Browsing by Subject "INDICATORS"

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  • Vesterinen, Eero J.; Kaunisto, Kari M.; Lilley, Thomas M. (2020)
    We report a detection of a surprising similarity in the diet of predators across distant phyla. Though just a first glimpse into the subject, our discovery contradicts traditional aspects of biology, as the earliest notions in ecology have linked the most severe competition of resources with evolutionary relatedness. We argue that our finding deserves more research, and propose a plan to reveal more information on the current biodiversity loss around the world. While doing so, we expand the recently proposed conservation roadmaps into a parallel study of global interaction networks.
  • Poikane, Sandra; Birk, Sebastian; Boehmer, Juergen; Carvalho, Laurence; de Hoyos, Caridad; Gassner, Hubert; Hellsten, Seppo; Kelly, Martyn; Solheim, Anne Lyche; Olin, Mikko; Pall, Karin; Phillips, Geoff; Portielje, Rob; Ritterbusch, David; Sandin, Leonard; Schartau, Ann-Kristin; Solimini, Angelo G.; van den Berg, Marcel; Wolfram, Georg; van de Bund, Wouter (2015)
    The Water Framework Directive is the first international legislation to require European countries to establish comparable ecological assessment schemes for their freshwaters. A key element in harmonising quality classification within and between Europe's river basins is an "Intercalibration" exercise, stipulated by the WFD, to ensure that the good status boundaries in all of the biological assessment methods correspond to similar levels of anthropogenic pressure. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of this international comparison, focusing on the assessment schemes developed for freshwater lakes. Out of 82 lake ecological assessment methods reported for the comparison, 62 were successfully intercalibrated and included in the EC Decision on intercalibration, with a high proportion of phytoplankton (18), macrophyte (17) and benthic fauna (13) assessment methods. All the lake assessment methods are reviewed in this article, including the results of intercalibration. Furthermore, the current gaps and way forward to reach consistent management objectives for European lakes are discussed. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Tverin, Malin; Granroth, Janne; Abrahamsson, Alexander; Tang, Patrik Anthony; Pihlström, Henry; Lundström, Karl; Käkelä, Reijo (2021)
    Increased numbers of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) in the Baltic Sea may have local impacts on fisheries and salmonid hatcheries. We studied spatial and temporal variability in cormorant diet, and potential consumption of hatchery salmonids, by analysing knee subcutaneous adipose tissue fatty acids (FA) of specimens (N = 77) collected along Swedish and Finnish coasts in different seasons during 2013–2017. The FA profiles of the subspecies sinensis and carbo were similar, with large individual variation. The proportion of C18 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) was the largest in the north, whereas the proportion of C20–22 monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs) increased towards the south, reflecting diminishing freshwater and increasing marine food web characteristics towards the south. As an exception, the C20–22 MUFA percentage was high in sinensis collected in June 2017 from the northern Baltic Sea. The source of C20–22 MUFAs was probably hatchery salmonids, raised on ocean fish hatchery feed and released 10 days before, near the cormorant capture site. The FA profiles of northern and southern cormorants differed from each other both in early and late summer samples, suggesting spatially different diets. The largest individual variation was found in 22:1n-11, characteristic of ocean zooplanktivorous fish, and likely originating from Atlantic wild or Baltic Sea hatchery-reared fish. This study shows that adipose tissue FA profiles can be used as proxies for seabird diet monitoring and indicators of predation on hatchery-reared fish. Obtaining quantitative estimates on the proportions of dietary fish species requires future feeding experiments, allowing calibration between the FA compositions and diet.
  • Luoto, Tomi P.; Kivila, E. Henriikka; Kotrys, Bartosz; Plociennik, Mateusz; Rantala, Marttiina; Nevalainen, Liisa (2020)
    Independent Arctic records of temperature and precipitation from the same proxy archives are rare. Nevertheless, they are important for providing detailed information on long-term climate changes and temperature-precipitation relationships in the context of large-scale atmospheric dynamics. Here, we used chironomid and cladoceran fossil assemblages to reconstruct summer air-temperature and water-level changes, during the past 400 years, in a small lake located in Finnish Lapland. Temperatures remained persistently cold over the Little Ice Age (LIA), but increased in the 20th century. After a cooler phase in the 1970s, the climate rapidly warmed to the record-high temperatures of the most recent decades. The lake-level reconstruction suggested persistently wet conditions for the LIA, followed by a dry period between similar to 1910 and 1970 CE, when the lake apparently became almost dry. Since the 1980s, the lake level has returned to a similar position as during the IAA. The temperature development was consistent with earlier records, but a significant local feature was found in the lake-level reconstruction the LIA appears to have been continuously wet, without the generally depicted dry phase during the 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, the results suggest local precipitation patterns and enforce the concept of spatially divergent LIA conditions.
  • Mattsson, Markus; Hailikari, Telle; Parpala, Anna (2020)
    Quantitative research into the nature of academic emotions has thus far been dominated by factor analyses of questionnaire data. Recently, psychometric network analysis has arisen as an alternative method of conceptualizing the composition of psychological phenomena such as emotions: while factor models view emotions as underlying causes of affects, cognitions and behavior, in network models psychological phenomena are viewed as arising from the interactions of their component parts. We argue that the network perspective is of interest to studies of academic emotions due to its compatibility with the theoretical assumptions of the control value theory of academic emotions. In this contribution we assess the structure of a Finnish questionnaire of academic emotions using both network analysis and exploratory factor analysis on cross-sectional data obtained during a single course. The global correlational structure of the network, investigated using the spinglass community detection analysis, differed from the results of the factor analysis mainly in that positive emotions were grouped in one community but loaded on different factors. Local associations between pairs of variables in the network model may arise due to different reasons, such as variable A causing variation in variable B or vice versa, or due to a latent variable affecting both. We view the relationship between feelings of self-efficacy and the other emotions as causal hypotheses, and argue that strengthening the students' self-efficacy may have a beneficial effect on the rest of the emotions they experienced on the course. Other local associations in the network model are argued to arise due to unmodeled latent variables. Future psychometric studies may benefit from combining network models and factor models in researching the structure of academic emotions.
  • Pajunen, Virpi; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Luoto, Miska; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Species occurrences are influenced by numerous factors whose effects may be context dependent. Thus, the magnitude of the effects and their relative importance to species distributions may vary among ecosystems due to anthropogenic stressors. To investigate context dependency in factors governing microbial bioindicators, we developed species distribution models (SDMs) for epilithic stream diatom species in human-impacted and pristine sites separately. We performed SDMs using boosted regression trees for 110 stream diatom species, which were common to both data sets, in 164 human-impacted and 164 pristine sites in Finland (covering similar to 1,000 km, 60 degrees to 68 degrees N). For each species and site group, two sets of models were conducted: climate model, comprising three climatic variables, and full model, comprising the climatic and six local environmental variables. No significant difference in model performance was found between the site groups. However, climatic variables had greater importance compared with local environmental variables in pristine sites, whereas local environmental variables had greater importance in human-impacted sites as hypothesized. Water balance and conductivity were the key variables in human-impacted sites. The relative importance of climatic and local environmental variables varied among individual species, but also between the site groups. We found a clear context dependency among the variables influencing stream diatom distributions as the most important factors varied both among species and between the site groups. In human-impacted streams, species distributions were mainly governed by water chemistry, whereas in pristine streams by climate. We suggest that climatic models may be suitable in pristine ecosystems, whereas the full models comprising both climatic and local environmental variables should be used in human-impacted ecosystems.
  • Korkalo, Liisa; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Heinonen, Arja E.; Freese, Riitta; Selvester, Kerry; Mutanen, Marja (2017)
    Purpose In low-income settings, dietary diversity scores (DDSs) often predict the micronutrient adequacy of diets, but little is known about whether they predict levels of biochemical indicators of micronutrient status. Methods In 2010, we studied two samples of non-pregnant 14-to 19-year-old girls in central Mozambique, the first in January-February ('hunger season'; n = 227) and the second in May-June (harvest season; n = 223). In this paper, we examined whether a low Women's Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS) predicts a low concentration of haemoglobin, serum ferritin, zinc, and folate, and plasma retinol in adolescent Mozambican girls. We constructed three scores: WDDS based on 24-h recalls, WDDS15g based on 24-h recall and employing a 15 g limit, and 7dWDDS based on 7-day food frequency questionnaires. Logistic regression models, stratified by season, were used to estimate the odds of having a low concentration of a status indicator ( Results In January-February, after adjusting for confounders, a low ( Conclusions Our data from Mozambique suggest that dietary diversity is associated with serum zinc, but this association seems to be limited to the hunger season.
  • Lindroos, Eeva K.; Saarela, Riitta K.; Suominen, Merja H.; Muurinen, Seija; Soini, Helena; Kautiainen, Hannu; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2019)
    Objectives: To explore how oral problems, chewing problems, dry mouth, and swallowing difficulties cluster and whether their burden is associated with nutritional status, eating habits, gastrointestinal symptoms, psychological well-being, and mortality among institutionalized residents. Design: Cross-sectional study with 1-year mortality. Setting and participants: 3123 residents living in assisted facilities and nursing homes in Helsinki, Finland. Measures: Trained nurses assessed residents in all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Helsinki in 2011. A personal interview, the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), oral symptoms, questions about eating habits, and psychological well-being were used to assess each resident. We divided the subjects first according to the number of oral symptoms into 4 groups: no oral symptoms (G0), 1 oral symptom (G1), 2 oral symptoms (G2), and all 3 symptoms (G3); and second according to the symptoms: dry mouth, chewing problems, and swallowing difficulties. The diagnoses and medications were retrieved from medical records, and mortality data were obtained from central registers. Results: In all, 26% of the subjects had 1 oral problem (G1), 11% had 2 oral problems (G2), and 4% had all 3 oral problems (G3), whereas 60% (n = 1870) had no oral symptoms. Thus, the oral symptoms moderately overlapped. The burden of oral symptoms was linearly associated with malnutrition, higher numbers of comorbidities, dependency in physical functioning, gastrointestinal symptoms, and eating less and more often alone. The higher the burden of oral symptoms, the lower the self-rated health and psychological well-being. Mortality increased along with the higher oral symptoms burden. Among residents having 1 or more symptoms, 26% had chewing problems, 18% swallowing difficulties, and 15% dry mouth. Conclusions/Implications: The burden of oral health problems was associated in a stepwise fashion with poor health and psychological well-being, malnutrition, and mortality. Clinicians should routinely assess older institutionalized residents' oral health status to improve residents' well-being. (C) 2018 AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
  • Oinonen, Markku; Alenius, Teija; Arppe, Laura; Bocherens, Hervé; Etu-Sihvola, Heli; Helama, Samuli; Huhtamaa, Heli; Lahtinen, Maria; Mannermaa, Kristiina; Onkamo, Päivi; Palo, Jukka; Sajantila, Antti; Salo, Kati; Sundell, Tarja; Vanhanen, Santeri; Wessman, Anna (2020)
    Levanluhta is a unique archaeological site with the remains of nearly a hundred Iron Age individuals found from a water burial in Ostrobothnia, Finland. The strongest climatic downturn of the Common Era, resembling the great Fimbulvinter in Norse mythology, hit these people during the 6th century AD. This study establishes chronological, dietary, and livelihood synthesis on this population based on stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic and radiocarbon analyses on human remains, supported by multidisciplinary evidence. Extraordinarily broad stable isotopic distribution is observed, indicating three subgroups with distinct dietary habits spanning four centuries. This emphasizes the versatile livelihoods practiced at this boundary of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. While the impact of the prolonged cold darkness of the 6th century was devastating for European communities relying on cultivation, the broad range of livelihoods provided resilience for the Levanluhta people to overcome the abrupt climatic decline.
  • Jansson, A. H.; Savikko, N.; Kautiainen, H.; Roitto, H. -M.; Pitkälä, K. H. (2020)
  • Plikk, Anna; Engels, Stefan; Luoto, Tomi P.; Nazarova, Larisa; Salonen, J. Sakari; Helmens, Karin F. (2019)
  • Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Johnston, Alison; Massimino, Dario (2021)
    Climate change and human land use are causing changes to species ranges and abundances. However, factors influencing the species-specific speed and direction of changes are not well understood. In addition, intra-specific variation in the responses has rarely been investigated and thus it is not known if the same species show similar population changes in different areas. We compared the rate of changes in range size (since the 1970s) and population abundance (since the 1980s) as well as shifts in mean weighted latitude of range (since the 1970s) and density (since the 1990s) among the same bird species in Finland and Great Britain, two countries that share similar north-south climatic gradients. Similar responses between countries could indicate that climate change is causing parallel changes in species' ranges and abundances in the countries. Furthermore, we tested whether the responses differed between habitat types, which could indicate that local habitat availability and land use may be more important than climate change. Wetland species showed parallel range size change in the wo countries, but no such connection was found in open and forested habitats. Population abundance trends were also parallel in both countries and northern species showed more negative population trends than southern species. The speed of change in species' average latitudes was positively correlated between the two countries when using occurrence data, but negatively correlated when using species density. Species that show similar changes in population sizes in Finland and Great Britain, that are likely caused by large scale population drivers, such as climate change. However, speed of latitudinal shifts in species' densities were not connected between the two countries. These potential differences are likely driven by spatial variation in land use changes and habitat availability.
  • Heldbjerg, Henning; Fox, Anthony D.; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Sunde, Peter; Aunins, Ainars; Balmer, Dawn E.; Calvi, Gianpiero; Chodkiewicz, Tomasz; Chylarecki, Przemek; Escandell, Virginia; Foppen, Ruud; Gamero, Anna; Hristov, Iordan; Husby, Magne; Jiguet, Frederic; Kmecl, Primoz; Kalas, John A.; Lewis, Lesley J.; Lindstrom, Ake; Moshoj, Charlotte; Nellis, Renno; Paquet, Jean-Y; Portolou, Danae; Ridzon, Jozef; Schmid, Hans; Skorpilova, Jana; Szabo, Zoltan D.; Szep, Tibor; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Trautmann, Sven; van Turnhout, Chris; Vermouzek, Zdenek; Vorisek, Petr; Weiserbs, Anne (2019)
    The greatest loss of biodiversity in the EU has occurred on agricultural land. The Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is one of the many numerous and widespread European farmland breeding bird species showing major population declines linked to European agricultural intensification. Here we present results based on monitoring data collected since 1975 in 24 countries to examine the influence of changing extent of grassland and cattle abundance (based on results of earlier studies showing the importance of lowland cattle grazed grassland for the species), wintering provenance and temperature on national breeding population trends of Starlings across Europe. Positive Starling population trends in Central-East Europe contrast with negative trends in North and West Europe. Based on this indicative approach, we found some support for the importance of cattle stock and no support for grassland, temperature or wintering provenance to explain Starling population trends in Europe. However, we acknowledge such a European-wide analysis may conceal regional differences in responses and suggest that currently accessible national land use datamight be insufficient to describe the detailed current changes in animal husbandry and grassland management that may be responsible for changes in food availability and hence breeding Starling abundance and their differences across Europe. Reviewing results from local studies relating Starling population trends to local agricultural change offer contradictory results, suggesting complex interacting processes at work. We recommend combining national datasets on demography, land-use/agricultural practices and from autecological research to better explain the reasons for contrasting Starling trends across Europe, to enable us to predict how changing agriculture will affect Starlings and potentially suggest mitigation measures to restore local populations where possible.
  • Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Brotons, Lluis; Calladine, John; Campedelli, Tommaso; Escandell, Virginia; Flousek, Jiri; Grueneberg, Christoph; Haas, Fredrik; Harris, Sarah; Herrando, Sergi; Husby, Magne; Jiguet, Frederic; Kalas, John Atle; Lindstrom, Ake; Lorrilliere, Romain; Molina, Blas; Pladevall, Clara; Calvi, Gianpiero; Sattler, Thomas; Schmid, Hans; Sirkiä, Päivi M.; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Trautmann, Sven (2019)
    Mountain areas often hold special species communities, and they are high on the list of conservation concern. Global warming and changes in human land use, such as grazing pressure and afforestation, have been suggested to be major threats for biodiversity in the mountain areas, affecting species abundance and causing distribution shifts towards mountaintops. Population shifts towards poles and mountaintops have been documented in several areas, indicating that climate change is one of the key drivers of species' distribution changes. Despite the high conservation concern, relatively little is known about the population trends of species in mountain areas due to low accessibility and difficult working conditions. Thanks to the recent improvement of bird monitoring schemes around Europe, we can here report a first account of population trends of 44 bird species from four major European mountain regions: Fennoscandia, UK upland, south-western (Iberia) and south-central mountains (Alps), covering 12 countries. Overall, the mountain bird species declined significantly (-7%) during 2002-2014, which is similar to the declining rate in common birds in Europe during the same period. Mountain specialists showed a significant -10% decline in population numbers. The slope for mountain generalists was also negative, but not significantly so. The slopes of specialists and generalists did not differ from each other. Fennoscandian and Iberian populations were on average declining, while in United Kingdom and Alps, trends were nonsignificant. Temperature change or migratory behaviour was not significantly associated with regional population trends of species. Alpine habitats are highly vulnerable to climate change, and this is certainly one of the main drivers of mountain bird population trends. However, observed declines can also be partly linked with local land use practices. More efforts should be undertaken to identify the causes of decline and to increase conservation efforts for these populations.
  • Hoekman, David; LeVan, Katherine E.; Ball, George E.; Browne, Robert A.; Davidson, Robert L.; Erwin, Terry L.; Knisley, C. Barry; LaBonte, James R.; Lundgren, Jonathan; Maddison, David R.; Moore, Wendy; Niemelä, Jari; Ober, Karen A.; Pearson, David L.; Spence, John R.; Will, Kipling; Work, Timothy (2017)
    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will monitor ground beetle populations across a network of broadly distributed sites because beetles are prevalent in food webs, are sensitive to abiotic factors, and have an established role as indicator species of habitat and climatic shifts. We describe the design of ground beetle population sampling in the context of NEON's long-term, continentalscale monitoring program, emphasizing the sampling design, priorities, and collection methods. Freely available NEON ground beetle data and associated field and laboratory samples will increase scientific understanding of how biological communities are responding to land-use and climate change.
  • Ahola, Aila J.; Freese, Riitta; Mäkimattila, Sari; Forsblom, Carol; Groop, Per-Henrik; FinnDiane Study Grp (2016)
    Aims: Diet plays an important role in the management of type 1 diabetes. However, the association between dietary intake and health has not been extensively studied in this population. We studied the cross-sectional association between dietary factors, and selected vascular health markers and complications in type 1 diabetes. Methods: Data from 874 individuals with type 1 diabetes participating in the FinnDiane Study were included. Dietary intake was assessed using a self-reported questionnaire and a diet score, expressing the extent to which individuals adhered to the dietary recommendations, was calculated. Diet questionnaire was also used to reveal dietary patterns using factor analysis. Results: Seven factors with high degree of inter-correlation were formed; healthy, traditional, vegetable, sweets, modern, low-fat cheese, and fish and eggs. In multivariate models, higher diet score and healthy factor score were associated with better glycaemic control. Higher diet score was associated with higher, while sweets, and fish and eggs patterns were associated with lower systolic blood pressure. Healthy, sweets, and fish and eggs factors were additionally associated with lower diastolic blood pressure. Conclusions: Closer adherence to the dietary recommendations, and a diet high in fresh vegetables, fruits and berries, cooked vegetables, fish dishes, and yoghurt may be beneficial for the glycaemic control in type 1 diabetes. Moreover, a diet pattern with fish and eggs may have beneficial effects for blood pressure. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Hoffmann, Rasmus; Kröger, Hannes; Tarkiainen, Lasse Hannes; Martikainen, Pekka Tapani (2019)
    Differences in mortality between groups with different socioeconomic positions (SEP) are well-established, but the relative contribution of different SEP measures is unclear. This study compares the correlation between three SEP dimensions and mortality, and investigates differences between gender and age groups (35-59 vs. 60-84). We use an 11% random sample with an 80% oversample of deaths from the Finnish population with information on education, occupational class, individual income, and mortality (n=496,658; 274,316 deaths between 1995 and 2007). We estimate bivariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models and population attributable fractions. The total effects of education are substantially mediated by occupation and income, and the effects of occupation is mediated by income. All dimensions have their own net effect on mortality, but income shows the steepest mortality gradient (HR 1.78, lowest vs. highest quintile). Income is more important for men and occupational class more important among elderly women. Mortality inequalities are generally smaller in older ages, but the relative importance of income increases. In health inequality studies, the use of only one SEP indicator functions well as a broad marker of SEP. However, only analyses of multiple dimensions allow insights into social mechanisms and how they differ between population subgroups.
  • Sadeniemi, Minna; Pirkola, Sami; Pankakoski, Maiju; Joffe, Grigori; Kontio, Raija; Malin, Maili; Ala-Nikkola, Taina; Wahlbeck, Kristian (2014)
  • Holmberg, Maria; Aalto, Tuula; Akujarvi, Anu; Arslan, Ali Nadir; Bergstrom, Irina; Bottcher, Kristin; Lahtinen, Ismo; Makela, Annikki; Markkanen, Tiina; Minunno, Francesco; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Rankinen, Katri; Vihervaara, Petteri; Forsius, Martin (2019)
    Forests regulate climate, as carbon, water and nutrient fluxes are modified by physiological processes of vegetation and soil. Forests also provide renewable raw material, food, and recreational possibilities. Rapid climate warming projected for the boreal zone may change the provision of these ecosystem services. We demonstrate model based estimates of present and future ecosystem services related to carbon cycling of boreal forests. The services were derived from biophysical variables calculated by two dynamic models. Future changes in the biophysical variables were driven by climate change scenarios obtained as results of a sample of global climate models downscaled for Finland, assuming three future pathways of radiative forcing. We introduce continuous monitoring on phenology to be used in model parametrization through a webcam network with automated image processing features. In our analysis, climate change impacts on key boreal forest ecosystem services are both beneficial and detrimental. Our results indicate an increase in annual forest growth of about 60% and an increase in annual carbon sink of roughly 40% from the reference period (1981-2010) to the end of the century. The vegetation active period was projected to start about 3 weeks earlier and end ten days later by the end of the century compared to currently. We found a risk for increasing drought, and a decrease in the number of soil frost days. Our results show a considerable uncertainty in future provision of boreal forest ecosystem services.