis along an altitude gradient in Swedish Lapland? Is fruit set higher in the valley than on the mountains? If so, what is the reason behind it? A way to compensate for low pollinator activity could be to extend flowering time. Is flowering time longer at higher elevations? If so, is it due to selection pressure or just a cause of lower metabolic rate in harsher climate? Is there a lower pollinator activity on higher elevation than on lower? Who are the pollinators of L. borealis in Abisko and is it the same along the altitudinal gradient? Is L. borealis self-incompatible in Abisko as in Scotland?Wilcock C.C. and Jennings S.B. 1999. Partner limitation and restoration of sexual reproduction in the clonal dwarf shrub Linnaea borealis L. (Caprifoliaceae).

39. Tundra Biocomplexity: the impact of snow distribution and nitrogen deposition

The issue of biocomplexity, the pattern of processes governing biodiversity vill be studied in an alpine landscape in northern Swedish Lapland, Latnjajaure catchment. The ragged topograhy in combunation with strong winds give rise to extensive snow redistribution. As most of the annual preciptation here falls as snow, most of the atmospheric nitrogen deposition will relocated to snowbeds, wheras neighboring ridges receive a minor fraction of the input. This patchiness in nitrogen supply within the landscape is forecasted to increase as the atmospheric of mainly antropogeneous nitrogen increase exponentially. Snowbeds are by IPCC regarded as particularly vulnerable ecosystem,and our working hypothesis is that increased temperature and nitrogen supply in concert is the major threat. We combine monitoring of nitrogen deposition and measurement of nitrification potential in the soil with manipulation where a nitrogen input according to the forecast for 2050 is applied to selected snowbeds. Dynamic modelling at the landscape level will help us to provide prognoses for the future changes in the alpine tundra.

40. HIBECO-Human interactions with the mountain birch forest ecosystem

Population density estimates and temperature records in relation to topography will, together with other factors, be used to predict the likelihood of defoliating outbreaks of Epirrita autumnata in the mountain birch forest.Severe severe defoliation by E. autumnata larvae may lead to a die-back of old trees and initiate a regrowth of from basal sprouts and seedlings and thus changing the age-structure of the forest. The change to a younger successional stage may have implications for reindeer husbandary. The interactions between insect-herbivory and reindeer grazing is studied in other parts of the project.