Browsing by Subject "AREAS"

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  • Czub, Michal; Nawala, Jakub; Popiel, Stanislaw; Brzezinski, Tomasz; Maszczyk, Piotr; Sanderson, Hans; Maser, Edmund; Gordon, Diana; Dziedzic, Daniel; Dawidziuk, Barbara; Pijanowska, Joanna; Fabisiak, Jacek; Szubska, Marta; Lang, Thomas; Vanninen, Paula; Niemikoski, Hanna; Missiaen, Tine; Lehtonen, Kari K.; Beldowski, Jacek; Kotwicki, Lech (2021)
    Sea dumping of chemical warfare (CW) took place worldwide during the 20th century. Submerged CW included metal bombs and casings that have been exposed for 50-100 years of corrosion and are now known to be leaking. Therefore, the arsenic-based chemical warfare agents (CWAs), pose a potential threat to the marine ecosystems. The aim of this research was to support a need for real-data measurements for accurate risk assessments and categorization of threats originating from submerged CWAs. This has been achieved by providing a broad insight into arsenic-based CWAs acute toxicity in aquatic ecosystems. Standard tests were performed to provide a solid foundation for acute aquatic toxicity threshold estimations of CWA: Lewisite, Adamsite, Clark I, phenyldichloroarsine (PDCA), CWA-related compounds: TPA, arsenic trichloride and four arsenic-based CWA degradation products. Despite their low solubility, during the 48 h exposure, all CWA caused highly negative effects on Daphnia magna. PDCA was very toxic with 48 h D. magna LC50 at 0.36 mu g x L-1- and Lewisite with EC50 at 3.2 mu g x L-1 . Concentrations at which no immobilization effects were observed were slightly above the analytical Limits of Detection (LOD) and Quantification (LOQ). More water-soluble CWA degradation products showed no effects at concentrations up to 100 mg x L-1.
  • Salonen, Hilma (2021)
    In the middle of accelerating climate change and global energy transition from fossil fuels towards low-carbon alternatives, Russia has set a course for mitigating the negative effects of these phenomena while seeking to profit from the supposed positive prospects of warming climate conditions: for example, the expected opening of the Northern Sea Route for commercial traffic or producing renewable energy technologies for export. To reach these goals, Russia wields a policy tool known as "mega projects", centralized development interventions, which should bypass structural problems like the high cost of fuel deliveries that have plagued the Arctic socioeconomic development for decades. How do new mega projects aim to find quick solutions for complex problems, and why are outdated energy systems so resistant to change? The article analyzes two recent energy projects in the Republic of Sakha: building a wind park in Tiksi and establishing a company to manage fossil fuel deliveries, from the viewpoint of a pragmatist understanding of habits and their interconnected relationship with institutions. Main research questions examine what parts of the established ways of fossil fuel usage are most resistant to change in this context and what we may expect of renewable energy development in the area. Although challenges caused by the accelerating climate change are unpredictable, Russia answers to them by using the same toolkit as with other national mega projects, involving centralized decision-making and one-size-fits-all solutions. Therefore, any actors wishing to further new energy solutions in the region must do so by supplementing and supporting the dominant ones.
  • Laaksonen, Kristina; Helle, Liisa; Parkkonen, Lauri; Kirveskari, Erika; Mäkelä, Jyrki; Mustanoja, Satu; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Kaste, Markku; Forss, Nina (2013)
  • Vari, Heli; Roslund, Marja; Oikarinen, Sami; Nurminen, Noora; Puhakka, Riikka; Parajuli, Anirudra; Grönroos, Mira; Siter, Nathan; Laitinen, Olli; Hyöty, Heikki; Rajaniemi, Juho; Rantalainen, Anna-Lea; Sinkkonen, Aki; The ADELE Research Group (2021)
    There is evidence that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and human gut microbiota are associated with the modulation of endocrine signaling pathways. Independently, studies have found associations between air pollution, land cover and commensal microbiota. We are the first to estimate the interaction between land cover categories associated with air pollution or purification, PAH levels and endocrine signaling predicted from gut metagenome among urban and rural populations. The study participants were elderly people (65-79 years); 30 lived in rural and 32 in urban areas. Semi-Permeable Membrane devices were utilized to measure air PAH concentrations as they simulate the process of bioconcentration in the fatty tissues. Land cover categories were estimated using CORINE database and geographic information system. Functional orthologues for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) pathway in endocrine system were analyzed from gut bacterial metagenome with Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes. High coverage of broad-leaved and mixed forests around the homes were associated with decreased PAH levels in ambient air, while gut functional orthologues for PPAR pathway increased along with these forest types. The difference between urban and rural PAH concentrations was not notable. However, some rural measurements were higher than the urban average, which was due to the use of heavy equipment on active farms. The provision of air purification by forests might be an important determining factor in the context of endocrine disruption potential of PAHs. Particularly broad-leaved forests around homes may reduce PAH levels in ambient air and balance pollution-induced disturbances within commensal gut microbiota. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Kujala, Paivi; Virkkala, Seija; Lahdesmaki, Merja (2021)
    This article focuses on rural business support as a policy regime of the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). We examine the relationships present in the regime to find out how authorities become enablers in the entrepreneurship promotion process. A rural business support regime is considered as a government policy network, consisting of dynamic collaboration and interaction between the European Commission, policymakers, policy implementers and rural entrepreneurs. Based on 38 interviews of rural development actors in Finland, our case-study identifies four properties in the relationships, namely trust, learning, discretion and creativity that are crucial factors in enabling interactions in the rural business support regime. As a contribution, we develop a model for enabling rural authority. We conclude the article by presenting implications for the legitimacy, coherence and durability of the rural business support regime in Finland and in the EU, as we argue that enabling action affects these policy impacts.
  • Fraixedas, Sara; Burgas, Daniel; Robson, David; Camps, Joachim; Barriocanal, Carles (2020)
    Mediterranean European rice fields provide important habitats for migrating waterbirds. In winter. one waterbird species that particularly benefits from rice fields is the Northern Lapwing (VaneIlus vanellas), a species threatened in Europe. To assess the effect of agii-environmental measures on rice field selection and use by wintering lapwings, bird counts were conducted in northeastern Spain during two consecutive winters (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). Information on two mandatory post-harvest management prescriptions of the agri-environment schemes was collected, namely winter flooding (percent ground surface covered by water) and whether fields were rolled or not. The number of lapwings in rolled fields was significantly higher compared to non-rolled fields. For instance. an average rolled field with 50% water cover (percentage at which lapwing abundance more or less peaked) would host an estimated 12.03 +/- 0.52 SE lapwings versus 0.18 +/- 0.58 in a non-rolled field. While the maximum abundance of lapwings in rolled fields was found at an intermediate percentage of water cover (about 25 to 75%), the number of lapwings increased steadily with water cover in non-rolled fields. Rice post-harvest practices derived from the agri-environment schemes are beneficial for biodiversity, promoting the conservation of suitable habitats for waterbirds.
  • Kokkonen, T. V.; Grimmond, C. S. B.; Christen, A.; Oke, T. R.; Järvi, L. (2018)
    Hydrological cycles of two suburban neighborhoods in Vancouver, BC, during initial urban development and subsequent urban densification (1920-2010) are examined using the Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme. The two neighborhoods have different surface characteristics (as determined from aerial photographs) which impact the hydrological processes. Unlike previous studies of the effect of urbanization on the local hydrology, densification of already built lots is explored with a focus on the neighborhood scale. Human behavioral changes to irrigation are accounted for in the simulations. Irrigation is the dominant factor, accounting for up to 56% of the water input on an annual basis in the study areas. This may surpass garden needs and go to runoff. Irrigating once a week would provide sufficient water for the garden. Without irrigation, evaporation would have decreased over the 91years at a rate of up to 1.4mm/year and runoff increased at 4.0mm/year with the increase in impervious cover. Similarly without irrigation, the ratio of sensible heat flux to the available energy would have increased over the 91years at a rate of up to 0.003 per year. Urbanization and densification cause an increase in runoff and increase risk of surface flooding. Small daily runoff events with short return periods have increased over the century, whereas the occurrence of heavy daily runoff events (return period>52 days) are not affected. The results can help us to understand the dominant factors in the suburban hydrological cycle and can inform urban planning.
  • Tomppo, Erkki; Ronoud, Ghasem; Antropov, Oleg; Hytonen, Harri; Praks, Jaan (2021)
    The purpose of this study was to develop methods to localize forest windstorm damages, assess their severity and estimate the total damaged area using space-borne SAR data. The development of the methods is the first step towards an operational system for near-real-time windstorm damage monitoring, with a latency of only a few days after the storm event in the best case. Windstorm detection using SAR data is not trivial, particularly at C-band. It can be expected that a large-area and severe windstorm damage may affect backscatter similar to clear cutting operation, that is, decrease the backscatter intensity, while a small area damage may increase the backscatter of the neighboring area, due to various scattering mechanisms. The remaining debris and temporal variation in the weather conditions and possible freeze-thaw transitions also affect observed backscatter changes. Three candidate windstorm detection methods were suggested, based on the improved k-nn method, multinomial logistic regression and support vector machine classification. The approaches use multitemporal ESA Sentinel-1 C-band SAR data and were evaluated in Southern Finland using wind damage data from the summer 2017, together with 27 Sentinel-1 scenes acquired in 2017 and other geo-referenced data. The stands correctly predicted severity category corresponded to 79% of the number of the stands in the validation data, and already 75% when only one Sentinel-1 scene after the damage was used. Thus, the damaged forests can potentially be localized with proposed tools within less than one week after the storm damage. In this study, the achieved latency was only two days. Our preliminary results also indicate that the damages can be localized even without separate training data.
  • Häkkilä, Matti; Savilaakso, Sini; Johansson, Anna; Sandgren, Terhi; Uusitalo, Anne; Mönkkönen, Mikko; Puttonen, Pasi (2019)
    Forest harvesting is the main driver of habitat degradation and biodiversity loss in forests of the boreal zone. To mitigate harmful effects, small-scale habitats with high biodiversity values have been protected within production forests. These include woodland key habitats, and other small-scale habitat patches protected by voluntary conservation action. This article describes a protocol for a systematic review to synthesize the value of small habitat patches left within production landscapes for biodiversity. The topic for this systematic review arose from a discussion with the Finnish forestry sector and was further defined in a stakeholder workshop. Research question: Do small protected habitat patches within production forests provide value for biodiversity conservation in boreal forests? Animal, plant and fungal diversities are addressed as well as the amount of deadwood within the habitat patches as proxy indicators for biodiversity.
  • Niemi, Mikko (2021)
    The pulse density of airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is increasing due to technical developments. The trade-offs between pulse density, inventory costs, and forest attribute measurement accuracy are extensively studied, but the possibilities of high-density airborne LiDAR in stream extraction and soil wetness mapping are unknown. This study aimed to refine the best practices for generating a hydrologically conditioned digital elevation model (DEM) from an airborne LiDAR -derived 3D point cloud. Depressionless DEMs were processed using a stepwise breaching-filling method, and the performance of overland flow routing was studied in relation to a pulse density, an interpolation method, and a raster cell size. The study area was situated on a densely ditched forestry site in Parkano municipality, for which LiDAR data with a pulse density of 5 m–2 were available. Stream networks and a topographic wetness index (TWI) were derived from altogether 12 DEM versions. The topological database of Finland was used as a ground reference in comparison, in addition to 40 selected main flow routes within the catchment. The results show improved performance of overland flow modeling due to increased data density. In addition, commonly used triangulated irregular networks were clearly outperformed by universal kriging and inverse-distance weighting in DEM interpolation. However, the TWI proved to be more sensitive to pulse density than an interpolation method. Improved overland flow routing contributes to enhanced forest resource planning at detailed spatial scales.
  • Bona, Silvia; Cattaneo, Zaira; Silvanto, Juha (2016)
    Background: The right occipital face area (rOFA) is known to be involved in face discrimination based on local featural information. Whether this region is also involved in global, holistic stimulus processing is not known. Objective: We used fMRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate whether rOFA is causally implicated in stimulus detection based on holistic processing, by the use of Mooney stimuli. Methods: Two studies were carried out: In Experiment 1, participants performed a detection task involving Mooney faces and Mooney objects; Mooney stimuli lack distinguishable local features and can be detected solely via holistic processing (i.e. at a global level) with top-down guidance from previously stored representations. Experiment 2 required participants to detect shapes which are recognized via bottom-up integration of local (collinear) Gabor elements and was performed to control for specificity of rOFA's implication in holistic detection. Results: In Experiment 1, TMS over rOFA and rLO impaired detection of all stimulus categories, with no category-specific effect. In Experiment 2, shape detection was impaired when TMS was applied over rLO but not over rOFA. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that rOFA is causally implicated in the type of top-down holistic detection required by Mooney stimuli and that such role is not face-selective. In contrast, rOFA does not appear to play a causal role in detection of shapes based on bottom-up integration of local components, demonstrating that its involvement in processing non-face stimuli is specific for holistic processing. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
  • LongITools Project Grp; Ronkainen, Justiina; Nedelec, Rozenn; Atehortua, Angelica; Hanhineva, Kati; Kajantie, Eero; Lakka, Timo; Vääräsmäki, Marja; Voortman, Trudy (2022)
    The current epidemics of cardiovascular and metabolic noncommunicable diseases have emerged alongside dramatic modifications in lifestyle and living environments. These correspond to changes in our "modern" postwar societies globally characterized by rural-to-urban migration, modernization of agricultural practices, and transportation, climate change, and aging. Evidence suggests that these changes are related to each other, although the social and biological mechanisms as well as their interactions have yet to be uncovered. LongITools, as one of the 9 projects included in the European Human Exposome Network, will tackle this environmental health equation linking multidimensional environmental exposures to the occurrence of cardiovascular and metabolic noncommunicable diseases.
  • Zhang, Zhixin; Mammola, Stefano; Xian, Weiwei; Zhang, Hui (2020)
    Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) are an effective tool to explore the potential distribution of terrestrial, freshwater and marine organisms; however, SDMs have been seldom used to model ichthyoplankton distributions, and thus, our understanding of how larval stages of fishes will respond to climate change is still limited. Here, we developed SDMs to explore potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability of ichthyoplankton. Location Yangtze Estuary, China. Methods Using long-term ichthyoplankton survey data and a large set of marine predictor variables, we developed ensemble SDMs for five abundant ichthyoplankton species in the Yangtze Estuary (Coilia mystus, Hypoatherina valenciennei, Larimichthys polyactis, Salanx ariakensis and Chelidonichthys spinosus). Then, we projected their habitat suitability under present and future climate conditions. Results The ensemble SDMs had good predictive performance and were successful in estimating the known distributions of the five species. Model projections highlighted two contrasting patterns of response to future climates: while C. mystus will likely expand its range, the ranges of the other four species will likely contract and shift northward. Main conclusions According to our SDM projections, the five ichthyoplankton species that we tested in the Yangtze Estuary are likely to respond differently to future climate changes. These projected different responses seemingly reflect the differential functional attributes and life-history strategies of these species. To the extent that climate change emerges as a critical driver of the future distribution of these species, our findings provide an important roadmap for designing future conservation strategies for ichthyoplankton in this region.
  • Pang, Sean E. H.; Zeng, Yiwen; De Alban, Jose Don T.; Webb, Edward L. (2022)
    Aims Human-induced pressures such as deforestation cause anthropogenic range contractions (ARCs). Such contractions present dynamic distributions that may engender data misrepresentations within species distribution models. The temporal bias of occurrence data-where occurrences represent distributions before (past bias) or after (recent bias) ARCs-underpins these data misrepresentations. Occurrence-habitat mismatching results when occurrences sampled before contractions are modelled with contemporary anthropogenic variables; niche truncation results when occurrences sampled after contractions are modelled without anthropogenic variables. Our understanding of their independent and interactive effects on model performance remains incomplete but is vital for developing good modelling protocols. Through a virtual ecologist approach, we demonstrate how these data misrepresentations manifest and investigate their effects on model performance. Location Virtual Southeast Asia. Methods Using 100 virtual species, we simulated ARCs with 100-year land-use data and generated temporally biased (past and recent) occurrence datasets. We modelled datasets with and without a contemporary land-use variable (conventional modelling protocols) and with a temporally dynamic land-use variable. We evaluated each model's ability to predict historical and contemporary distributions. Results Greater ARC resulted in greater occurrence-habitat mismatching for datasets with past bias and greater niche truncation for datasets with recent bias. Occurrence-habitat mismatching prevented models with the contemporary land-use variable from predicting anthropogenic-related absences, causing overpredictions of contemporary distributions. Although niche truncation caused underpredictions of historical distributions (environmentally suitable habitats), incorporating the contemporary land-use variable resolved these underpredictions, even when mismatching occurred. Models with the temporally dynamic land-use variable consistently outperformed models without. Main conclusions We showed how these data misrepresentations can degrade model performance, undermining their use for empirical research and conservation science. Given the ubiquity of ARCs, these data misrepresentations are likely inherent to most datasets. Therefore, we present a three-step strategy for handling data misrepresentations: maximize the temporal range of anthropogenic predictors, exclude mismatched occurrences and test for residual data misrepresentations.
  • Long, Qian; Smith, Helen; Zhang, Tuohong; Tang, Shenglan; Garner, Paul (2011)
  • Komeilipoor, Naeem; Ilmoniemi, Risto J.; Tiippana, Kaisa; Vainio, Martti; Tiainen, Mikko; Vainio, Lari (2017)
    Contraction of a muscle modulates not only the corticospinal excitability (CSE) of the contracting muscle but also that of different muscles. We investigated to what extent the CSE of a hand muscle is modulated during preparation and execution of teeth clenching and ipsilateral foot dorsiflexion either separately or in combination. Hand-muscle CSE was estimated based on motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle. We found higher excitability during both preparation and execution of all the motor tasks than during mere observation of a fixation cross. As expected, the excitability was greater during the execution phase than the preparation one. Furthermore, both execution and preparation of combined motor tasks led to higher excitability than individual tasks. These results extend our current understanding of the neural interactions underlying simultaneous contraction of muscles in different body parts.
  • Kunze, Michael; Banovic, Pavle; Bogovic, Petra; Briciu, Violeta; Civljak, Rok; Dobler, Gerhard; Hristea, Adriana; Kerlik, Jana; Kuivanen, Suvi; Kyncl, Jan; Lebech, Anne-Mette; Lindquist, Lars; Paradowska-Stankiewicz, Iwona; Roglic, Srdan; Smiskova, Dita; Strle, Franc; Vapalahti, Olli; Vranjes, Nenad; Vynograd, Nataliya; Zajkowska, Joanna Maria; Pilz, Andreas; Palmborg, Andreas; Erber, Wilhelm (2022)
    There has been an increase in reported TBE cases in Europe since 2015, reaching a peak in some countries in 2020, highlighting the need for better management of TBE risk in Europe. TBE surveillance is currently limited, in part, due to varying diagnostic guidelines, access to testing, and awareness of TBE. Consequently, TBE prevalence is underestimated and vaccination recommendations inadequate. TBE vaccine uptake is unsatisfactory in many TBE-endemic European countries. This review summarizes the findings of a scientific workshop of experts to improve TBE surveillance and vaccine uptake in Europe. Strategies to improve TBE surveillance and vaccine uptake should focus on: aligning diagnostic criteria and testing across Europe; expanding current vaccine recommendations and reducing their complexity; and increasing public education of the potential risks posed by TBEV infection.
  • Gritsenko, Daria (2017)
    Climate change has recently been a subject of increased attention in the shipping sector. Along with technical issues of GHG emissions reduction, a question of appropriate governance has been raised. The argument regarding the role of global, regional, and local policies in curbing shipping emissions is a part of a broader theoretical debate on forms of global governance. This paper examines the recent literature on polycentric climate governance and suggests principles for environmental regulation in shipping based on a polycentric approach.
  • Helle, Inari; Jolma, Ari; Venesjärvi, Riikka (2016)
    Large-scale oil spills can have adverse effects on biodiversity in coastal areas where maritime oil transportation is intense. In this article we conducted a spatial risk assessment to study the risk that potential tanker accidents pose to threatened habitat types and species living in the northern Baltic Sea, which has witnessed a rapid increase in maritime oil transportation within the past two decades. We applied a probabilistic method, which combines three components: a Bayesian network describing tanker accidents and uncertainties related to them, probabilistic maps showing the movement of oil, and a database of threatened species and habitats in the area. The results suggest that spatial risk posed by oil spills varies across the area, and does not correspond, for example, to the frequency of accidents in a given area. The relative risk is highest for seashore meadows, which is important to take into account when managing these habitats. Our analysis underlines the importance of a thorough risk assessment, which is not only based solely on one or two specific factors such as accident probabilities or the trajectories of spilled oil but also contains as broad a view of the consequences as possible. We believe that the probabilistic methodology applied in the study will be of high interest to people who have to cope with uncertainties typical for environmental risk assessment and management.
  • Yamazaki, Hideki; Lioumis, Pantelis (2022)
    Visual noise usually reduces the visibility of stimuli. However, very low contrast or subliminal visual noise can sometimes enhance the visibility of low-contrast stimuli. It has been suggested that this enhancement occurs at the visual cortex. The aims of this study are to clarify the role of the early visual cortex (V1/V2) in the enhancement effect and to clarify the relationship of the SR characteristics among different experiments. Noise was added directly to the visual cortex by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with randomly varying intensity. The location on the scalp and the timing (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA) of TMS were specifically adjusted to target the early visual cortex. Contrast thresholds for figure orientation discrimination were measured as a function of TMS noise intensity. With increasing TMS noise intensity the contrast threshold for figure discrimination first decreased (enhancement) and then increased (impairment). These effects were clearly dependent both on scalp location and timing (SOA). The optimum SOA was around 60 ms, while the optimum location varied across participants. Outside the optimum location and SOA values, no TMS effects were found. The enhancement effect can be accounted for by the stochastic resonance (SR) theory based on a threshold device. In addition, we reveal similarity in characteristics of the SR phenomenon between different experiments.