Browsing by Subject "FOREST"

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  • Reyes-Garcia, Victoria; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Duda, Romain; Fernandez-Llamazares, Alvaro; Gallois, Sandrine (2020)
    Although subsistence hunting is cross-culturally an activity led and practiced mostly by men, a rich body of literature shows that in many small-scale societies women also engage in hunting in varied and often inconspicuous ways. Using data collected among two contemporary forager-horticulturalist societies facing rapid change (the Tsimane' of Bolivia and the Baka of Cameroon), we compare the technological and social characteristics of hunting trips led by women and men and analyze the specific socioeconomic characteristics that facilitate or constrain women's engagement in hunting. Results from interviews on daily activities with 121 Tsimane' (63 women and 58 men) and 159 Baka (83 women and 76 men) show that Tsimane' and Baka women participate in subsistence hunting, albeit using different techniques and in different social contexts than men. We also found differences in the individual and household socioeconomic profiles of Tsimane' and Baka women who hunt and those who do not hunt. Moreover, the characteristics that differentiate hunter and non-hunter women vary from one society to the other, suggesting that gender roles in relation to hunting are fluid and likely to change, not only across societies, but also as societies change.
  • Kaasalainen, Ulla Susanna; Heinrichs, Jochen; Renner, Matthew; Hedenäs, Lars; Schäfer-Verwimp, Alfons; Lee, Gaik; Ignatov, Michael; Rikkinen, Jouko; Schmidt, Alexander (2018)
    Fossil tree resins preserve a wide range of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms in microscopic fidelity. Fossil organisms preserved in an individual piece of amber lived at the same time in Earth history and mostly even in the same habitat, but they were not necessarily parts of the same interacting community. Here, we report on an in situ preserved corticolous community from a piece of Miocene Dominican amber which is composed of a lichen, a moss and three species of leafy liverworts. The lichen is assigned to the extant genus Phyllopsora (Ramalinaceae, Lecanoromycetes) and is described as P. magna Kaasalainen, Rikkinen & A. R. Schmidt sp. nov. The moss, Aptychellites fossilis Schaf.-Verw., Hedenas, Ignatov & Heinrichs gen. & sp. nov., closely resembles the extant genus Aptychella of the family Pylaisiadelphaceae. The three leafy liverworts comprise the extinct Lejeuneaceae species Cheilolejeunea antiqua (Grolle) Ye & Zhu, 2010 and Lejeunea miocenica Heinrichs, Schaf.-Verw., M. A. M. Renner & G. E. Lee sp. nov. and the extinct Radulaceae species Radula intecta M. A. M. Renner, Schaf.-Verw. & Heinrichs sp. nov. The presence of five associated extinct cryptogam species, four of which belong to extant genera, further substantiates the notion of a stasis in morphotype diversity, but a certain turnover of species, in the Caribbean since the early Miocene.
  • Crespo, L.C.; Domenech, M; Enguídanos, A.; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba; Cardoso, Pedro; Moya-Larano, J; Frias-Lopez, Cristina; Macias Hernandez, Nuria Esther; de Mas, Eva; Mazzuca, Paola; Mora, E.; Opatova, Vera; Planas, Enric; Ribera, Carles; Roca-Cusachs, M.; Ruiz, D.; Sousa, Pedro; Tonzo, V.; Arnedo, M.A. (2018)
    Background A large scale semi-quantitative biodiversity assessment was conducted in white oak woodlands in areas included in the Spanish Network of National Parks, as part of a project aimed at revealing biogeographic patterns and identify biodiversity drivers. The semi-quantitative COBRA sampling protocol was conducted in sixteen 1-ha plots across six national parks using a nested design. All adult specimens were identified to species level based on morphology. Uncertain delimitations and identifications due to either limited information of diagnostic characters or conflicting taxonomy were further investigated using DNA barcode information. New information We identified 376 species belonging to 190 genera in 39 families, from the 8,521 adults found amongst the 20,539 collected specimens. Faunistic results include the discovery of 7 new species to the Iberian Peninsula, 3 new species to Spain and 11 putative new species to science. As largely expected by environmental features, the southern parks showed a higher proportion of Iberian and Mediterranean species than the northern parks, where the Palearctic elements were largely dominant. The analysis of approximately 3,200 DNA barcodes generated in the present study, corroborated and provided finer resolution to the morphologically based delimitation and identification of specimens in some taxonomically challenging families. Specifically, molecular data confirmed putative new species with diagnosable morphology, identified overlooked lineages that may constitute new species, confirmed assignment of specimens of unknown sexes to species and identified cases of misidentifications and phenotypic polymorphisms.
  • Sievänen, Risto; Raumonen, Pasi; Perttunen, Jari; Nikinmaa, Eero Heikki; Kaitaniemi, Pekka Juhani (2018)
    Background and Aims: Functional-structural plant models (FSPMs) allow simulation of tree crown development as the sum of modular (e.g. shoot-level) responses triggered by the local environmental conditions. The actual process of space filling by the crowns can be studied. Although the FSPM simulations are at organ scale, the data for their validation have usually been at more aggregated levels (whole-crown or whole-tree). Measurements made by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) that have been segmented into elementary units (internodes) offer a phenotyping tool to validate the FSPM predictions at levels comparable with their detail. We demonstrate the testing of different formulations of crown development of Scots pine trees in the LIGNUM model using segmented TLS data. Methods: We made TLS measurements from four sample trees growing in a forest on a relatively poor soil from sapling size to mature stage. The TLS data were segmented into intenodes. The segmentation also produced information on whether needles were present in the internode. We applied different formulations of crown development (flushing of buds and length of growth of new internodes) in LIGNUM. We optimized the parameter values of each formulation using genetic algorithms to observe the best fit of LIGNUM simulations to the measured trees. The fitness function in the estimation combined both tree-level characteristics (e.g. tree height and crown length) and measures of crown shape (e.g. spatial distribution of needle area). Key Results: Comparison of different formulations against the data indicates that the Extended Borchert- Honda model for shoot elongation works best within LIGNUM. Control of growth by local density in the crown was important for all shoot elongation formulations. Modifying the number of lateral buds as a function of local density in the crown was the best way to accomplish density control. Conclusions: It was demonstrated how segmented TLS data can be used in the context of a shoot-based model to select model components.
  • Khoramshahi, Ehsan; Oliveira, Raquel A.; Koivumäki, Niko; Honkavaara, Eija (2020)
    Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) of a monocular projective camera installed on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a challenging task in photogrammetry, computer vision, and robotics. This paper presents a novel real-time monocular SLAM solution for UAV applications. It is based on two steps: consecutive construction of the UAV path, and adjacent strip connection. Consecutive construction rapidly estimates the UAV path by sequentially connecting incoming images to a network of connected images. A multilevel pyramid matching is proposed for this step that contains a sub-window matching using high-resolution images. The sub-window matching increases the frequency of tie points by propagating locations of matched sub-windows that leads to a list of high-frequency tie points while keeping the execution time relatively low. A sparse bundle block adjustment (BBA) is employed to optimize the initial path by considering nuisance parameters. System calibration parameters with respect to global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and inertial navigation system (INS) are optionally considered in the BBA model for direct georeferencing. Ground control points and checkpoints are optionally included in the model for georeferencing and quality control. Adjacent strip connection is enabled by an overlap analysis to further improve connectivity of local networks. A novel angular parametrization based on spherical rotation coordinate system is presented to address the gimbal lock singularity of BBA. Our results suggest that the proposed scheme is a precise real-time monocular SLAM solution for a UAV.
  • Tanhuanpää, Topi; Kankare, Ville; Setälä, Heikki; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa; Vastaranta, Mikko; Niemi, Mikko T.; Raisio, Juha; Holopainen, Markus (2017)
    Assessment of the amount of carbon sequestered and the value of ecosystem services provided by urban trees requires reliable data. Predicting the proportions and allometric relationships of individual urban trees with models developed for trees in rural forests may result in significant errors in biomass calculations. To better understand the differences in biomass accumulation and allocation between urban and rural trees, two existing biomass models for silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) were tested for their performance in assessing the above-ground biomass (AGB) of 12 urban trees. In addition, the performance of a volume-based method utilizing accurate terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data and stem density was evaluated in assessing urban tree AGB. Both tested models underestimated the total AGB of single trees, which was mainly due to a substantial underestimation of branch biomass. The volume-based method produced the most accurate estimates of stem biomass. The results suggest that biomass models originally based on sample trees from rural forests should not be used for urban, open-grown trees, and that volume-based methods utilizing TLS data are a promising alternative for non-destructive assessment of urban tree AGB. (C) 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
  • Pyorala, Jiri; Liang, Xinlian; Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Wang, Yunsheng; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Juha; Vastaranta, Mikko (2018)
    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) accompanied by quantitative tree-modeling algorithms can potentially acquire branching data non-destructively from a forest environment and aid the development and calibration of allometric crown biomass and wood quality equations for species and geographical regions with inadequate models. However, TLS's coverage in capturing individual branches still lacks evaluation. We acquired TLS data from 158 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees and investigated the performance of a quantitative branch detection and modeling approach for extracting key branching parameters, namely the number of branches, branch diameter (b(d)) and branch insertion angle (b) in various crown sections. We used manual point cloud measurements as references. The accuracy of quantitative branch detections decreased significantly above the live crown base height, principally due to the increasing scanner distance as opposed to occlusion effects caused by the foliage. b(d) was generally underestimated, when comparing to the manual reference, while b was estimated accurately: tree-specific biases were 0.89cm and 1.98 degrees, respectively. Our results indicate that full branching structure remains challenging to capture by TLS alone. Nevertheless, the retrievable branching parameters are potential inputs into allometric biomass and wood quality equations.
  • Siren, Jukka; Lens, Luc; Cousseau, Laurence; Ovaskainen, Otso (2018)
    1. Individual-based models (IBMs) allow realistic and flexible modelling of ecological systems, but their parameterization with empirical data is statistically and computationally challenging. Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) has been proposed as an efficient approach for inference with IBMs, but its applicability to data on natural populations has not been yet fully explored. 2. We construct an IBM for the metapopulation dynamics of a species inhabiting a fragmented patch network, and develop an ABC method for parameterization of the model. We consider several scenarios of data availability from count data to combination of mark-recapture and genetic data. We analyse both simulated and real data on white-starred robin (Pogonocichla stellata), a passerine bird living in montane forest environment in Kenya, and assess how the amount and type of data affect the estimates of model parameters and indicators of population state. 3. The indicators of the population state could be reliably estimated using the ABC method, but full parameterization was not achieved due to strong posterior correlations between model parameters. While the combination of the data types did not provide more accurate estimates for most of the indicators of population state or model parameters than the most informative data type (ringing data or genetic data) alone, the combined data allowed robust simultaneous estimation of all unknown quantities. 4. Our results show that ABC methods provide a powerful and flexible technique forparameterizing complex IBMs with multiple data sources, and assessing the dynamics of the population in a robust manner.
  • Vesala, Risto; Kiheri, Heikki; Hobbie, Erik A.; van Dijk, Netty; Dise, Nancy; Larmola, Tuula (2021)
    Peatlands store one third of global soil carbon (C) and up to 15% of global soil nitrogen (N) but often have low plant nutrient availability owing to slow organic matter decomposition under acidic and waterlogged conditions. In rainwater-fed ombrotrophic peatlands, elevated atmospheric N deposition has increased N availability with potential consequences to ecosystem nutrient cycling. Here, we studied how 14 years of continuous N addition with either nitrate or ammonium had affected ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) shrubs at Whim Bog, Scotland. We examined whether enrichment has influenced foliar nutrient stoichiometry and assessed using N stable isotopes whether potential changes in plant nutrient constraints are linked with plant N uptake through ERM fungi versus direct plant uptake. High doses of ammonium alleviated N deficiency in Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix, whereas low doses of ammonium and nitrate improved plant phosphorus (P) nutrition, indicated by the lowered foliar N:P ratios. Root acid phosphatase activities correlated positively with foliar N:P ratios, suggesting enhanced P uptake as a result of improved N nutrition. Elevated foliar delta N-15 of fertilized shrubs suggested that ERM fungi were less important for N supply with N fertilization. Increases in N availability in peat porewater and in direct nonmycorrhizal N uptake likely have reduced plant nitrogen uptake via mycorrhizal pathways. As the mycorrhizal N uptake correlates with the reciprocal C supply from host plants to the soil, such reduction in ERM activity may affect peat microbial communities and even accelerate C loss via decreased ERM activity and enhanced saprotrophic activity. Our results thus introduce a previously unrecognized mechanism for how anthropogenic N pollution may affect nutrient and carbon cycling within peatland ecosystems. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Liu, Jingbin; Liang, Xinlian; Hyyppä, Juha; Yu, Xiaowei; Lehtomäki, Matti; Pyörälä, Jiri; Zhu, Lingli; Wang, Yunsheng; Chen, Ruizhi (2017)
    Terrestrial laser scanning has been widely used to analyze the 3D structure of a forest in detail and to generate data at the level of a reference plot for forest inventories without destructive measurements. Multi-scan terrestrial laser scanning is more commonly applied to collect plot-level data so that all of the stems can be detected and analyzed. However, it is necessary to match the point clouds of multiple scans to yield a point cloud with automated processing. Mismatches between datasets will lead to errors during the processing of multi-scan data. Classic registration methods based on flat surfaces cannot be directly applied in forest environments; therefore, artificial reference objects have conventionally been used to assist with scan matching. The use of artificial references requires additional labor and expertise, as well as greatly increasing the cost. In this study, we present an automated processing method for plot-level stem mapping that matches multiple scans without artificial references. In contrast to previous studies, the registration method developed in this study exploits the natural geometric characteristics among a set of tree stems in a plot and combines the point clouds of multiple scans into a unified coordinate system. Integrating multiple scans improves the overall performance of stem mapping in terms of the correctness of tree detection, as well as the bias and the root-mean-square errors of forest attributes such as diameter at breast height and tree height. In addition, the automated processing method makes stem mapping more reliable and consistent among plots, reduces the costs associated with plot-based stem mapping, and enhances the efficiency. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Vaario, Lu-Min; Asamizu, Shumpei; Sarjala, Tytti; Matsushita, Norihisa; Onaka, Hiroyasu; Xia, Yan; Kurokochi, Hiroyuki; Morinaga, Shin-Ichi; Huang, Jian; Zhang, Shijie; Lian, Chunlan (2020)
    Tricholoma matsutake is known to be the dominant fungal species in matsutake fruitbody neighboring (shiro) soil. To understand the mechanisms behind matsutake dominance, we studied the bacterial communities in matsutake dominant shiro soil and non-shiro soil, isolated the strains of Streptomyces from matsutake mycorrhizal root tips both from shiro soil and from the Pinus densiflora seedlings cultivated in shiro soil. Further, we investigated three Streptomyces spp. for their ability to inhibit fungal growth and Pinus densiflora seedling root elongation as well as two strains for their antifungal and antioxidative properties. Our results showed that Actinobacteria was the most abundant phylum in shiro soil. However, the differences in the Actinobacterial community composition (phylum or order level) between shiro and non-shiro soils were not significant, as indicated by PERMANOVA analyses. A genus belonging to Actinobacteria, Streptomyces, was present on the matsutake mycorrhizas, although in minority. The two antifungal assays revealed that the broths of three Streptomyces spp. had either inhibitory, neutral or promoting effects on the growth of different forest soil fungi as well as on the root elongation of the seedlings. The extracts of two strains, including one isolated from the P. densiflora seedlings, inhibited the growth of either pathogenic or ectomycorrhizal fungi. The effect depended on the medium used to cultivate the strains, but not the solvent used for the extraction. Two Streptomyces spp. showed antioxidant activity in one out of three assays used, in a ferric reducing antioxidant power assay. The observed properties seem to have several functions in matsutake shiro soil and they may contribute to the protection of the shiro area for T. matsutake dominance.
  • Xia, Zhichao; Yu, Lei; He, Yue; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang (2019)
    Tree performance in mixed-species forest plantations is ultimately the net result of positive and negative interactions among species. Despite increasing knowledge of interspecific interactions, relatively little is known about the chemical mechanisms mediating such interactions. We constructed mixed planting systems with two species including Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook) and broadleaf species Cinnamomum camphora L. Presl, Elaeocarpus decipiens Hemsl, Liquidambar formosana Hance, or Michelia macclurei Dandy. Based on a series of manipulative experiments, we investigated the performance of Chinese fir and analyzed root placement patterns and the composition of main soil microbial groups. The broadleaf trees influenced the growth of Chinese fir roots more than the growth of shoots. Furthermore, C. camphora roots released allelochemicals into the soil environment, resulting in growth inhibition of Chinese fir and changes in main soil microbial groups. However, when grown with E. decipiens and M. macclurei, the growth of Chinese fir was consistently promoted. It responded by enhancing its root growth and altering root behavior, resulting in a shift from growth inhibition to chemical facilitation. These positive inter-specific interactions also stimulated changes in the composition of soil microbes. Complementary experiments indicated that non-toxic signaling molecules in the root exudates of E. decipiens and M. macclurei may be responsible for mediating positive root-root interactions and regulating the composition of main soil microbial groups. Thus, our study demonstrated that broadleaf species chemically mediate the growth of Chinese fir through root exudates. Such a novel mechanism offers many implications and applications for reforestation programs undertaken to rehabilitate forest plantations that suffer from declining productivity related to densely planted monocultures.
  • Liu, Jinxiu; Heiskanen, Janne; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Pellikka, Petri K. E. (2018)
    West African savannas are subject to regular fires, which have impacts on vegetation structure, biodiversity and carbon balance. An efficient and accurate mapping of burned area associated with seasonal fires can greatly benefit decision making in land management. Since coarse resolution burned area products cannot meet the accuracy needed for fire management and climate modelling at local scales, the medium resolution Landsat data is a promising alternative for local scale studies. In this study, we developed an algorithm for continuous monitoring of annual burned areas using Landsat time series. The algorithm is based on burned pixel detection using harmonic model fitting with Landsat time series and breakpoint identification in the time series data. This approach was tested in a savanna area in southern Burkina Faso using 281 images acquired between October 2000 and April 2016. An overall accuracy of 79.2% was obtained with balanced omission and commission errors. This represents a significant improvement in comparison with MODIS burned area product (67.6%), which had more omission errors than commission errors, indicating underestimation of the total burned area. By observing the spatial distribution of burned areas, we found that the Landsat based method misclassified cropland and cloud shadows as burned areas due to the similar spectral response, and MODIS burned area product omitted small and fragmented burned areas. The proposed algorithm is flexible and robust against decreased data availability caused by clouds and Landsat 7 missing lines, therefore having a high potential for being applied in other landscapes in future studies.
  • Milicic, Marija; Popov, Snezana; Vujic, Ante; Ivosevic, Bojana; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    1. Dark diversity represents the set of species that can potentially inhabit a given area under particular ecological conditions, but are currently 'missing' from a site. This concept allows characterisation of the mechanisms determining why species are sometimes absent from an area that seems ecologically suitable for them. 2. The aim of this study was to determine the dark diversity of hoverflies in south-eastern Europe and to discuss the role of different functional traits that might increase the likelihood of species contributing to dark diversity. Based on expert opinion, the Syrph the Net database and known occurrences of species, the study estimated species pools, and observed and dark diversities within each of 11 defined vegetation types for 564 hoverfly species registered in south-eastern Europe. To detect the most important functional traits contributing to species being in dark diversity across different vegetation types, a random forest algorithm and respective statistics for variable importance were used. 3. The highest dark diversity was found for southwest Balkan sub-Mediterranean mixed oak forest type, whereas the lowest was in Mediterranean mixed forest type. Three larval feeding modes (saproxylic, and phytophagous on bulbs or roots) were found to be most important for determining the probability of a species contributing to hoverfly dark diversity, based on univariate correlations and random forest analysis. 4. This study shows that studying dark diversity might provide important insights into what drives community assembly in south-eastern European hoverflies, especially its missing components, and contributes to more precise conservation prioritisation of both hoverfly species and their habitats.
  • Wang, Kai; Zheng, Xunhua; Pihlatie, Mari; Vesala, Timo; Liu, Chunyan; Haapanala, Sami; Mammarella, Ivan; Rannik, Ullar; Liu, Huizhi (2013)
    Nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from a cotton field in northern China were measured for a year using the static chamber method based on a gas chromatograph (GC) and the eddy covariance (EC) technique based on a tunable diode laser (TDL). The aims were to compare the N2O fluxes obtained from both techniques, assess the uncertainties in the fluxes and evaluate the annual direct emission factors (EFds, i.e. the loss rate of fertilizer nitrogen via N2O emission) using the year-round datasets. During the experimental period, the hourly and daily mean chamber fluxes ranged from 0.6 to 781.8 and from 1.2 to 468.8 g N m−2 h−1, respectively. The simultaneously measured daily mean EC fluxes varied between −10.8 and 912.0 g N m−2 h−1. The EC measurements only provided trustworthy 30-min fluxes during high-emission period (a 20-day period immediately after the irrigation that followed the nitrogen fertilization event). A reliable comparison was confined to the high-emission period and showed that the chamber fluxes were 17–20% lower than the EC fluxes. This difference may implicate the magnitude of systematic underestimation in the fluxes from chamber measurements. The annual emission from the fertilized cotton field was estimated at 1.43 kg N ha−1 yr−1 by the chamber observations and 3.15 kg N ha−1 yr−1 by the EC measurements. The EFds calculated from the chamber and EC data were 1.04% and 1.65%, respectively. The chamber-based estimate was very close to the default value (1.0%) recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the difference in the EFds based on the two measurement techniques may vary greatly with changing environmental conditions and management practices. Further comparison studies are still needed to elucidate this issue.
  • Lounela, Anu (2020)
    Climate change mitigation pilot projects (REDD+ - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) affect and interact with the local population in Central Kalimantan and many other parts of Indonesia. Rather than being politically and economically neutral activities, climate change mitigation projects tend to objectify the value of carbon, land and labour, contributing to a process of commodification of nature and social relations. In this specific case study, a set of values - equality and autonomy - central to the Ngaju people, the indigenous population in Central Kalimantan, become contested in the course of the climate change mitigation project. These central values are produced in everyday activities that include mobility and the productive base - subsistence and market-based production - among the Ngaju people. On the other hand, the climate change mitigation project-related environmental practices and actions produce values that point to individual (material) benefit and stratification of the society. The aim of the paper is to draw attention to and create understanding of value production and related tensions in the efforts to 'fix' environmental degradation problems through the climate change mitigation pilot project in Central Kalimantan.
  • Maharani, Cynthia; Moeliono, Moira; Wong, Grace Yee; Brockhaus, Maria; Carmenta, Rachel; Kallio, Maarit Helena (2019)
    Market-driven development is transforming swidden landscapes and having different impacts along intersections of gender, age and class. In Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Dayak communities practicing swidden agriculture are making choices on maintaining traditional land use systems, and engaging in rubber, oil palm and conservation (REDD + ) in their livelihood strategies. Although REDD + has been heralded as an alternative to oil palm as a sustainable development option, it is still far from full implementation. Meanwhile, oil palm has become a reality, with large scale plantations that offer job opportunities and produce new sources of prestige, but create contestations around traditional land use systems. We employ the gender asset agriculture project (GAAP) framework and apply an intersectional lens to highlight power relations underlying gendered differences in land, labor and social capital in this process of transformation. Our findings suggest that market interventions produce major changes for men and women, young and old, land cultivators and wage earners. This has created new opportunities for some and new risks for others, with those having power to access diverse types of knowledge, ranging from inheritance rights to market information and job opportunities, best able to exploit such opportunities.
  • Linkosalmi, Maiju; Aurela, Mika; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Tanis, Cemal M.; Arslan, Ali N.; Kolari, Pasi; Bottcher, Kristin; Aalto, Tuula; Rainne, Juuso; Hatakka, Juha; Laurila, Tuomas (2016)
    Digital repeat photography has become a widely used tool for assessing the annual course of vegetation phenology of different ecosystems. By using the green chromatic coordinate (GCC) as a greenness measure, we examined the feasibility of digital repeat photography for assessing the vegetation phenology in two contrasting high-latitude ecosystems. Ecosystem-atmosphere CO2 fluxes and various meteorological variables were continuously measured at both sites. While the seasonal changes in GCC were more obvious for the ecosystem that is dominated by annual plants (open wetland), clear seasonal patterns were also observed for the evergreen ecosystem (coniferous forest). Daily and seasonal time periods with sufficient solar radiation were determined based on images of a grey reference plate. The variability in cloudiness had only a minor effect on GCC, and GCC did not depend on the sun angle and direction either. The daily GCC of wetland correlated well with the daily photosynthetic capacity estimated from the CO2 flux measurements. At the forest site, the correlation was high in 2015 but there were discernible deviations during the course of the summer of 2014. The year-to-year differences were most likely generated by meteorological conditions, with higher temperatures coinciding with higher GCCs. In addition to depicting the seasonal course of ecosystem functioning, GCC was shown to respond to environmental changes on a timescale of days. Overall, monitoring of phenological variations with digital images provides a powerful tool for linking gross primary production and phenology.
  • Tóth, Zsolt; Szlavecz, Katalin; Epp Schmidt, Dietrich J.; Hornung, Erzsébet; Setälä, Heikki; Yesilonis, Ian D.; Kotze, D. Johan; Dombos, Miklós; Pouyat, Richard; Mishra, Saket; Cilliers, Sarel; Yarwood, Stephanie; Csuzdi, Csaba (2020)
    In urban landscapes, humans are the most significant factor determining belowground diversity, including earthworms. Within the framework of the Global Urban Soil Ecology and Education Network (GLUSEEN), a multi-city comparison was carried out to assess the effects of soil disturbance on earthworms. In each of five cities (Baltimore, USA; Budapest, Hungary; Helsinki and Lahti, Finland; Potchefstroom, South Africa), covering four climatic and biogeographical regions, four habitat types (ruderal, turf/lawn, remnant and reference) were sampled. The survey resulted in 19 species belonging to 9 genera and 4 families. The highest total species richness was recorded in Baltimore (16), while Budapest and the Finnish cities had relatively low (5–6) species numbers. Remnant forests and lawns supported the highest earthworm biomass. Soil properties (i.e. pH and organic matter content) explained neither earthworm community composition nor abundance. Evaluating all cities together, earthworm communities were significantly structured by habitat type. Communities in the two adjacent cities, Helsinki and Lahti were very similar, but Budapest clearly separated from the Finnish cities. Earthworm community structure in Baltimore overlapped with that of the other cities. Despite differences in climate, soils and biogeography among the cities, earthworm communities were highly similar within the urban habitat types. This indicates that human-mediated dispersal is an important factor shaping the urban fauna, both at local and regional scales.