We have currently two ongoing projects at Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Joensuu campus:
1) Assembly of food webs during tropical forest restoration
Forests play a fundamental part in the well-being of humankind, and restoration of forests has now emerged as a global priority. Yet, it is still poorly understood how efficiently forest restoration can bring back the complexity of functioning ecosystems, such as the crucial networks of species interactions. In this project, we study the assembly of food webs and species diversity during tropical forest restoration in Kibale National Park, Uganda, in large-scale restoration planting areas.
2) Towards sustainable harvesting of African edible bush-cricket (Ruspolia differens) for enhancing food security and rural livelihoods in East Africa
The need for nutritious and protein-rich food sources is growing especially in developing countries. Insects as food or feed are now considered as one potential solution to meet the increasing global demand of food and nutrition. Insects have always been part of human diets and more than two thousand insect species are recorded to be eaten by human. Ruspolia differens is among the most consumed edible insects in East Africa where its consumption has multiple health, environmental, economic and social benefits for the rural communities. It is harvested at night with strong lights and the yield per light-harvesting station can be up to 800–1000 kg per night. However, there have been widespread reports of declines in harvest yields in recent years. The goal of this project is to improve understanding of R. differens harvesting effort, yield, and source populations, and to develop a sustainable management and conservation plan for R. differens.
Funding for food security research from Research Council of FinlandOur PI Anu Valtonen got a grant from the Research Council of Finland for years 2023-2026 to study sustainable use of edible grasshoppers.
Recovery patterns in community composition of fruit‐feeding butterflies following 26 years of active forest restoration
Korkiatupa, Eveliina; Malinga, Geoffrey M; Nakadai, Ryosuke; Nyafwono, Margaret; Akite, Perpetra; Holm, Sille; van Goor, Wouter; Kigenyi, Richard; Valtonen, Anu, 2023, Ecosphere, 14, 5, e4514, DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.4514
Remotely-sensed vegetation greening along a restoration gradient of a tropical forest, Kibale National Park, Uganda
Valtonen, Anu; Korkiatupa, Eveliina; Holm, Sille; Malinga, Geoffrey M; Nakadai, Ryosuke, 2021, Land degradation and development, 32, 18, 5166-5177, DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4096