Global change is posing multiple pressures to northern ecosystems by changing climate, human land use, urbanization and use of natural resources. These pressures change ecosystem properties and functioning with potential to feedbacks into climate, societies, and human well-being. Our research is focused on ecosystem adaptations to the changing conditions, their feedbacks and the relations between humans and ecosystems.
We are a multidisciplinary group doing both curiosity-driven research and solution-driven applied research. We aim to cross borders between scientific disciplines and strive to nurture academic progress and personal development in a supportive atmosphere.
Below we share our ongoing research projects, the field sites and laboratory equipment we often use as well as our partner organisations. Check our announcements for new job and thesis opportunities, news, and events. Do you have a research idea or want to collaborate? Feel free to contact us any time.
Our research themes include
- Consequences of climate and land-use change for peatlands
- microbial communities
- carbon dynamics and greenhouse gas fluxes (CO2, CH4, BVOC)
- Interactions between people and environment
- People’s perception of urban forests in Finland
- Human relationships with trees
- Forest happiness index
- Consequences of climate and land-use change for peatlands
- Reindeerpaths – The impacts of land-use and management on the carbon sequestration capacity of peatlands (Reindeerpaths – project)
- BorPeat – Drying trend in boreal peatlands – impacts and mechanisms
- Trees Near Us – explores what makes some individual trees important to people. (Trees Near Us- project)
- Recent climate-induced changes in the species composition and functional traits of testate amoebae and plant communities of northern peatland
- “Forest happiness index” – understanding socio-cultural dimensions of urban forests in Finland
- WaterLANDS – Water-based solutions for carbon storage, people and wilderness (Waterlands – webpage)
- ”Recovery of Sphagnum” – Project aims to develop a new, more efficient, method to restore peatlands drained for forestry. The goal is to strengthen the carbon reservoir of a peatland, recover the functional diversity and mitigate methane emissions caused by the restoration.(Link to webpage)
The proximity of our reseach sites are located to Hyytiälä Research Station (University of Helsinki) enable close access to laboratory space, offering also accomodation possibilities.
Our key research sites are Lakkasuo and Siikaneva mires in Central Finland. In the Lakkasuo peatland, we run a long-term drainage experiment in collaboration with the University of Helsinki. The aim of the experiment is to simulate the effects of climate change on the plant and microbial communities, biomass production, and greenhouse gas fluxes in three sites, each representing a different nutrient-level. Lakkasuo is part of the ELTER, ANAEE and INTERACT networks. In Siikaneva fen (link to site camera SN1) and in Siikaneva bog (link to site camera SN2) we study the spatial and temporal variation in the vegetation and greenhouse gas fluxes of a pristine peatland in collaboration with the Universities of Helsinki and Potsdam. Siikaneva fen belongs to ICOS network.
The members of this group are also doing research in Lompolojänkkä fen in North-Western Lapland, and in Pöyrisjärvi wilderness area (Reindeerpaths-project). Finnish Meteorological Institute have a permanent greenhouse gas flux measurement site in Lompolojänkkä, and it is also part of ICOS Finland network, which makes it an ideal environment for studying the interactions between greenhouse gas fluxes and vegetation.
Labs and equipment
The school of Forest Sciences has excellent laboratory spaces with temperature regulating growth chambers and root laboratory. (the complete list in UEF Forest Science page)
Our group is part of the research community “Climate Forcing, Ecosystems and Health” (CLEHE) at UEF, the Academy of Finland’s Flagship Programme “The Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center” (ACCC) and the European Union research infrastructure “Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems” (AnaEE). We also contribute to data collection of the “Integrated carbon observation system” (ICOS) and the FLUXNET network.
We are closely collaborating with University of Helsinki, Finnish Meteorological Institute and Geological Survey of Finland.
- The Academy of Finland
- The Kone Foundation
- EU Horizon 2020
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Exploring happiness related to forest from the world’s happiest nationDuring the pandemic when social media was filled with pictures of people outing in forests, the scientific community become interested in the…
A Finland of forests and peatlands is a carbon sink"Drying of peatlands may already have begun", explains Professor Eeva-Stiina Tuittila. Read the story about importance of peatland research.
Climate change impacts peatland CO2 gas exchange primarily via moisture conditionsA new study led by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland suggests that peatland CO2 exchange is…
Academy of Finland’s Flagship Programme
European Union research infrastructure
European Research Infrastructure for quantifying and understanding the greenhouse gas emissions and sinks.
FLUXNET is global network of flux measurement sites, dispersed across most of the world’s climate space and representative biomes.
Trees provide people with tools to structure and articulate the most fundamental phases of human life, as well as the values and identity embraced by individuals. In this multidisciplinary research project, the aim was to understand how poetry and people’s stories depict individual tree entities and relationships with trees in contemporary Finland.
Lummaa, K., Vainio, K., Korrensalo, A., Takala, T., & Tuittila, E.-S. (2023). Itseksi puiden kanssa: Identiteettiä jäsentävät puut suomalaisessa nykyrunoudessa ja lempipuuaiheisessa verkkokyselyssä. Elore, 30(1), 34–58.
Read it Elore in finnish (open acces). https://doi.org/10.30666/elore.126754
Urban green space is believed to contribute to residents’ happiness. This systematic literature review aims to synthesise the current evidence on the urban green space-happiness relationship. Results revealed the improvement in physical measures of urban green space has the possibility to elevate people’s happiness. However, the strength of these associations varied depending on subjective measures, socio-demographic variables, and socio-economic factors.
Syamili, M.S., Takala, T., Korrensalo, A. and Tuittila, E.S., 2023. Happiness in Urban Green Spaces: A Systematic Literature Review. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, p.128042.
Read it in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening (open access): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2023.128042
Sphagnum is taking over peatlands in Northern Fennoscandia and Russia. From the carbon point of view, this might be good news: the authors suggest that the Sphagnum domination may increase the C sink capacity.
Piilo S. R., Gallego-Sala A., Tuittila E-S., Laine A.M., Zhang H., Amesbury M.J., Charman D.J., Garneau M., Sannel A.B.K, Koroleva N., Aquino-López M.A., Kärppä M., and Väliranta M.M. 2023. Consistent centennial-scale change in European sub-Arctic peatland vegetation towards Sphagnum dominance – implications for carbon sequestration. Global Change Biology 29: 1530
Read it in Global Change Biology (open access): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.16554
Bhuiyan R., Mäkiranta P., Straková P., Fritze H., Minkkinen K., Penttilä T., Rajala T., Tuittila E-S., Laiho R. 2023. Fine-root biomass production and its contribution to organic matter accumulation in sedge fens under changing climate. Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 858: 159683
16.12.2022 Dissertation: Tiina Törmänen – Bioenergy from forests: Impact of logging residues on the carbon and nitrogen cycles
Tiina Törmänen, a new member in our research group defends her doctoral dissertation, entitled Bioenergy from forests: Impact of logging residues on the carbon and nitrogen cycles
Doctoral dissertation: https://doi.org/10.14214/df.334
14.12.2022 Dissertation – MSc Kira Ryhti, Helsinki – Belowground carbon dynamics in Scots pine stands
Kira Ryhti, new member in our research group just defended her doctoral dissertation, entitled Belowground carbon dynamics in Scots pine stands.
Doctoral dissertation: https://doi.org/10.14214/df.333
2.12.2022 Dissertation 2.12.2022 – MSc Elisa Männistö, Joensuu
The doctoral dissertation of Elisa Männistö, MSc, entitled Emissions of methane and other biogenic volatile organic compounds from boreal peatlands will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The Opponent will be Professor Torben Røjle Christensen, Aarhus University, Denmark, and the Custos will be Professor Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, University of Eastern Finland. Language of the public defence is English.
Read the Doctoral dissertation: https://doi.org/10.14214/df.332
Watmough S., Gilbert-Parkes S., Basiliko N., Lamit L.J., Lilleskov E.A., Andersen R., et al. Variation in carbon and nitrogen concentrations among peatland categories at the global scale. PLoS ONE, 2022: 17(11): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0275149Kuuri-Riutta, O., Väliranta, M., & Tuittila, E.-S. (2022). Literature review on testate amoebae as environmental indicators and as a functional part of the microbial community in northern peatlands. Mires and Peat, 28(28), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.19189/MaP.2022.OMB.StA.2412Laine, A. M., Korrensalo, A., & Tuittila, E.-S. (2022). Plant functional traits play the second fiddle to plant functional types in explaining peatland CO2 and CH4 gas exchange. The Science of the Total Environment, 834, 155352–155352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155352Kokkonen, N., Laine, A. M., Männistö, E., Mehtätalo, L., Korrensalo, A., & Tuittila, E.-S. (2022). Two Mechanisms Drive Changes in Boreal Peatland Photosynthesis Following Long-Term Water Level Drawdown: Species Turnover and Altered Photosynthetic Capacity. Ecosystems (New York). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-021-00736-3
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Eeva-Stiina TuittilaProfessorSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Aino KorrensaloPostdoctoral ResearcherDepartment of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Egle KösterProject ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Henni YlännePostdoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Tuomo TakalaProject ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Tiina TörmänenPostdoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Kira RyhtiPostdoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Elisa MännistöPostdoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Virpi VirjamoSenior ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Kaisa K. VainioDoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Nicola KokkonenDoctoral Researcher
Syamili Manoj SanthiDoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Juho KettunenVisiting ResearcherSchool of Computing, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Olivia Kuuri-RiuttaDoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Nina KumpulainenProject ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Noora RämöDoctoral ResearcherSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology
Pasi JalkanenLaboratory EngineerSchool of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology