Browsing by Subject "LONG-TERM CHANGES"

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  • Brutemark, Andreas; Vandelannoote, Angelique; Engström-Öst, Jonna; Suikkanen, Sanna (2015)
    Salinity is one of the main factors that explain the distribution of species in the Baltic Sea. Increased precipitation and consequent increase in freshwater inflow is predicted to decrease salinity in some areas of the Baltic Sea. Clearly such changes may have profound effects on the organisms living there. Here we investigate the response of the commonly occurring cyanobacterium Dolichospermum spp. to three salinities, 0, 3 and 6. For the three strains tested we recorded growth, intracellular toxicity (microcystin) and allelopathic properties. We show that Dolichospermum can grow in all the three salinities tested with highest growth rates in the lowest salinity. All strains showed allelopathic potential and it differed significantly between strains and salinities, but was highest in the intermediate salinity and lowest in freshwater. Intracellular toxin concentration was highest in salinity 6. In addition, based on monitoring data from the northern Baltic Proper and the Gulf of Finland, we show that salinity has decreased, while Dolichospermum spp. biomass has increased between 1979 and 2013. Thus, based on our experimental findings it is evident that salinity plays a large role in Dolichospermum growth, allelopathic properties and toxicity. In combination with our long-term data analyses, we conclude that decreasing salinity is likely to result in a more favourable environment for Dolichospermum spp. in some areas of the Baltic Sea.
  • Saarinen, Ninni; Kankare, Ville; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Viljanen, Niko; Honkavaara, Eija; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha; Huuskonen, Saija; Hynynen, Jari; Vastaranta, Mikko (2020)
    Forest management alters the growing conditions and thus further development of trees. However, quantitative assessment of forest management on tree growth has been demanding as methodologies for capturing changes comprehensively in space and time have been lacking. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has shown to be capable of providing three-dimensional (3D) tree stem reconstructions required for revealing differences between stem shapes and sizes. In this study, we used 3D reconstructions of tree stems from TLS and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to investigate how varying thinning treatments and the following growth effects affected stem shape and size of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees. The results showed that intensive thinning resulted in more stem volume and therefore total biomass allocation and carbon uptake compared to the moderate thinning.Relationship between tree height and diameter at breast height (i.e. slenderness) varied between both thinning intensity and type (i.e. from below and above) indicating differing response to thinning and allocation of stem growth of Scots pine trees. Furthermore, intensive thinning, especially from below, produced less variation in relative stem attributes characterizing stem shape and size. Thus, it can be concluded that thinning intensity,type, and the following growth effects have an impact on post-thinning stem shape and size of Scots pine trees.Our study presented detailed measurements on post-thinning stem growth of Scots pines that have been laborious or impracticable before the emergence of detailed 3D technologies. Moreover, the stem reconstructions from TLS and UAV provided variety of attributes characterizing stem shape and size that have not traditionally been feasible to obtain. The study demonstrated that detailed 3D technologies, such as TLS and UAV, provide information that can be used to generate new knowledge for supporting forest management and silviculture as well as improving ecological understanding of boreal forests.1
  • Ehrnsten, Eva; Bauer, Barbara; Gustafsson, Bo G. (2019)
    The responses of food webs to simultaneous changes in several environmental drivers are still poorly understood. As a contribution to filling this knowledge gap, we investigated the major pathways through which two interlinked environmental drivers, eutrophication and climate, affect the biomass and community composition of fish and benthic macrofauna. For this aim, we conducted a systematic sensitivity analysis using two models simulating the dynamics of benthic and pelagic food webs in the Baltic Sea. We varied environmental forcing representing primary productivity, oxygen conditions and water temperature in all possible combinations, over a range representative of expected changes during the 21st century. Both models indicated that increased primary productivity leads to biomass increase in all parts of the system, however, counteracted by expanding hypoxia. Effects of temperature were complex, but generally small compared to the other drivers. Similarities across models give confidence in the main results, but we also found differences due to different representations of the food web in the two models. While both models predicted a shift in benthic community composition toward an increased abundance of Limecola (Macoma) balthica with increasing productivity, the effects on deposit-feeding and predatory benthic groups depended on the presence of fish predators in the model. The model results indicate that nutrient loads are a stronger driver of change for ecosystem functions in the Baltic Sea than climate change, but it is important to consider the combined effects of these drivers for proper management of the marine environment.
  • Kiuru, Petri; Ojala, Anne; Mammarella, Ivan; Heiskanen, Jouni; Kämäräinen, Matti; Vesala, Timo; Huttula, Timo (2018)
    Climate change may have notable impacts on carbon cycling in freshwater ecosystems, especially in the boreal zone. Higher atmospheric temperature and changes in annual discharge patterns and carbon loading from the catchment affect the thermal and biogeochemical conditions in a lake. We developed an extension of a one-dimensional process-based lake model MyLake for simulating carbon dioxide (CO2 ) dynamics of a boreal lake. We calibrated the model for Lake Kuivajarvi, a small humic boreal lake, for the years 2013-2014, using the extensive data available on carbon inflow and concentrations of water column CO2 and dissolved organic carbon. The lake is a constant source of CO2 to the atmosphere in the present climate. We studied the potential effects of climate change-induced warming on lake CO2 concentration and air-water flux using downscaled air temperature data from three recent-generation global climate models with two alternative representative concentration pathway forcing scenarios. Literature estimates were used for climate change impacts on the lake inflow. The scenario simulations showed a 20-35% increase in the CO2 flux from the lake to the atmosphere in the scenario period 2070-2099 compared to the control period 1980-2009. In addition, we estimated possible implications of different changes in terrestrial inorganic and organic carbon loadings to the lake. The scenarios with plausible increases of 10% and 20% in CO2 and dissolved organic carbon loadings, respectively, produced increases of 2.1-2.5% and 2.2-2.3% in the annual CO2 flux.
  • Kraufvelin, Patrik; Pekcan-Hekim, Zeynep; Bergström, Ulf; Florin, Ann-Britt; Lehikoinen, Annukka; Mattila, Johanna; Arula, Timo; Briekmane, Laura; Brown, Elliot John; Celmer, Zuzanna; Dainys, Justas; Jokinen, Henri; Kääriä, Petra; Kallasvuo, Meri; Lappalainen, Antti; Lozys, Linas; Möller, Peter; Orio, Alessandro; Rohtla, Mehis; Saks, Lauri; Snickars, Martin; Støttrup, Josianne; Sundblad, Göran; Taal, Imre; Ustups, Didzis; Verliin, Aare; Vetemaa, Markus; Winkler, Helmut; Wozniczka, Adam; Olsson, Jens (2018)
    Many coastal and offshore fish species are highly dependent on specific habitat types for population maintenance. In the Baltic Sea, shallow productive habitats in the coastal zone such as wetlands, vegetated flads/lagoons and sheltered bays as well as more exposed rocky and sandy areas are utilized by fish across many life history stages including spawning, juvenile development, feeding and migration. Although there is general consensus about the critical importance of these essential fish habitats (EFH) for fish production along the coast, direct quantitative evidence for their specific roles in population growth and maintenance is still scarce. Nevertheless, for some coastal species, indirect evidence exists, and in many cases, sufficient data are also available to carry out further quantitative analyses. As coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea are often found in areas that are highly utilized and valued by humans, they are subjected to many different pressures. While cumulative pressures, such as eutrophication, coastal construction and development, climate change, invasive species and fisheries, impact fish in coastal areas, the conservation coverage for EFH in these areas remains poor. This is mainly due to the fact that historically, fisheries management and nature conservation are not integrated neither in research nor in management in Baltic Sea countries. Setting joint objectives for fisheries management and nature conservation would hence be pivotal for improved protection of EFH in the Baltic Sea. To properly inform management, improvements in the development of monitoring strategies and mapping methodology for EFH are also needed. Stronger international cooperation between Baltic Sea states will facilitate improved management outcomes across ecologically arbitrary boundaries. This is especially important for successful implementation of international agreements and legislative directives such as the Baltic Sea Action Plan, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, but also for improving the communication of information related to coastal EFH among researchers, stakeholders, managers and decision makers. In this paper, efforts are made to characterize coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea, their importance and the threats/pressures they face, as well as their current conservation status, while highlighting knowledge gaps and outlining perspectives for future work in an ecosystem-based management framework. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Jansson, Anna; Klais-Peets, Riina; Griniene, Evelina; Rubene, Gunta; Semenova, Anna; Lewandowska, Aleksandra; Engstrom-Öst, Jonna (2020)
    Functional traits are becoming more common in the analysis of marine zooplankton community dynamics associated with environmental change. We used zooplankton groups with common functional properties to assess long-term trends in the zooplankton caused by certain environmental conditions in a highly eutrophicated gulf. Time series of zooplankton traits have been collected since the 1960s in the Gulf of Riga, Baltic Sea, and were analyzed using a combination of multivariate methods (principal coordinate analysis) and generalized additive models. One of the most significant changes was the considerable increase in the amount of the zooplankton functional groups (FGR) in coastal springtime communities, and dominance shifts from more complex to simpler organism groups-cladocerans and rotifers. The results also show that functional trait organism complexity (body size) decreased considerably due to cladoceran and rotifer increase following elevated water temperature. Salinity and oxygen had negligible effects on the zooplankton community.
  • Aikio, Sami; Ramula, Satu; Muola, Anne; von Numers, Mikael (2020)
    The extrinsic determinants hypothesis emphasizes the essential role of environmental heterogeneity in species' colonization. Consequently, high resident species diversity can increase community susceptibility to colonizations because good habitats may support more species that are functionally similar to colonizers. On the other hand, colonization success is also likely to depend on species traits. We tested the relative importance of environmental characteristics and species traits in determining colonization success using census data of 587 vascular plant species collected about 70 yr apart from 471 islands in the archipelago of SW Finland. More specifically, we explored potential new colonization as a function of island properties (e.g. location, area, habitat diversity, number of resident species per unit area), species traits (e.g. plant height, life-form, dispersal vector, Ellenberg indicator values, association with human impact), and species' historical distributions (number of inhabited islands, nearest occurrence). Island properties and species' historical distributions were more effective than plant traits in explaining colonization outcomes. Contrary to the extrinsic determinants hypothesis, colonization success was neither associated with resident species diversity nor habitat diversity per se, although colonization was lowest on sparsely vegetated islands. Our findings lead us to propose that while plant traits related to dispersal and establishment may enhance colonization, predictions of plant colonizations primarily require understanding of habitat properties and species' historical distributions.
  • Saarinen, Anne; Candolin, Ulrika (2020)
    Anthropogenic eutrophication is altering aquatic environments by promoting primary production. This influences the population dynamics of consumers through bottom-up effects, but the underlying mechanisms and pathways are not always clear. To evaluate and mitigate effects of eutrophication on ecological communities, more research is needed on the underlying factors. Here we show that anthropogenic eutrophication increases population fecundity in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) by increasing the number of times females reproduce-lifetime fecundity-rather than instantaneous fecundity. When we exposed females to nutrient-enriched waters with enhanced algal growth, their interspawning interval shortened but the size of their egg clutches, or the size of their eggs, did not change. The shortening of the interspawning interval was probably caused by higher food intake, as algae growth promotes the growth of preferred prey populations. Enhanced female lifetime fecundity could increase offspring production and, hence, influence population dynamics. In support of this, earlier studies show that more offspring are emerging in habitats with denser algae growth. Thus, our results stress the importance of considering lifetime fecundity, in addition to instantaneous fecundity, when investigating the impact of human-induced eutrophication on population processes. At a broader level, our results highlight the importance of following individuals over longer time spans when evaluating the pathways and processes through which environmental changes influence individual fitness and population processes.
  • Katila, Maija; Saarenpaa-Heikkila, Outi; Saha, Marja-Terttu; Vuorela, Nina; Paavonen, E. Juulia (2019)
    Aim This prospective study examined the prevalence of snoring during infancy and the prenatal and postnatal risk factors for this condition. Methods The study population comprised 1388 infants from the CHILD-SLEEP birth cohort, who were recruited in the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Finland, between 2011 and 2013. Sleep and background factor questionnaires were filled out prenatally by parents and when the infant was three and eight months old. Results The prevalence of habitual snoring was 3.2% at the age of three months and 3.0% at eight months, and snoring infants had more sleeping difficulties at those ages, with odds ratios (ORs) of 3.11 and 4.63, respectively. At three months, snoring infants slept for a shorter length of time (p = 0.001) and their sleep was more restless (p = 0.004). In ordinal logistic regression models, parental snoring (adjusted OR = 1.65 and 2.60) and maternal smoking (adjusted OR = 2.21 and 2.17) were significantly associated with infant snoring at three and eight months, while formula feeding and dummy use (adjusted OR = 1.48 and 1.56) were only associated with infant snoring at three months. Conclusion Parental snoring and maternal smoking increased the risk of snoring. Infants who snored also seemed to suffer more from other sleep difficulties.
  • Katila, Maija; Saarenpää-Heikkilä, Outi; Saha, Marja-Terttu; Vuorela, Nina; Huhtala, Heini; Korhonen, Laura S.; Lukkarinen, Minna; Tuulari, Jetro J.; Karlsson, Linnea; Karlsson, Hasse; Paavonen, E. Juulia (2021)
    Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and persistence of snoring during the first two years of life in two Finnish birth cohorts and to assess the associated factors. Study design: The study population comprised 947 children from the CHILD-SLEEP (CS) and 1393 children from the FinnBrain (FB) birth cohorts. Questionnaires were provided to both parents when the child was 24 months of age. The questionnaire consisted of parts concerning the child's sleep and environmental factors. Results: The combined prevalence of habitual snoring in the two birth cohorts at the age of 24 months was 2.3% (95% CI 1.5-3.1), which is markedly lower than reported previously. Children suffering from recurrent infections (CS odds ratio (OR) 3.9, 95% CI 1.2-12.5) or asthma (FB OR 4.3, 1.4-13.5) snored habitually more often. Both the mother's (CS OR 3.2, 1.2-9.0) and father's (CS OR 3.4, 1.4-8.0) snoring every night added to the risk of the child snoring. In the multivariate models, parental snoring (CS adjusted odds ratio (ORa) 2.8, 1.1-6.8), the mother's lower level of education (CS ORa 2.9, 1.2-7.5, FB ORa 2.1, 1.0-4.5), and the mother's lower monthly income (FB ORa 2.9, 1.3-6.3) associated with the child's habitual snoring. Conclusions: The prevalence of habitual snoring in two Finnish birth cohorts is lower than reported previously. The independent risk factors for habitual snoring at the age of two years were the parents' snoring and the mother's low income and low education.
  • Opedal, Øystein H.; von Numers, Mikael; Tikhonov, Gleb; Ovaskainen, Otso (2020)
    Abstract Predicting the dynamics of biotic communities is difficult because species? environmental responses are not independent, but covary due to shared or contrasting ecological strategies and the influence of species interactions. We used latent-variable joint species distribution models to analyse paired historical and contemporary inventories of 585 vascular plant species on 471 islands in the south-west Finnish archipelago. Larger, more heterogeneous islands were characterized by higher colonisation rates and lower extinction rates. Ecological and taxonomical species groups explained small but detectable proportions of variance in species? environmental responses. To assess the potential influence of species interactions on community dynamics, we estimated species associations as species-to-species residual correlations for historical occurrences, for colonisations, and for extinctions. Historical species associations could to some extent predict joint colonisation patterns, but the overall estimated influence of species associations on community dynamics was weak. These results illustrate the benefits of considering metacommunity dynamics within a joint framework, but also suggest that any influence of species interactions on community dynamics may be hard to detect from observational data.
  • Luoma, Ville; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Kankare, Ville; Saarinen, Ninni; Pyorala, Jiri; Kukko, Antero; Kaartinen, Harri; Hyyppa, Juha; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Tree growth is a multidimensional process that is affected by several factors. There is a continuous demand for improved information on tree growth and the ecological traits controlling it. This study aims at providing new approaches to improve ecological understanding of tree growth by the means of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). Changes in tree stem form and stem volume allocation were investigated during a five-year monitoring period. In total, a selection of attributes from 736 trees from 37 sample plots representing different forest structures were extracted from taper curves derived from two-date TLS point clouds. The results of this study showed the capability of point cloud-based methods in detecting changes in the stem form and volume allocation. In addition, the results showed a significant difference between different forest structures in how relative stem volume and logwood volume increased during the monitoring period. Along with contributing to providing more accurate information for monitoring purposes in general, the findings of this study showed the ability and many possibilities of point cloud-based method to characterize changes in living organisms in particular, which further promote the feasibility of using point clouds as an observation method also in ecological studies.
  • Ehrnsten, Eva; Norkko, Alf; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Gustafsson, Erik; Gustafsson, Bo G. (2020)
    Nutrient loading and climate change affect coastal ecosystems worldwide. Unravelling the combined effects of these pressures on benthic macrofauna is essential for understanding the future functioning of coastal ecosystems, as it is an important component linking the benthic and pelagic realms. In this study, we extended an existing model of benthic macrofauna coupled with a physical-biogeochemical model of the Baltic Sea to study the combined effects of changing nutrient loads and climate on biomass and metabolism of benthic macrofauna historically and in scenarios for the future. Based on a statistical comparison with a large validation dataset of measured biomasses, the model showed good or reasonable performance across the different basins and depth strata in the model area. In scenarios with decreasing nutrient loads according to the Baltic Sea Action Plan but also with continued recent loads (mean loads 2012-2014), overall macrofaunal biomass and carbon processing were projected to decrease significantly by the end of the century despite improved oxygen conditions at the seafloor. Climate change led to intensified pelagic recycling of primary production and reduced export of particulate organic carbon to the seafloor with negative effects on macrofaunal biomass. In the high nutrient load scenario, representing the highest recorded historical loads, climate change counteracted the effects of increased productivity leading to a hyperbolic response: biomass and carbon processing increased up to mid-21st century but then decreased, giving almost no net change by the end of the 21st century compared to present. The study shows that benthic responses to environmental change are nonlinear and partly decoupled from pelagic responses and indicates that benthic-pelagic coupling might be weaker in a warmer and less eutrophic sea.
  • Roussa, Eleni; Speer, Jan Manuel; Chudotvorova, Ilona; Khakipoor, Shokoufeh; Smirnov, Sergei; Rivera Baeza, Claudio; Krieglstein, Kerstin (2016)
    Functional activation of the neuronal K+-Cl- co-transporter KCC2 (also known as SLC12A5) is a prerequisite for shifting GABAA responses from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing during development. Here, we introduce transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGF-beta 2) as a new regulator of KCC2 membrane trafficking and functional activation. TGF-beta 2 controls membrane trafficking, surface expression and activity of KCC2 in developing and mature mouse primary hippocampal neurons, as determined by immunoblotting, immunofluorescence, biotinylation of surface proteins and KCC2-mediated Cl- extrusion. We also identify the signaling pathway from TGF-beta 2 to cAMP-response-element-binding protein (CREB) and Ras-associated binding protein 11b (Rab11b) as the underlying mechanism for TGF-beta 2-mediated KCC2 trafficking and functional activation. TGF-beta 2 increases colocalization and interaction of KCC2 with Rab11b, as determined by 3D stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation, respectively, induces CREB phosphorylation, and enhances Rab11b gene expression. Loss of function of either CREB1 or Rab11b suppressed TGF-beta 2-dependent KCC2 trafficking, surface expression and functionality. Thus, TGF-beta 2 is a new regulatory factor for KCC2 functional activation and membrane trafficking, and a putative indispensable molecular determinant for the developmental shift of GABAergic transmission.