Browsing by Subject "DRIVERS"

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  • Leboucher, Thibault; Budnick, William R.; Passy, Sophia; Boutry, Sebastien; Jannoneau, Aurelien; Soininen, Janne; Vyverman, Wim; Tison-Rosebery, Juliette (2019)
    Aim To quantify the relative contributions of local community assembly processes versus gamma-diversity to beta-diversity, and to assess how spatial scale and anthropogenic disturbance (i.e. nutrient enrichment) interact to dictate which driver dominates. Location France and the United States. Time period 1993-2011. Major taxa studied Freshwater stream diatoms. Methods beta-diversity along a nutrient enrichment gradient was examined across multiple spatial scales. beta-diversity was estimated using multi-site Sorensen dissimilarity. We assessed the relative importance of specialists versus generalists using Friedley coefficient, and the contribution of local community assembly versus gamma-diversity to beta-diversity across spatial scales, with a null model. Finally, we estimated the response of beta-diversity to environmental and spatial factors by testing the correlations between community, environmental and geographical distance matrices with partial Mantel tests. Results beta-diversity generally increased with spatial scale but the rate of increase depended on nutrient enrichment level. beta-diversity decreased significantly with increasing nutrient enrichment level due to the loss of specialist species. Local assembly was an important driver of beta-diversity especially under low nutrient enrichment. Significant partial Mantel correlations were observed between diatom beta-diversity and pure environmental distances under these conditions, highlighting the role of species sorting in local assembly processes. Conversely, in heavily enriched sites, only spatial distances were significantly correlated with beta-diversity, which indicated a substantial role of dispersal processes. Main conclusions Nutrient concentration mediated the expected increase in beta-diversity with spatial scales. Across spatial scales, beta-diversity was more influenced by local assembly processes rather than by gamma-diversity. Nutrient enrichment was associated with an overall decline in diatom beta-diversity and a shift in assembly processes from species sorting to dispersal, notably due to the elimination of some specialists and their subsequent replacement by generalists.
  • Tiusanen, Mikko; Huotari, Tea; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Andersson, Tommi; Asmus, Ashley; Bety, Joel; Davis, Emma; Gale, Jennifer; Hardwick, Bess; Hik, David; Körner, Christian; Lanctot, Richard B.; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.; Partanen, Rauni; Reischke, Karissa; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senez-Gagnon, Fanny; Smith, Paul A.; Sulavik, Jan; Syvanpera, Ilkka; Urbanowicz, Christine; Williams, Sian; Woodard, Paul; Zaika, Yulia; Roslin, Tomas (2019)
    Pollination is an ecosystem function of global importance. Yet, who visits the flower of specific plants, how the composition of these visitors varies in space and time and how such variation translates into pollination services are hard to establish. The use of DNA barcodes allows us to address ecological patterns involving thousands of taxa that are difficult to identify. To clarify the regional variation in the visitor community of a widespread flower resource, we compared the composition of the arthropod community visiting species in the genus Dryas (mountain avens, family Rosaceae), throughout Arctic and high-alpine areas. At each of 15 sites, we sampled Dryas visitors with 100 sticky flower mimics and identified specimens to Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) using a partial sequence of the mitochondrial COI gene. As a measure of ecosystem functioning, we quantified variation in the seed set of Dryas. To test for an association between phylogenetic and functional diversity, we characterized the structure of local visitor communities with both taxonomic and phylogenetic descriptors. In total, we detected 1,360 different BINs, dominated by Diptera and Hymenoptera. The richness of visitors at each site appeared to be driven by local temperature and precipitation. Phylogeographic structure seemed reflective of geological history and mirrored trans-Arctic patterns detected in plants. Seed set success varied widely among sites, with little variation attributable to pollinator species richness. This pattern suggests idiosyncratic associations, with function dominated by few and potentially different taxa at each site. Taken together, our findings illustrate the role of post-glacial history in the assembly of flower-visitor communities in the Arctic and offer insights for understanding how diversity translates into ecosystem functioning.
  • Rajamäki, Kristiina; Taira, Aurora; Katainen, Riku; Välimäki, Niko; Kuosmanen, Anna; Plaketti, Roosa-Maria; Seppälä, Toni T.; Ahtiainen, Maarit; Wirta, Erkki-Ville; Vartiainen, Emilia; Sulo, Päivi; Ravantti, Janne; Lehtipuro, Suvi; Granberg, Kirsi J.; Nykter, Matti; Tanskanen, Tomas; Ristimäki, Ari; Koskensalo, Selja; Renkonen-Sinisalo, Laura; Lepistö, Anna; Böhm, Jan; Taipale, Jussi; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Aavikko, Mervi; Palin, Kimmo; Aaltonen, Lauri A. (2021)
    Background & Aims Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorder associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). IBD-associated CRC (IBD-CRC) may represent a distinct pathway of tumorigenesis compared to sporadic CRC (sCRC). Our aim was to comprehensively characterize IBD-associated tumorigenesis integrating multiple high-throughput approaches, and to compare the results with in-house data sets from sCRCs. Methods Whole-genome sequencing, single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, RNA sequencing, genome-wide methylation analysis, and immunohistochemistry were performed using fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed tissue samples of tumor and corresponding normal tissues from 31 patients with IBD-CRC. Results Transcriptome-based tumor subtyping revealed the complete absence of canonical epithelial tumor subtype associated with WNT signaling in IBD-CRCs, dominated instead by mesenchymal stroma-rich subtype. Negative WNT regulators AXIN2 and RNF43 were strongly down-regulated in IBD-CRCs and chromosomal gains at HNF4A, a negative regulator of WNT-induced epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), were less frequent compared to sCRCs. Enrichment of hypomethylation at HNF4α binding sites was detected solely in sCRC genomes. PIGR and OSMR involved in mucosal immunity were dysregulated via epigenetic modifications in IBD-CRCs. Genome-wide analysis showed significant enrichment of noncoding mutations to 5′untranslated region of TP53 in IBD-CRCs. As reported previously, somatic mutations in APC and KRAS were less frequent in IBD-CRCs compared to sCRCs. Conclusions Distinct mechanisms of WNT pathway dysregulation skew IBD-CRCs toward mesenchymal tumor subtype, which may affect prognosis and treatment options. Increased OSMR signaling may favor the establishment of mesenchymal tumors in patients with IBD.
  • Cuthbert, Ross N.; Pattison, Zarah; Taylor, Nigel G.; Verbrugge, Laura; Diagne, Christophe; Ahmed, Danish A.; Leroy, Boris; Angulo, Elena; Briski, Elizabeta; Capinha, Cesar; Catford, Jane A.; Dalu, Tatenda; Essl, Franz; Gozlan, Rodolphe E.; Haubrock, Phillip J.; Kourantidou, Melina; Kramer, Andrew M.; Renault, David; Wasserman, Ryan J.; Courchamp, Franck (2021)
    Much research effort has been invested in understanding ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) across ecosystems and taxonomic groups, but empirical studies about economic effects lack synthesis. Using a comprehensive global database, we determine patterns and trends in economic costs of aquatic IAS by examining: (i) the distribution of these costs across taxa, geographic regions and cost types; (ii) the temporal dynamics of global costs; and (iii) knowledge gaps, especially compared to terrestrial IAS. Based on the costs recorded from the existing literature, the global cost of aquatic IAS conservatively summed to US$345 billion, with the majority attributed to invertebrates (62%), followed by vertebrates (28%), then plants (6%). The largest costs were reported in North America (48%) and Asia (13%), and were principally a result of resource damages (74%); only 6% of recorded costs were from management. The magnitude and number of reported costs were highest in the United States of America and for semi-aquatic taxa. Many countries and known aquatic alien species had no reported costs, especially in Africa and Asia. Accordingly, a network analysis revealed limited connectivity among countries, indicating disparate cost reporting. Aquatic IAS costs have increased in recent decades by several orders of magnitude, reaching at least US$23 billion in 2020. Costs are likely considerably underrepresented compared to terrestrial IAS; only 5% of reported costs were from aquatic species, despite 26% of known invaders being aquatic. Additionally, only 1% of aquatic invasion costs were from marine species. Costs of aquatic IAS are thus substantial, but likely underreported. Costs have increased over time and are expected to continue rising with future invasions. We urge increased and improved cost reporting by managers, practitioners and researchers to reduce knowledge gaps. Few costs are proactive investments; increased management spending is urgently needed to prevent and limit current and future aquatic IAS damages. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Seidl, Rupert; Honkaniemi, Juha; Aakala, Tuomas; Aleinikov, Alexey; Angelstam, Per; Bouchard, Mathieu; Boulanger, Yan; Burton, Philip J.; De Grandpre, Louis; Gauthier, Sylvie; Hansen, Winslow D.; Jepsen, Jane U.; Jogiste, Kalev; Kneeshaw, Daniel D.; Kuuluvainen, Timo; Lisitsyna, Olga; Makoto, Kobayashi; Mori, Akira S.; Pureswaran, Deepa S.; Shorohova, Ekaterina; Shubnitsina, Elena; Taylor, Anthony R.; Vladimirova, Nadezhda; Vodde, Floortje; Senf, Cornelius (2020)
    Disturbance regimes are changing in forests across the world in response to global climate change. Despite the profound impacts of disturbances on ecosystem services and biodiversity, assessments of disturbances at the global scale remain scarce. Here, we analyzed natural disturbances in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems for the period 2001-2014, aiming to 1) quantify their within- and between-biome variation and 2) compare the climate sensitivity of disturbances across biomes. We studied 103 unmanaged forest landscapes with a total land area of 28.2 x 10(6) ha, distributed across five continents. A consistent and comprehensive quantification of disturbances was derived by combining satellite-based disturbance maps with local expert knowledge of disturbance agents. We used Gaussian finite mixture models to identify clusters of landscapes with similar disturbance activity as indicated by the percent forest area disturbed as well as the size, edge density and perimeter-area-ratio of disturbed patches. The climate sensitivity of disturbances was analyzed using Bayesian generalized linear mixed effect models and a globally consistent climate dataset. Within-biome variation in natural disturbances was high in both boreal and temperate biomes, and disturbance patterns did not vary systematically with latitude or biome. The emergent clusters of disturbance activity in the boreal zone were similar to those in the temperate zone, but boreal landscapes were more likely to experience high disturbance activity than their temperate counterparts. Across both biomes high disturbance activity was particularly associated with wildfire, and was consistently linked to years with warmer and drier than average conditions. Natural disturbances are a key driver of variability in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems, with high similarity in the disturbance patterns between both biomes. The universally high climate sensitivity of disturbances across boreal and temperate ecosystems indicates that future climate change could substantially increase disturbance activity.
  • Honeck, Erica; Moilanen, Atte; Guinaudeau, Benjamin; Wyler, Nicolas; Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Martin, Pascal; Sanguet, Arthur; Urbina, Loreto; von Arx, Bertrand; Massy, Joelle; Fischer, Claude; Lehmann, Anthony (2020)
    The concept of green infrastructure (GI) seeks to identify and prioritize areas of high ecological value for wildlife and people, to improve the integration of natural values in landscape planning decisions. In 2018, the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, established a roadmap for biodiversity conservation, which includes the operationalization of GI covering 30% of the territory by 2030. In this paper, we demonstrate a GI mapping framework in the canton of Geneva. Our approach is based on the combined assessment of three 'pillars', namely species' distribution, landscape structure and connectivity, and ecosystem services, to optimize the allocation of conservation actions using the spatial prioritization software, Zonation. The identified priority conservation areas closely overlap existing natural reserves. Including the three pillars in the landscape prioritization should also improve adhesion to the GI idea, without undermining the protection of threatened species. With regards to land use planning, public and private land parcels with high values for GI may require specific incentives to maintain their desirable characteristics, as they are more likely to be degraded than areas with more building restrictions. Visualizing priority conservation areas in a spatially explicit manner will support decision-makers in Geneva to optimally allocate limited resources for ecosystem preservation.
  • Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina; Sauru, Miska Eemil; Pätäri, Satu; Lähtinen, Katja; Tuppura, Anni (2019)
    In transitioning to a renewable material-based bio economy, growing public and industry interest is apparent for using wooden multistory construction (WMC) as a sustainable urban housing solution in Europe, but its business implications are not well understood. In our study, we evaluate, which internal and external factors of competitiveness are shaping the future of WMC, especially in the context of Finland and Sweden. Based on a multi-level perspective of socio-technical transitions, we conducted a three-stage dissensus-based Delphi study. The identified internal and external factors affecting the future competitiveness of the WMC business emphasize the importance of skilled architects and builders and the role of standardized building systems. Based on our results, the key aspects influencing the future competitiveness of WMC in the region are related to the development of technical infrastructure and project-based business networks, while additional changes in regulatory framework are perceived as less important. We conclude that towards 2030, the strong cognitive rules founded in the concrete-based building culture in these countries is likely to inhibit the dynamics of the socio-technical regime level. A change is also needed in the WMC business culture towards more open cross-sectoral collaboration and new business networks between different-sized players.
  • Räsänen, Aleksi; Schönach, Paula; Jurgilevich, Alexandra; Heikkinen, Milja; Juhola, Sirkku (2019)
    To tackle problems related to water quantity and quality, transformations in water management systems have become of increasing interest. Transformative capacity can be defined as the ability first to adapt to changes, and if needed, to carry out fundamental changes in a specific system. Using a framework of ten components of transformative capacity and an analysis of earlier historical research, policy documents and data gathered in a stakeholder scenario workshop, we examine the relationship between past and future transformations and transformative capacity in river basin management in the River Vantaa basin, located in southern Finland. In the past, River Vantaa was heavily polluted by municipal wastewater. The water quality has gradually improved but is still not considered good. The most successful changes have been concentrated on point source pollution, such as municipal wastewater, and they have mostly been driven by public administration and municipal coordination. In the future, more effort should be put on diffuse pollution, especially agricultural loading, and this requires changes in societal values and new forms of governance. We show how the past transformations have partly been driven by transformative capacity, but some transformations have enabled changes in the components of transformative capacity, indicating the interconnectedness of the different components. Furthermore, the interplay between transformations and transformative capacity occurs across spatial and temporal scales. We discuss how transformations take time, how transformative capacity evolves over longer time-spans, and how capacity and trajectories in local and wider scales are in a continuous interaction.
  • Kalsi, Juhani; Tervo, Timo; Bachour, Adel; Partinen, Markku (2018)
    Objective: To study different factors that are associated with fatal sleepiness-related motor vehicle accidents (FSMVA) and in other types of fatal motor vehicle accidents (FMVA) in Finland. Methods: All FMVA that were caused by falling asleep at the wheel (FSMVA) during the years 2005-2014 were investigated using OTI (Finnish Crash Data Institute) data. The control group consisted of 136 drivers who died in other types of FMVA in 2013. A total of 258 accidents were investigated. Results: The mean age of the 122 drivers in the FSMVA group was 44 (standard deviation 19) years; there were 100 men (82%) and 22 women. The mean age of the 136 control drivers was 45 (standard deviation 19) years; there were 116 men (85%) and 20 women. Short sleep time ( Conclusion: Short sleep is a major cause of fatal sleepiness-related motor vehicle accidents. Driver health factors such as sleep apnea or acute/chronic diseases as well as use of sedative medications and drugs are known risk factors for FSMVA, but these factors are associated also with other types of accidents. Healthy individuals are at risk for falling asleep while driving if they are sleep deprived. All drivers should be aware of the importance of adequate sleep. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Kilpua, E. K. J.; Olspert, N.; Grigorievskiy, A.; Kapyla, M. J.; Tanskanen, E. I.; Miyahara, H.; Kataoka, R.; Pelt, J.; Liu, Y. D. (2015)
    We study the relation between strong and extreme geomagnetic storms and solar cycle characteristics. The analysis uses an extensive geomagnetic index AA data set spanning over 150 yr. complemented by the Kakioka magnetometer recordings. We apply Pearson correlation statistics and estimate the significance of the correlation with a bootstrapping technique. We show that the correlation between the storm occurrence and the strength of the solar cycle decreases from a clear positive correlation with increasing storm magnitude toward a negligible relationship. Hence, the quieter Sun can also launch superstorms that may lead to significant societal and economic impact. Our results show that while weaker storms occur most frequently in the declining phase, the stronger storms have the tendency to occur near solar maximum. Our analysis suggests that the most extreme solar eruptions do not have a direct connection between the solar large-scale dynamo-generated magnetic field, but are rather associated with smaller-scale dynamo and resulting turbulent magnetic fields. The phase distributions of sunspots and storms becoming increasingly in phase with increasing storm strength, on the other hand, may indicate that the extreme storms are related to the toroidal component of the solar large-scale field.
  • Sävilammi, Tiina; Primmer, Craig R.; Varadharajan, Srinidhi; Guyomard, Rene; Guiguen, Yann; Sandve, Simen R.; Vollestad, L. Asbjorn; Papakostas, Spiros; Lien, Sigbjorn (2019)
    Salmonids represent an intriguing taxonomical group for investigating genome evolution in vertebrates due to their relatively recent last common whole genome duplication event, which occurred between 80 and 100 million years ago. Here, we report on the chromosome-level genome assembly of European grayling (Thymallus thymallus), which represents one of the earliest diverged salmonid subfamilies. To achieve this, we first generated relatively long genomic scaffolds by using a previously published draft genome assembly along with long-read sequencing data and a linkage map. We then merged those scaffolds by applying synteny evidence from the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) genome. Comparisons of the European grayling genome assembly to the genomes of Atlantic salmon and Northern pike (Esox lucius), the latter used as a nonduplicated outgroup, detailed aspects of the characteristic chromosome evolution process that has taken place in European grayling. While Atlantic salmon and other salmonid genomes are portrayed by the typical occurrence of numerous chromosomal fusions, European grayling chromosomes were confirmed to be fusion-free and were characterized by a relatively large proportion of paracentric and pericentric inversions. We further reported on transposable elements specific to either the European grayling or Atlantic salmon genome, on the male-specific sdY gene in the European grayling chromosome 11A, and on regions under residual tetrasomy in the homeologous European grayling chromosome pairs 9A-9B and 25A-25B. The same chromosome pairs have been observed under residual tetrasomy in Atlantic salmon and in other salmonids, suggesting that this feature has been conserved since the subfamily split.
  • Lowe, Elizabeth C.; Wolff, Jonas O.; Aceves-Aparicio, Alfonso; Birkhofer, Klaus; Branco, Vasco V; Cardoso, Pedro; Chichorro, Filipe; Fukushima, Caroline Sayuri; Goncalves-Sousa, T.; Haddad, Charles; Isaia, Marco; Krehenwinkel, H.; Audisio, Tracy Lynn; Macias Hernandez, Nuria; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Mammola, Stefano; McLean, Donald James; Michalko, Radek; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Pekar, Stano; Petillon, Julien; Privet, Kaina; Scott, Catherine; Uhl, Gabriele; Urbano Tenorio, Fernando; Wong, Boon Hui; Herbestein, Marie E. (2020)
    A main goal of ecological and evolutionary biology is understanding and predicting interactions between populations and both abiotic and biotic environments, the spatial and temporal variation of these interactions, and the effects on population dynamics and performance. Trait-based approaches can help to model these interactions and generate a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning. A central tool is the collation of databases that include species trait information. Such centralized databases have been set up for a number of organismal groups but is lacking for one of the most important groups of predators in terrestrial ecosystems - spiders. Here we promote the collation of an open spider traits database, integrated into the global Open Traits Network. We explore the current collation of spider data and cover the logistics of setting up a global database, including which traits to include, the source of data, how to input data, database governance, geographic cover, accessibility, quality control and how to make the database sustainable long-term. Finally, we explore the scope of research questions that could be investigated using a global spider traits database.
  • Kullberg, Peter; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte (2019)
    Using spatial prioritization, we identify priority areas for the expansion of the global protected area network. We identify a set of unprotected key biodiversity areas (KBAs) that would efficiently complement the current protected area network in terms of coverage of ranges of terrestrial vertebrates. We show that protecting a small fraction (0.36%) of terrestrial area within KBAs could increase conservation coverage of ranges of threatened vertebrates by on average 14.7 percentage points. We also identify areas outside both the protected area and KBA networks that would further complement the priority KBAs. These areas are likely to hold populations of species that are poorly protected or covered by KBAs, and where on-the-ground surveys might confirm suitability for KBA designation or protection. (c) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Gudmundsdottir, Valborg; Pedersen, Helle Krogh; Mazzoni, Gianluca; Allin, Kristine H.; Artati, Anna; Beulens, Joline W.; Banasik, Karina; Brorsson, Caroline; Cederberg, Henna; Chabanova, Elizaveta; De Masi, Federico; Elders, Petra J.; Forgie, Ian; Giordano, Giuseppe N.; Grallert, Harald; Gupta, Ramneek; Haid, Mark; Hansen, Torben; Hansen, Tue H.; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Heggie, Alison; Hong, Mun-Gwan; Jones, Angus G.; Koivula, Robert; Kokkola, Tarja; Laakso, Markku; Longreen, Peter; Mahajan, Anubha; Mari, Andrea; McDonald, Timothy J.; McEvoy, Donna; Musholt, Petra B.; Pavo, Imre; Prehn, Cornelia; Ruetten, Hartmut; Ridderstrale, Martin; Rutters, Femke; Sharma, Sapna; Slieker, Roderick C.; Syed, Ali; Tajes, Juan Fernandez; Thomas, Cecilia Engel; Thomsen, Henrik S.; Vangipurapu, Jagadish; Vestergaard, Henrik; Vinuela, Ana; Wesolowska-Andersen, Agata; Walker, Mark; Adamski, Jerzy; Schwenk, Jochen M.; McCarthy, Mark; Pearson, Ewan; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil; Franks, Paul W.; Pedersen, Oluf; Brunak, Soren (2020)
    Background The rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) poses a major global challenge. It remains unresolved to what extent transcriptomic signatures of metabolic dysregulation and T2D can be observed in easily accessible tissues such as blood. Additionally, large-scale human studies are required to further our understanding of the putative inflammatory component of insulin resistance and T2D. Here we used transcriptomics data from individuals with (n = 789) and without (n = 2127) T2D from the IMI-DIRECT cohorts to describe the co-expression structure of whole blood that mainly reflects processes and cell types of the immune system, and how it relates to metabolically relevant clinical traits and T2D. Methods Clusters of co-expressed genes were identified in the non-diabetic IMI-DIRECT cohort and evaluated with regard to stability, as well as preservation and rewiring in the cohort of individuals with T2D. We performed functional and immune cell signature enrichment analyses, and a genome-wide association study to describe the genetic regulation of the modules. Phenotypic and trans-omics associations of the transcriptomic modules were investigated across both IMI-DIRECT cohorts. Results We identified 55 whole blood co-expression modules, some of which clustered in larger super-modules. We identified a large number of associations between these transcriptomic modules and measures of insulin action and glucose tolerance. Some of the metabolically linked modules reflect neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio in blood while others are independent of white blood cell estimates, including a module of genes encoding neutrophil granule proteins with antibacterial properties for which the strongest associations with clinical traits and T2D status were observed. Through the integration of genetic and multi-omics data, we provide a holistic view of the regulation and molecular context of whole blood transcriptomic modules. We furthermore identified an overlap between genetic signals for T2D and co-expression modules involved in type II interferon signaling. Conclusions Our results offer a large-scale map of whole blood transcriptomic modules in the context of metabolic disease and point to novel biological candidates for future studies related to T2D.
  • Franzini, Florencia; Toivonen, Ritva; Toppinen, Anne (2018)
    As the construction sector continues to be associated with highly energy-intensive practices leading to excessive carbon emissions, governments in many countries are promoting a shift towards greener building practices, like the use of wood in multistory construction (WMC). Meanwhile, local-government actors (e.g., municipalities) often act as important gatekeepers of urban development given their authority to oversee or approve zoning and land-use plans. Despite this fact, they are not much focused on in existing WMC research. This qualitative interview study serves to fill a gap by studying municipal civil servant perceptions regarding WMC, using Finland as a case study. Civil servants were asked to elicit their personal opinions on WMC, and what they perceived as favorable or unfavorable about using wood as a multistory construction material. Results show increasing support for WMC, and that this is due to key benefits made possible by the technical qualities of engineered wood products in emerging WMC projects. These products permit both the adoption of rapid construction practices that enhance citizens' quality of living, and also the sourcing of local renewable building materials that support local industries. On the other hand, barriers to the use of wood were identified, such as inadequate information distribution, a limited number of WMC industry actors, and inefficient policy measures.