Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta: Recent submissions

Now showing items 41-60 of 358
  • Hämäläinen, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In a national assessment of threatened habitat types published in December 2018, the state of brooks in Finland was evaluated poor throughout the country. The situation is the worst in the channels of clay rich areas that have a long history of agriculture and are suffering from excessive nutrient loads. The developmental direction of all flowing water habitat types is negative compared to the assessment given in 2008. Currently there are tens of thousands of kilometers of brooks in the need of restoration.The problem with the already accomplished restorations is that they are limited only to specific and short parts of the channels. Because the restorations usually do not include monitoring, the data available of the effects of the restorations is limited. The problem is global, which has led to only small development in the restoration methods in the past decades. In order to improve the condition of brooks in Finland, there is a need for new planning methods focusing on the drainage basins and the importance of monitoring. Methods developed in Central Europe and North America focus in considering the restoration area and its drainage basin as one unit, mapping of the original characteristics of the ecosystem and specifying the goals of restoration. In the presence of specific goals, the monitoring will become an integral part of the restoration plan. This study investigated the effect of setting specific goals for the restoration, and whether it could offer solutions in improving the situation of brooks in Finland. This study applies to brooks in general, but through the restoration example used, focuses especially in the restoration of channels in agricultural areas. This study describes the first extensive restoration of agricultural brook completed in Finland. Kumianoja, located in Hämeenkoski, was restored to flow in its original meandering shape of the channel in the length of approximately one kilometer. With the documentation of this restoration, this study creates an overview of brook restoration planning and the different stages of its execution. The study was part of the “Sustainable management and restoration of dredged agricultural streams (KURVI)”-project (2016-2018) of the Finnish Environment Institute that was funded by the Ministry of the Environment. The goal of the project was to develop methods for improving the state of the flowing waters damaged by the agricultural land drainage according to the Strategy for Protection and Restoration of Small Water Bodies published in 2015 and the goals of the Water act renewed in 2011.
  • Nymark, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Elevernas intresse för naturvetenskaper har minskat och en del elever anser att naturvetenskapliga läroämnen är onödiga och att undervisningen i dem är gammaldags. Ungdomar spenderar dessutom mycket mindre tid i naturen än tidigare vilket har lett till att deras kunskap och engagemang för miljön minskat. I dagens värld, med avancerad teknik och komplexa miljöproblem, är det dock viktigt att ungdomarna utvecklar en vetenskaplig och ekologisk läskunnighet för att kunna göra välinformerade och hållbara val. Syftet med den här avhandlingen var att bidra till en förnyelse av undervisningen i biologi genom att skapa aktiverande uteundervisningsuppgifter om växter. Utomhuspedagogik fungerade som didaktisk grund till uppgifterna eftersom undervisningen utförs utomhus och inkluderar aktiverande, undersökande, upplevelsebaserade, samt helhetsskapande och ämnesöverskridande element. Den här typen av undervisning föreskrivs i den nya läroplanen och forskningen påvisar dessutom att den höjer elevernas intresse och lärande i biologi samt främjar deras miljöengagemang. Det antogs finnas ett behov av färdiga undervisningsuppgifter eftersom uteundervisning är tidskrävande att planera och lärarna rapporterat om tidsbrist på arbetet. Uppgifterna fokuserade på växter eftersom kännedomen om dem generellt är sämre än kännedomen om djur och eftersom det befintliga utbudet av växtrelaterade undervisningsuppgifter är bristfälligt. Kvalitativa intervjuer och en webbenkät genomfördes med biologilärare i årskurs sju och åtta i grundskolan med avsikt ta reda på skolornas praktiska förutsättningar för uteundervisning, lärarnas åsikter om uteundervisning, samt deras önskemål jämte behov av uteundervisningsuppgifter. Fyra lärare intervjuades och 18 lärare svarade på webbenkäten. Enkäten analyserades och intervjuerna transkriberades och analyserades. Resultaten påvisade att lärarna saknar tid för att konstruera egna uteundervisningsuppgifter och att lärarna ansåg att färdiga uppgifter skulle underlätta deras arbete. Nio undervisningsuppgifter och en växtartlista skapades för att svara på lärarnas behov och inkluderade de åtta mest önskade arbetssätten. Utomhuspedagogikens fördelar utnyttjades i uppgifterna till exempel genom att mångsidigt begagna sinnesupplevelser och reflektion samt rörelse, samarbete och diskussion. Uppgifterna beaktade de praktiska förutsättningarna för uteundervisningen i skolorna genom att förlägga majoriteten av uppgifterna till hösten och våren och genom att göra uppgifterna anpassningsbara till olika naturtyper. Uppgifterna kan användas för att förverkliga läroplanens mål för utveckling av mångsidig kompetens samt de flesta målen för undervisningen i biologi, och inkluderade dessutom ämnesövergripande och helhetsskapande undervisning. Undervisningsuppgifterna som skapades kan användas för att förnya undervisningen i biologi och för att underlätta lärarnas arbete. Uppgifterna har, tack vare utomhuspedagogikens och det aktiva lärandets unika särdrag, potential att höja elevens intresse och lärande i biologi, kapacitet att utveckla kvalitativ kunskap och högre former av tänkande och dessutom utsikter att skapa ett personligt förhållande mellan eleven och naturen vilket i förlängningen kan leda till att eleven utvecklar en miljömedvetenhet och hållbar livsstil. En utmaning som synliggjordes var att lärarna inte verkar inse uteundervisningens kvalitativa mervärde utan istället antar en mer kvantitativ kunskapssyn vilket varken är förenligt med samtida forskning eller den nya läroplanen. Några av uppgifterna kommer att publiceras som en del av en nätpublikation som produceras inom ramen för ett lärarfortbildningsprojekt finansierat av Utbildningsstyrelsen och kommer således att bli tillgängliga för lärarna.
  • Kettunen, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Environmental problems are usually complex in nature, encompass uncertainties and affect multiple actors and groups of people in multiple ways. Hence, managing these problems requires transparent decision making that takes into consideration diverse values, perceptions and knowledge of those groups. Decisions that are made in a participatory decision-making process are more likely to express public values and local knowledge than decisions made in top-down management processes. Collaboration has become a ubiquitous concept within the context of participatory planning and environmental management. It is used in describing a wide array of participatory approaches and it is often used as a tool in managing wicked problems. However, participatory approaches do not guarantee better success in solving environmental problems. Hence, it is crucial to deliberate what kind of approach is used and what kind of situations it suits. This master’s thesis examines Metsähallitus’ participatory natural resource planning (NRP) process through the concept of collaboration. The study encompasses two mutually supporting parts: a case study about Metsähallitus’ natural resource planning process for Southern Finland 2017-2022 and an equality analysis encompassing altogether four cooperation groups from natural resource planning processes. The aim of the study is to find out how trust building, commitment, social capital and stakeholders’ opportunities to influence decision-making were realized in the NRP process of Southern Finland. In addition, aspects of equality in natural resource planning are examined. Data of the case study consists of seven qualitative semi-structured interviews. Data is analyzed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis. Data of the equality analysis consists of six NRP cooperation groups’ participant lists and the data is analyzed with quantitative content analysis. Based on the results, opportunities to participate actualize most efficiently in the operational level of the cooperation group. The methods used and facilitator’s contribution enhance the realization of equality within the cooperation group. Stakeholders reported a few defects concerning equal processing of values and interests. For example, topics regarding forestry overweighs other topics. The representativeness of stakeholders was considered good. Representatives of public agencies are most frequently participating of all stakeholder groups. Every fifth participant was a woman. What comes to social capital, one of the main results was increased mutual understanding among stakeholders that resulted from learning from each other in the process. Stakeholders’ perceptions of their opportunities to influence decision-making were labeled partly by contentment and realism, but partly by a low level of expectations. Opportunity to influence in decision-making is a remarkable factor for commitment and motivation to participate. The context of NRP-process also affects the planning and its results, but further research on this topic is needed and I propose this as one future research topic. More research is also needed to evaluate on how one of the main principles of collaboration, sharing decision-making power, affects natural resource planning and its results, if adopted.
  • Sokka, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) can exists in both primed and naïve states. The conventionally derived human PSCs represent the later primed state of pluripotency during embryo development, while the naïve state resembles the inner cell mass (ICM) of pre-implantation blastocyst. Primed human PSCs can be reverted chemically by transient histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition back to the naïve state in vitro. The reverted PSCs can then be characterized based on their morphology and expression of selected naïve markers using immunocytochemistry and RT-qPCR assays. Leucine twenty homeobox (LEUTX) is one of the genes expressed during the early stages of embryo development and is capable of activating the transcription of multiple genes, including pluripotency-associated genes, which are upregulated during the human embryonic genome activation (EGA). LEUTX expression could potentially improve the naïve reversion efficiency or the maintenance of naïve PSCs by driving the transcriptome of primed PSCs back towards the earlier cell stages of embryo development, potentially even to cell stages that precede the naïve state. The aim of this thesis was to setup the naïve reversion protocol and study the effects of LEUTX on the reversion by using the generated and tested H9 activator cell line for targeted activation of endogenous LEUTX expression. First, a conditionally stabilized CRISPRa activator cell line was generated for targeted activation of endogenous gene expression in H9 cells. Then sequence-specific guide RNAs (gRNA) targeting LEUTX for activation were introduced to the activator cell line. Using the generated activator cell line during the naïve reversions allows the targeted activation of specific genes, here LEUTX, and thus enables studying the effects of these genes on PSCs during the naïve reversion protocol. The induced activator cells expressing LEUTX managed to form four times as many naïve resembling colonies during the reversion compared to the controls, but most of these were lost after changing the medium conditions towards the end of the protocol. After the reversion was complete, the reverted PSCs were characterized as naïve PSCs based on their domed morphology and the high expression of naïve markers NANOG, KLF17, TFCP2L1 and DNMT3L when compared to the primed PSCs. The naïve reversion protocol was set up and optimized successfully and can now be used as a reliable way of obtaining human naïve PSCs for further experiments studying and modelling the earlier developmental stages during embryo development. Furthermore, the generated H9 activator cell line worked as intended and can be utilized for studying the effects of other targeted genes during the reversion or in the reverted naïve PSCs.
  • Kuitunen, Essi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Glutamine, the conditionally essential amino acid, is a major carbon and nitrogen carrier required for a range of cell functions, such as protein synthesis and maintaining redox balance. While healthy cells adjust their activities in response to glutamine availability, tumor cells display deregulated glutamine uptake and metabolism allowing quick proliferation and survival in cellular stress conditions. Hence, further knowledge of the glutamine sensing network is of interest. Utilizing Drosophila melanogaster, the roles of formerly identified glutamine sensing regulator candidates, Forkhead box O (FoxO), Super sex combs (Sxc), Spalt major (Salm) and Spalt-related (Salr), were explored. Drosophila is an efficient model organism for analyzing gene regulatory mechanisms, with its simple genome but conserved genes and metabolic pathways. Loss-of function and gain-of-function mutants of the candidates were cultured with/without glutamine, and their physiological response and gene expression changes were analyzed. The results show the glutamine intolerant phenotype of FoxO and Sxc deficiency, not dependent on altered food intake levels of larvae. However, glutamine intolerance of Salr and Salm deficiency was not observed. Moreover, we aimed to gain further insight to the roles of FoxO and Sxc in glutamine metabolism. Since amino acid catabolism produces ammonia, and glutamine metabolism plays a vital role in ammonia detoxification, we performed a pH-based measurement of foxo and sxc mutant larvae hemolymph on food with/without glutamine. However, we could not associate FoxO or Sxc with regulation of glutamine-derived ammonia clearance. In addition, we explored FoxO downstream regulator candidates. Putative promoter areas of Paics, Uro, Sesn, salr, Prat2 and Gdh were cloned into reporter vectors and the luciferase activity was analyzed under the expression of foxo. The results indicate that FoxO is a regulator of all of the 6 genes. Next we could utilize the here constructed plasmids to see whether the FoxO-mediated regulation is affected by altered glutamine levels in cell culture.
  • Akhondzadeh, Soheila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Background: Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer and is the most lethal gynecologic cancer due to its late diagnosis. Compared to ovarian cancer, endometrial carcinoma, as the most common gynecologic malignancy, is referred to as the “curable cancer”, as it can be detected early. As aberrant promoter methylation patterns are a common change in human cancer, detection of promoter methylation status may help in early diagnosis. In this study, we used a custom-designed methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) assay as a rapid and easy method, to simultaneously detect the methylation status of multiple genes in ovarian and endometrial cancer samples. Aims: To design and test an MS-MLPA assay for analyzing promoter methylation of four genes associated with ovarian and endometrial cancers. The selected genes were HNF1 homeobox B (HNF1β), Ten-eleven translocation 1(TET1), L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM), and AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A). These genes are known to have expression changes by DNA methylation. Methods: The promoter DNA methylation patterns of these four genes were analyzed in 15 cancer cell lines and 5 normal cell lines and DNAs using bisulfite sequencing. Six synthetic probe pairs were designed and optimized by applying them to cancer and normal cell lines and normal DNAs and comparing the results with those of bisulfite sequencing. Finally, the MS-MLPA assay was performed on patient specimens according to the MRC-HOLLAND MS-MLPA general protocol and methylation frequencies were calculated from MS-MLPA data. Results and conclusion: The MS-MLPA assay gave accurate methylation results with the 170 samples assayed. The HNF1B, L1CAM, and TET1 Genes were observed methylated in tumor samples whereas they were not methylated in the normal samples or showed very little methylation, suggested to be favorable diagnostic markers. MS-MLPA robustly and sensitively detects the promoter DNA methylation status.
  • Junna, Nella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders of the peripheral nervous system. It affects both peripheral motor and sensory nerves that lead to progressive degeneration of muscles in the lower limbs. Prevalence of CMT is 1:2500. It can be divided into two groups: CMT1 is the demyelinating type and CMT2 is the axonal type. There are 20 known genes associated with CMT2 but not all of them have been found yet. Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of inherited neurological disorders and it is also genetically and clinically heterogeneous. HSP is caused by degeneration of the upper motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. HSP can be divided into pure and complex forms. In pure forms the main symptoms are progressive spasticity and weakness in the lower limbs. In complex forms there are additional symptoms such as epilepsy and mental retardation. The prevalence of HSP is 2-10:100 000. There are over 70 loci associated with HSP and 55 genes identified so far but there is probably more to be found. With both of these diseases it has been difficult to diagnose patients at the genetic level because of the great amount of disease genes. The aim of this study was to identify potential disease causing mutations by using targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) and also to do functional testing with the discovered mutations. There were 48 patients, 28 diagnosed with CMT and 20 with HSP. For the targeted sequencing there was a gene panel with 167 genes, including genes associated with neuropathy, paraplegia, ALS and mitochondrial functions. Analyzing of the gene variants was largely based on their frequencies in the population and several exome databases were used. All possibly pathogenic mutations were confirmed with Sanger-sequencing and also sequenced from the patients’ relatives, if DNA samples were available. Possible genetic diagnosis was found for five CMT patients and six HSP patients. Only one of the mutations was previously known. One of the probably pathogenic mutations was a deletion, others were missense mutations. Large portion of the patients were left without a genetic diagnosis probably because there are many more genes associated with these diseases to be found. De novo heterozygous missense mutations in the KIF1A gene were found to cause a novel phenotype. Symptoms of these patients include classical HSP symptoms and additionally intellectual disability and other symptoms, such as cerebellar atrophy, in some patients. In this study we found a deletion in the gene HSPB1 that causes premature STOP codon that leads to disappearance of nearly the entire C-terminus. In this study I built a HSPB1-Western blot assay that was used in further research. It was found out that the truncated protein was stabile, it forms dimers with the normal protein and impairs the cells response against stress caused by misfolded proteins.
  • Mahmood, Hamid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Nucleosides are one of the fundamental building blocks of the cell and are precursors of DNA and RNA and serve as universal signalling molecules for cell surface receptors. These nucleosides play vital roles in myriad of physiological processes, such as cardioprotection, platelet aggregation and coronary vasodilation. In clinical settings, synthetic analogs of nucleosides are used as therapeutic against cancer and other viral diseases. In human, uptake and regulation of nucleosides and their analog drugs is facilitated by the two families solute carrier membrane transporter proteins (SLC); SLC28 and SLC29. SLC29 consists of four human equilibrative nucleoside transporter members (hENT1-4) with different sub-cellular localization, tissue distribution and substrate selectivities. Human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1) is the major plasma membrane nucleoside transporter and has shown to play an important role in adenosine signalling and anticancer therapies. Despite the significant physiological and pathophysiological role, little is known about the structure and molecular function of ENT homologs. Structural studies of hENT1 and other nucleoside transporter is hampered by their low expression and hydrophobic nature. The aim of this thesis work is to find suitable nanobodies (Nbs) that may serve as crystallization chaperone to facilitate the structural studies of hENT1 transporter. Camelid heavy chain only antibodies (Nanobodies) raised against recombinant hENT1 were screened for their suitability for future structural investigation of hENT1. Selected nanobodies were expressed and purified from E.coli cell in milligram quantities. Affinity of nanobodies with hENT1 was assessed using co-elution on size exclusion chromatography. High affinity binders were further screened for their ability to conformationally stabilize hENT1. In future, high affinity nanobodies will be explored for x-ray crystallization and single particle cryo-electron microscopy of hENT1. For cryo-EM it's important to convert the selected Nbs into megabody which constitute large scaffold proteins. 3D structure determination of hENT1 will be significant in understanding its molecular function and to accelerate rational drug designing against cancer, HIV and other viral infections.
  • Helenius, Leena (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The purpose of this Master's thesis is to examine and analyse contradictions typical to many environmental questions and to bring forth the thinking underlying them. The thesis explores how the contradictions are perceived and examines them with the concept of paradigm. Paradigm is defined as a mental model through which the world is seen. Two specific paradigms, exclusive and inclusive paradigm, are identified and conceptualised in environmental thinking and analysed via two case-studies. The aim is to improve understanding of environmental contradictions and conflicts and to find ways to tackle them with paradigmatic level of thinking. The objectives of the thesis are first, to develop theoretical tools to ease comprehensive understanding of contradictions, and second, to enable examination of dichotomies and polarized juxtapositions. The research approach is holistic, and the analytical process applies philosophical methods of problematization, explication and argumentation. Other methodological tools utilized include hermeneutic thinking and abductive reasoning. The case-studies in focus are the human perception of inclusion with nature and the human-wolf conflict in Finland. In the human-wolf conflict case-study content analysis is also applied. The thesis first presents the concepts of opposite and contradiction and examines how they are approached in the Western philosophical tradition. The special focus is on the differences between the logics and the dialectics traditions regarding exclusive and inclusive thinking. The logical laws of non-contradiction and excluded middle and dialectical thinking are the key elements of the theoretical framework. Based on these elements two cognitive models are built: a) a seven-point model that describes the process of neutral opposites turning to problematic contradictions, and b) a four-field sub-paradigm model, which enables examination of contradictions via four different sub-paradigms (atomistic dualism, atomistic pluralism, holistic dualism and holistic pluralism). The models are applied to the two case-studies. The first case-study of human perception of inclusion with nature deals with the human-nature relationship, i.e. to what extent human is perceived to be a part of nature or separate of it. The seven-point model shows how human and nature are separated from each other and perceived as polar opposites at conceptual level in Western thinking. The sub-paradigm model illustrates four alternative ways, exclusive and inclusive, to see the human-nature relationship. In conclusion, juxtaposition of human and nature is shown to result from logical misconception combined with exclusive thinking. Instead of being detached from nature, human is fully dependent on it. The second case-study of the human-wolf conflict in Finland is a classic wicked problem: a complex, multi-stakeholder issue, solving of which requires holistic understanding. The human-wolf conflict is examined utilising both previous academic literature and news and magazine articles on the case. The purpose of this case-study is to offer an illustrative example and to show in a more concrete way the significance of inclusive and exclusive paradigm to the understanding of such environmental conflicts. It is suggested that the polarized situation of the human-wolf conflict could be unraveled by applying the models built in this thesis. Specifically, the inclusive paradigm could have a central role in resolving the conflict. The last section of the thesis discusses why it is important to distinguish what kind of contradiction is at hand and what kind of paradigms they are seen through: paradigms always shape the way the contradictions are seen. It's important to recognise the situations where the two different paradigms should be used. Inclusive paradigm suits to seeking comprehensive understanding to complex problems. Exclusive paradigm on the other hand can help with concrete solutions and decisions. Inclusive and exclusive paradigms themselves form contrary opposites, and should therefore be understood dialectically. The thesis introduces a concept of meta-dialectics emphasising balanced application of the two paradigms in a case- and context-specific manner. Further research could include applications of the models built in this thesis to different environmental cases, investigating in further detail what kind of issues and conflicts would need more inclusive or exclusive thinking. Finally, further development of comprehensive and holistic research methodologies would be highly needed in our increasingly complex world.
  • Nisonen, Sampsa (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Tutkielman tavoitteena on arvioida ympäristöpolitiikan integraation tasoa suomalaisissa ruokaa ja ravitsemusta käsittelevissä poliittisissa asiakirjoissa. Lisäksi metodologisena tavoitteena on kehittää ympäristöpolitiikan integraation tason arvioinnin menetelmiä tarkemmiksi ja kattavammiksi. Tutkielman aineistona on 12 suomalaisen ruoka- ja ravitsemuspolitiikan kannalta keskeistä poliittista asiakirjaa sekä yksi samaa aihepiiriä käsittelevä tieteellinen selvitys, joka taustoittaa ruokapolitiikan kenttää ja tarjoaa poliittisille asiakirjoille vertailukohdan. Asiakirjat valittiin käyttäen kriteereinä sekä niiden vaikuttavuutta ja painoarvoa että niiden sisällön keskeisyyttä tutkielman aiheen näkökulmasta. Valitut asiakirjat on myös julkaistu viime vuosien aikana. Tutkielman teoreettisen pohjan muodostavat ympäristöpolitiikan integraatiolle kirjallisuudessa asetetut määritelmät ja kriteerit. Tutkielmassa nojataan määritelmään, jonka mukaan ympäristöpolitiikan integraatiolla tarkoitetaan ympäristötavoitteiden sisällyttämistä kaikille politiikan sektoreille siten, että ne saavat erityisen suuren painoarvon: ympäristötavoitteet ohjaavat politiikan suunnittelua ja toteutusta, ja pyrittäessä minimoimaan eri sektorien toimenpiteiden välisiä ristiriitoja niille annetaan periaatteellinen prioriteetti. Tässä tutkielmassakin sovelletaan siten hyvin ympäristöpainotteista näkökulmaa ympäristöpolitiikan integraatioon ruoka- ja ravitsemuspolitiikassa. Ympäristöpolitiikan integraation tasoa aineistossa tutkitaan tarkastelemalla, kuinka hyvin aineisto täyttää ympäristöpolitiikan integraatiolle annetut, kirjallisuuslähteitä soveltaen määritellyt neljä kriteeriä. Sisällyttämisellä tarkoitetaan sitä, missä määrin ympäristöasiat ovat esillä aineistossa. Koherenssilla viitataan siihen, kuinka hyvin synergiaetuja on onnistuttu maksimoimaan ja ristiriitahaittoja minimoimaan ympäristötavoitteiden ja muiden tavoitteiden välillä. Painotuksella kuvataan sitä, millainen painoarvo ympäristötavoitteille on annettu muihin tavoitteisiin verrattuna. Raportoinnilla taas arvioidaan, kuinka tehokkaita seuranta- ja raportointivelvoitteita ympäristötavoitteiden toteutumiselle on asetettu. Tutkielman laajan aineiston analyysin mahdollistaa koodaus Atlas.ti-tietokoneohjelmalla. Koodit ovat viittauslistoja, jotka kokoavat kuvaavien nimikkeiden alle asiakirjojen oleellisia kohtia, tiivistäen aineiston sisältöä. Koodeja voidaan käyttää suoraan sisällyttämisen ja raportoinnin tason arviointiin. Koherenssin arvioimiseksi tarkastellaan 10 keskeisen ympäristökoodin vuorovaikutuksia toistensa sekä 10 keskeisen talous- ja 10 keskeisen terveysaiheisen koodin kanssa. Mahdolliset vuorovaikutustyypit ovat synergia, ristiriita ja ei vuorovaikutusta. Vuorovaikutusten tyyppiä arvioidaan kahdella eri tavalla. Ensimmäinen arvio perustuu puhtaasti aineistoon kuuluvien poliittisten asiakirjojen tekstisisältöön, mutta toisessa asiaa tutkitaan tarkemmin käyttäen apuna lähdekirjallisuutta ja omaa tulkintaa sekä aineistoon kuuluvaa tieteellistä selvitystä. Näitä kahta arvioita vertaamalla selvitetään, missä määrin tutkittujen sektoreiden väliset ristiriidat ja synergiat on huomioitu ja ylipäätään tunnustettu suomalaisessa politiikassa. Vuorovaikutusten merkittävyyttä arvioidaan sitten numeerisesti sen perusteella, miten laajasti ne esiintyivät eri asiakirjoissa. Painotuksia arvioidaan ryhmittelemällä ensin kunkin asiakirjan koodit ympäristö-, talous- ja terveysryhmiin. Tämän jälkeen verrataan ryhmien kokoa ja niihin kuuluville koodeille asiakirjoissa annettua painoa keskenään. Tutkielmassa kehitetyn menetelmän etuna on, että sen avulla voidaan tehokkaasti tarkastella kokonaista asiakirjajoukkoa ja politiikkasektoria yksittäisen asiakirjan sijaan. Suoritettu analyysi osoittaa, että ympäristötavoitteiden ja -toimenpiteiden keskinäinen koherenssi on korkea, mutta kaikkia potentiaalisia synergioita ei vielä hyödynnetä. Ympäristö- ja taloussektoreidenkin väliltä löytyy synergioita, mutta ne on jo pitkälti tunnistettu tai jopa hyödynnetty. Ristiriitoja löytyy myös hyvin paljon, ja niitä ei ole asiakirjoissa edes tunnustettu. Ympäristö- ja terveyssektorien väliltä löytyy erittäin paljon synergiapotentiaalia, esimerkiksi kestävään kehitykseen ja terveellisyyteen perustuvat ravitsemussuositukset ovat pitkälti yhtenevät. Näitä synergioita on kuitenkin toistaiseksi hyödynnetty riittämättömästi. Etenkin terveyssektorin tuottamissa asiakirjoissa jätetään systemaattisesti huomiotta terveysajattelun ulkopuolelle jäävät näkökohdat. Sisällyttämis- ja painotuskriteerit täyttyvät ennen kaikkea kestävää kehitystä käsittelevissä asiakirjoissa. Yleisissä sekä ruokapoliittisissa asiakirjoissa kriteerin ehdot toteutuvat osittain ja terveyspainotteisissa asiakirjoissa ne jäävät yksiselitteisesti toteutumatta. Raportoinnista on yleisesti ottaen huolehdittu, mutta ympäristöasioiden ollessa sivuosassa jää tämä kriteeri yleensä täyttämättä. Tutkielma antaa lähtökohdat monentyyppisiin jatkotutkimuksiin. Ympäristöpolitiikan integraatiota on mahdollista kehittää paikkaamalla tutkielman havaitsemia puutteita ja ongelmakohtia. Tutkielman paljastamat ruoka- ja ravitsemuspolitiikan tavoitteiden ja toimenpiteiden väliset vuorovaikutukset kaipaavat myös tarkempaa ja syvällisempää tutkimusta. Tutkielmassa kehitettyä menetelmää on mahdollista hyödyntää tulevaisuudessa uusissa vastaavantyyppisissä tutkimuksissa ympäristöpolitiikan integraation edistymisen arvioimiseksi. Menetelmää on myös mahdollista soveltaa aivan toisiin politiikan integraatiotyyppeihin.
  • Mähönen, Elina (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Suurin osa kulutuksen ympäristövaikutuksista tulee kolmelta osa-alueelta: asumisesta, liikkumisesta ja ruokailusta. Ruokailun merkitys suomalaisen kuluttajan ympäristövaikutuksissa on keskeinen, sillä reilu kolmasosa suomalaisen kuluttajan kaikista ympäristövaikutuksista aiheutuu ruuasta. Mahdollisuuksia pienentää ruokailun ympäristövaikutuksia pohdittiin ympäristöministeriön järjestämissä Suomen Kestävän kulutuksen ja tuotannon ohjelman uudistamisprosessiin liittyvissä asiantuntijatyöpajoissa. Tämän tutkimuksen taustalla on työpajoissa syntynyt ehdotus siitä, että ruokailun ympäristövaikutukset huomioitaisiin Valtion ravitsemusneuvottelukunnan lautasmallissa. Raaka-ainevalinnat ovat ratkaisevassa roolissa ruokailun ympäristövaikutusten muodostumisessa, sillä raaka-aineet ovat aterioiden tärkeimmät kuormituslähteet. Ravitsemussuosituksista tutun lautasmallin mukaisen aterian eri osien sisällä voidaan tehdä ympäristömyötäisiä ruokavalintoja ilman, että aterian ravintoarvo tai tasapaino kärsii. Tässä tutkimuksessa ympäristömyötäisiä ruokavalintoja tarkastellaan kuluttajan näkökulmasta. Tutkimuksen tavoitteena on selvittää, minkälaisia käsityksiä kuluttajilla on ympäristömyötäisistä ruokavalinnoista ja miten kuluttajat suhtautuvat ympäristölautasmalleihin, jotka ottavat huomioon ravinnon terveysvaikutusten ohella myös ruuan ympäristövaikutukset. Tutkimuskysymysten avulla pyritään muodostamaan käsitys myös siitä, voisivatko ympäristölautasmallit edistää ympäristömyötäisten ruokavalintojen toteutumista tavallisen kuluttajan arkielämässä. Tutkimuksen on tarkoitus tuottaa Valtion ravitsemusneuvottelukunnalle suuntaa antavaa tietoa siitä, minkälaisia ennakkokäsityksiä kuluttajilla on ympäristömyötäiseen ruokavalioon liittyen ja, minkälaisia näkemyksiä ruokavalintojen ympäristövaikutusten huomioiminen lautasmalleissa herättää kuluttajissa. Tutkimus on luonteeltaan laadullinen tutkimus. Tutkimuksen aineisto kerättiin haastattelemalla kuluttajia kolmessa ryhmähaastattelussa. Aineiston analysoinnissa käytettiin apuna teemoittelua. Haastateltavat suhtautuivat ympäristömyötäisiin ruokavalintoihin ja ympäristölautasmalleihin varsin myönteisesti, mutta ympäristömyötäiset ruokavalinnat herättivät myös ristiriitaisuuden ja hämmennyksen tunteita. Vanhemmat ja nuoremmat kuluttajat myös hahmottivat ympäristömyötäiset ruokavalinnat jossain määrin eri tavoin. Haastateltavat kokivat kuluttajien ruokavalinnat merkityksellisiksi ruokailuun liittyvien ympäristövaikutusten pienentämisessä, mutta tunsivat erilaisten tekijöiden ohjaavan ja rajoittavan valintoja. Haastatteluaineiston perusteella voidaan muodostaa käsitys toimintaympäristöstä, jossa erilaiset rakenteet luovat puitteet kuluttajien käyttäytymiselle. Ympäristölautasmallit koettiin hyväksi keinoksi lisätä kuluttajien tietoisuutta ruokavalintojen merkityksestä ilmastonmuutoksen hillitsemisessä ja muiden haitallisten ympäristövaikutusten vähentämisessä. Ympäristömyötäisten ruokavalintojen yleistymistä ei kuitenkaan voida jättää yksinomaan kuluttajien valintojen varaan, vaan yhteiskunnan eri tahojen muodostama tukiverkosto ympäristölautasmalleille koettiin esisijaisen tärkeäksi. Tutkimuksen tuloksia voidaan hyödyntää ympäristölautasmallien suunnitteluprosessissa sekä muissa yhteyksissä, joissa kehitetään keinoja viestiä ruokavalintojen ympäristövaikutuksista kuluttajille.
  • Lakka, Hanna-Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Lepidurus arcticus (Pallas, 1793) is a keystone species in High Arctic ponds, which are exposed to a wide range of environmental stressors. This thesis provides information on the ecology of this little studied species by paying particular focus on the sensitivity of L. arcticus to acidification and climate change. Respiration, reproduction, olfaction, morphology, salinity and pH tolerance of the species were studied in the laboratory and several environmental parameters were measured in its natural habitats in Arctic ponds. Current global circulation models predict 2–2.4 °C increase in summer temperatures on Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. The L. arcticus respiration activity was tested at different temperatures (3.5, 10, 16.5, 20, 25 and 30 °C). The results show that L. arcticus is clearly adapted to live in cold water and have a temperature optimum at +10 °C. This species should be considered as stenothermal, because it seems to be able to live only within a narrow temperature range. L. arcticus populations seem to have the capacity to respond to the ongoing climate change on Spitsbergen. Changes can be seen in the species' reproductive capacity and in the individuals' body size when comparing results with previous studies on Spitsbergen and in other Arctic areas. Effective reproduction capacity was a unique feature of the L. arcticus populations on Spitsbergen. L. arcticus females reached sexual maturity at a smaller body size and sexual dimorphism appeared in smaller animals on Spitsbergen than anywhere else in the subarctic or Arctic regions. L. arcticus females were able to carry more eggs (up to 12 eggs per female) than has been observed in previous studies. Another interesting feature of L. arcticus on Spitsbergen was their potential to grow large, up to 39.4 mm in total length. Also cannibalistic behaviour seemed to be common on Spitsbergen L. arcticus populations. The existence of different colour morphs and the population-level differences in morphology of L. arcticus were unknown, but fascinating characteristic of this species. Spitsbergen populations consisted of two major (i.e. monochrome and marbled) and several combined colour morphs. Third interesting finding was a new disease for science which activated when the water temperature rose. I named this disease to Red Carapace Disease (RCD). This High Arctic crustacean lives in ponds between the Arctic Ocean and glaciers, where the marine environment has a strong impact on the terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The tolerance of L. arcticius to increased water salinity was determined by a LC50 -test. No mortality occurred during the 23 day exposure at low 1–2 ‰ water salinity. A slight increase in water salinity (to 1 ‰) speeded up the L. arcticus shell replacement. The observations from natural populations supported the hypothesis that the size of the animals increases considerably in low 1.5 ‰ salt concentrations. Thus, a small increase in water salinity seems to have a positive impact on the growth of this short-lived species. Acidification has been a big problem for many crustaceans, invertebrates and fishes for several decades. L. arcricus does not make an exception. Strong acid stress in pH 4 caused a high mortality of mature L. arcticus females. The critical lower limit of pH was 6.1 for the survival of this acid sensitive species. Thus, L. arcticus populations are probably in danger of extinction due to acidification of three ponds on Spitsbergen. A slight drop (0.1–1.0) in pH values can wipe out these L. arcticus populations. The survival of L. arcticus was strongly related to: (1) the water pH, (2) total organic carbon (TOC) and pH interaction, (3) the water temperature and (4) the water salinity. Water pH and TOC values should be monitored in these ponds and the input of acidifying substances in ponds should be prevented.
  • Halonen, Minna (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Kaupungistumisen lisääntyessä luonnontilaiset elinympäristöt pirstaloituvat, jonka seurauksena kaupunkeihin tarvitaan lisää viheralueita monimuotoisuuden säilyttämiseksi. Jotta kaupunkeihin saataisiin lisää elämää tuovia virkistäviä viheralueita, on viherkattoja käytetty muiden kaupungin viheralueiden rinnalla. Viherkatot ovat nimensä mukaisesti rakennusten katoille rakennettuja viheralueita, jotka voivat olla sekä tasakattojen että vinojen kattojen päällä. Tavallisesta, maan pinnalla sijaitsevasta viheralueesta poiketen viherkatolla on rajallinen maaperän paksuus, sillä sen pohjana on talon kattorakenne. Viherkatot ovat osa kaupunkien ekosysteemipalveluita, joilla tarkoitetaan ihmisen saamia hyötyjä ekosysteemeistä. Viherkatoista saatavat hyödyt ovat monenlaisia: hiilen sitominen yhteyttämisessä ja hapen vapautuminen ilmaan, elinympäristöjen tarjonta, melun väheneminen kasvillisuuden avulla sekä pölytys ovat esimerkkejä viherkattojen tarjoamista ekosysteemipalveluista. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena oli selvittää, voisivatko viherkatot toimia korvaavina elinympäristöinä katoaville elinympäristöille ja uhanalaisille kasvilajeille viherkattojen eristyneisyydestä ja kaupunkiympäristöstä huolimatta. Katoavilla elinympäristöillä tarkoitetaan usein maankäytön muutosten takia harvinaistuneita elinympäristöjä, kuten niittyjä ja paahdeympäristöjä. Erityisesti kasvilajeista putkilokasvit, joihin tutkimus keskittyy, ovat uhanalaistuneet elinympäristöjen katoamisen vuoksi. Niittyjen ja ketojen umpeenkasvu, ilmastonmuutos ja kaupunkien rakentaminen ovat suurimmat syyt uhanalaistuneiden ja silmälläpidettävien kasvilajien lisääntymiseen. Viherkattojen kasvilajistoa inventoitiin kesän 2012 aikana pääkaupunkiseudulla 51 viherkatolla keskittyen putkilokasvien esiintymiseen. Viherkatoilta löydettiin yhteensä 192 putkilokasvilajia ja 27 sammal- ja jäkälälajia. Näistä putkilokasveista kahdeksan on luokiteltu Punaisen kirjan uhanalaisuusluokituksen mukaisesti uhanalaisiksi ja Retkeilykasvion luokittelun mukaisesti kymmenen lajia osoittautui harvinaisiksi. Viherkatoilta löydettyjen uhanalaisten ja harvinaisten lajien luontaisia esiintymisalueita olivat pääosin kuivat niityt, kedot, tienpientareet, joutomaat ja kallioiset alueet. Näin ollen viherkatot voisivat toimia korvaavina elinympäristöinä edellä mainittujen elinympäristöjen harvinaistuville ja uhanalaisille kasvilajeille. Viherkattojen kasvillisuutta selittäviä tekijöitä tarkasteltaessa harvinaisten ja uhanalaisten lajien määrää selittää parhaiten kasvualustan syvyys. Tulokset kasvualustan syvyyden merkityksestä ovat selviä: mitä syvempi kasvualusta, sitä enemmän viherkatoilla esiintyi harvinaisia ja uhanalaisia kasvilajeja. Muista tekijöistä uhanalaisten ja harvinaisten kasvilajien esiintymiseen vaikuttavat viherkaton pinta-ala, ikä, viherkaton kokonaislajimäärä ja viherkaton korkeus. Näytealan etäisyydellä reunasta ei havaittu olevan merkitystä uhanalaisten ja harvinaisten lajien esiintymiseen.
  • Sillantie, Lauri (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Almost one third of the electrical power manufactured in Finland is made with nuclear power. Running nuclear power plant generates always some radioactive emissions that should be monitored in the vicinities of power plants. This Master's Thesis' aims were to compare Finnish nuclear power plants', Loviisa and Olkiluoto, radiation surveillance programmes with other European programmes and find suggests considering the collected species, frequencies and sample network. Species and sample frequencies in current sampling programmes were evaluated also by the surveillance programmes data collected and analysed between years 2005 and 2010. In this Thesis was also reported could current surveillance programmes species be used as sample species with the new nuclear power plant nuclear monitoring at Pyhäjoki. Also community and ecosystem radiation protection were considered. Swiss, Swedish, German and French radiation surveillance programmes were examined for this work. New sample species were searched from these programmes and also from other sources. The suitability of the suggested species were considered mainly by literature. Species composition at Pyhäjoki was examined from literature. Finnish surveillance programmes are extensive and diverse comparing to programmes in the other countries. Improvement proposals to the sample species and frequencies were nonetheless found. Adequate new species would be at least earthworms, flounder and groundwater. Improvements to the sample frequencies were also suggested and at least mushroom and sediment sampling should be more frequent. Species composition at Pyhäjoki diverse slightly from the species found at Loviisa and Olkiluoto. Based on the literature at least bladder wrack and possibly Common mussel and Baltic tellin are absent from Pyhäjoki. Southern Finland surveillance programmes can still be used as a base for the Pyhäjoki surveillance program and species that are absence just has to be replaced with some similar abundant species. Using the best available knowledge and data collected between years 2005 and 2010 the local population is not exposed to significant amount of nuclear power plant origin radiation. Suggested changes to sample species and sample frequencies would make radiation surveillance programmes even more adequate for monitoring discharges from nuclear power plants. This Master's Thesis will give basic knowledge of the new sample species that would suite to Finnish nuclear power plant radiation surveillance programmes. New species selected from literature should be analysed for radionuclide concentrations before species are added to the sampling programmes. Species composition and quantities at Pyhäjoki should be examined before the final sampling programme is made.
  • Torppa, Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    The purpose of this thesis was to examine the diversity and species composition of dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) communities in degraded rainforest landscapes in southeastern Madagascar. Several studies elsewhere in the world have revealed that forest-dwelling dung beetle communities and especially large species suffer from forest degradation and fragmentation by decreased species diversity. The most important factors affecting community structure of forest-dwelling dung beetles are habitat area, connectivity and vegetation quality i.e. microclimate. The hypothesis of this study was that the situation is the same in Madagascar. As dung beetles provide several important ecosystem services, like nutrient cycling and bioturbation, loss of dung beetle diversity imposes a secondary threat to the extraordinary nature of Madagascar by decreasing the regeneration ability of vegetation. Material for the study was collected in forest fragments of different size and quality between two areas of primary tropical rainforest – Ranomafana National Park and Vatovavy mountain – in November and December 2011 and January 2012. The sampling was conducted by transects of 30–60 fish- or carrion-baited pitfall traps which were set up in 55 localities in the study area. In each locality, several variables were measured to describe the vegetation and microclimatic conditions. The variables included temperature, humidity, estimate of vegetation quality by 6 observation-based classes, vegetation density, hights of three clearly visible vegetation layers, altitude and slope steepness. In addition, connectivities were measured for the localities using GIS and a satellite image –based vegetation classification. In order to demonstrate the differences between certain localities the study sites were divided into seven zones in terms of their distance from the Ranomafana National Park, average connectivity of the transects and elevation. Altogether 4,199 individuals belonging to 24 species were collected. Six of the species are currently under identification process in the Paris Museum of Natural History. According to the preliminary results they include two species new to science. Largest numbers of species were collected from good quality fragments between Ranomafana and Vatovavy. Also, a clear transition zone in species composition was detected a few kilometers west from Vatovavy, where altitude changes sharply. The study reveals that the species assemblages in the forest fragments and degraded forest areas are surprisingly species rich. This may, however, be partly because of extinction debt, and many of the still surviving species may soon die out due to restricted dispersal possibilities. Connectivity and vegetation quality were shown to have an effect on Canthonini species richness, with less species in less connected areas and lower vegetation quality. Vegetation quality was also shown to have an impact on the proportions of species with different body length: more small and medium-sized (< 8 mm) species were found in fragments where vegetation was more degraded. In addition to revealing how rainforest fragmentation and degradation affect local communities, the study gives interesting information about the distribution of certain species of Epilissus (Scarabaeinae: Canthonini). It has been known before that four species of Epilissus show elevational differentiation in their occurrence in Ranomafana. In this study, two more species of the same genus, E. prasinus and E. emmae obscurpennis, were shown to continue this pattern in lower elevations near Vatovavy mountain, about 50 kilometers east of Ranomafana.
  • Kauko, Hanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The bioluminescent and toxin-producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii forms dense blooms in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. Bioluminescence, light production by an organism through a chemical reaction, is a nocturnal, rhythmic phenomenon in surface algae. In this study, the bioluminescence pattern and rhythm of A. ostenfeldii was under investigation. Procedures for continuous bioluminescence measurements, to support dedicated environmental monitoring of toxic dinoflagellate blooms, were developed. The study consisted mainly of laboratory experiments. Semi-continuous field measurements were included for comparison. In the laboratory, the light production of monocultures of A. ostenfeldii was measured with a spectroluminometer or bathyphotometer, continuously during the night, or for several consecutive days. The method to stimulate bioluminescence was varied, as well as the recovery period of the cells after stimulation. Light regimes during growth and pre-measurement adaptation were also taken into account. The experiments confirm that bioluminescence in A. ostenfeldii follows a circadian pattern and can be stimulated with the chosen methods. Bioluminescence could also be stimulated after culturing in continuous light. Measurement parameters for rhythm experiments (stimulation frequency and recovery period), were optimised. Multi-day experiments in complete darkness suggested that sufficient energy was available to maintain bioluminescent response during one night, although an endogenous rhythm remained present. These experiments gave insight to the phenomenon of bioluminescence regulation in A. ostenfeldii, but also gave rise to new questions. Some repeated measurements resulted in very low bioluminescence intensity, without an obvious reason. The light regime is not the only factor controlling bioluminescence. The interplay between bioluminescence and the growth and condition of the cultures is of interest.
  • Merikanto, Ilona (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Many pathogens are able to survive and reproduce in the environment outside of host for instance by saprotrophic lifestyle. These kinds of pathogens are called opportunistic as compared to obligatory pathogens that cannot interact or reproduce in the environment outside of host. Opportunistic pathogens are subject to strong selection forces in the environment outside of host for instance while they compete for resources they share with other microbes. Ecological interactions in the environment outside of host can therefore influence on the disease dynamics and evolution of virulence of an opportunistic pathogen. No proper theoretical model that would acknowledge opportunistic reproduction and ecological interactions in the environment out side of host has been developed before. Yet it is essential to develop this kind of theoretical model so that the development and dynamics of opportunistic diseases could be predicted and prevented. In this work, an opportunistic disease model was developed that considers both the opportunistic reproduction and the influence of a superior competitor as compared to pathogenic strain on pathogen growth in the environment outside of host. Differential equations in the model represent the density changes in time in the populations of susceptible and infected host, pathogen and rival strain outside host that is not pathogenic. Evolution of virulence of the new opportunistic pathogen meaning the ability to grow from low density in presence of superior competing strain was modeled in differing circumstances. Opportunistic disease dynamics was modeled in differing circumstances, when non-pathogenic competing strain was either present or absent. Equilibrium equations were solvable to a system, where non-pathogenic competing strain was absent, but to a system where non-pathogenic competing strain was present. Analyses of the model were performed with Math Works MATLAB – program. Reproducing inside host gives an opportunity for new opportunistic pathogen to increase in density under circumstances where competition is moderate enough so that the reproduction in the environment outside host may compensate opportunistic pathogen's weaker ability to compete. Reproduction and competition in the environment outside host produce disease dynamics that differ from more traditional SI-models. Density dependence of the reproduction in the environment outside host stabilizes host-parasite system in the absence of competition in the environment outside host. Instead, in the presence of competition the competitive advantage of the non-pathogen strain destabilizes disease dynamics and prevents extinction of the susceptible host. Reproduction in the environment outside host also enables opportunistic pathogen to remain in the environment in the absence of susceptible hosts and functions thus as a potential mechanism for disease out breaks when circumstances change. However, increasing competition in the environment outside host at the expense of opportunistic pathogen may potentially prevent epidemics. Among other things, the model could be applied to biological control with the intension of removing an opportunistic pathogen naturally by weakening its survival in the environment out side of host in a competiotion situation. This kind of biological control could for example be possible in the case of saprotrophic Flavobacterium columnare –fish pathogen that is found in fish farms.
  • Salomaa, Anna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    We have not succeeded to halt biodiversity loss despite international agreements. Conserving ecological connectivity is crucial when conserving biodiversity in the long run. This thesis studies policy instruments that promote ecological connectivity and conserve ecological processes. The aim of this study is to find out how Finnish environmental policy should be developed in order to promote ecological connectivity and biodiversity conservation. The research questions are: 1) How current nature conservation policy instruments promote ecological connectivity? 2) How policy instruments could promote ecological connectivity better? 3) Could green infrastructure approach help to conserve biodiversity? Ecological connectivity affects the biodiversity especially trough species dispersal. The environment is governed by different policy instruments, which have various effects on ecological connectivity. The green infrastructure is a new policy approach that underlines holistic planning. The green infrastructure is ecologically connected network of green and blue spaces that produces ecosystem services. The data comes from a SCALES project survey on Securing the Conservation of Biodiversity Across Administrative Levels and Spatial, Ecological and Temporal Scales. A link to the web-based questionnaire was sent to 214 Finnish experts of ecological connectivity and 47 persons answered to the questions. The data was analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The main analysis methods were repeated measures ANOVA and cluster analysis. Content analysis was done from qualitative data. The experts thought that ecological connectivity is more important than the current consideration shows. The policy instruments that promote ecological connectivity in the best way are the instruments, which have a wide spatial cover and urban and small-scale instruments are considered worse. The potential of policy instruments to promote ecological connectivity is higher than the current implementation demonstrates. The integration of biodiversity conservation to the other sector policies is considered important. Nature conservation was thought to be more important aspect than ecosystem services in implementation of green infrastructure. The respondent believed that green infrastructure has could have potential of enhancing nature conservation.
  • Haapanen, Liisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    In this master's thesis, I examine 21st century criticism of economic growth. The aim of the study is to understand what economic growth represents to growth critics. The research question is: what are the central themes of contemporary growth critique? The research material consists of three books: Tim Jackson's Prosperity without growth – economics for a finite planet (2009), Peter Victor's Managing without growth – slower by design, not disaster (2008) and the Finnish translation of Serge Latouche's Petit traité de la décroissance sereine (2007, Finnish translation Jäähyväiset talouskasvulle published in 2010). A qualitative content analysis was conducted on the material. In this method, manifest and latent meanings of the text are condensed and categorized in order to identify the key themes of the text. The analysis reveals three central themes in the criticism of economic growth. Each offers a different perspective to economic growth, to the proposed alternatives and to the opposition between growth protagonists and antagonists. First theme is growth as a phenomenon, which focuses on concrete ecological and social impacts of economic growth. The main argument of the growth critics is that the social and ecological costs of growth exceed its benefits in the western countries. In addition, they argue that economic growth cannot be viably combined with reducing ecological impact of human activities. The second theme is growth as an institution, which focuses on the institutional dependence on growth as well as institutional structures supporting growth. The critics' opinion is that these institutions now form a vicious circle in which people serve the economic growth and not vice versa. Also the proposed institutional change for disentangling society from growth is relevant to this theme. The third theme is growth as an ideology, which focuses on economic growth as a hegemonic belief and value system as well as a political goal above other goals. Under this theme, the growth critics promote emancipation and outline an alternative ideology. One main conclusion of the study is that the growth critics are not in favour of the opposite of economic growth, i.e. they do not promote a diminishing economy as an end in itself. Instead, their critique opens up a discussion on an alternative society which does not revolve around the economy and its size. However, this alternative is not pictured very clearly in the research material. It seems that the growth antagonists are able to describe what they oppose more elaborately than what they support. Another conclusion is that there is an internal tension within current growth critique. When examining economic growth as a concrete phenomenon the critics suggest indifference towards economic growth. Yet, under the other two themes the approach is everything but nonchalant since dismantling the institutions and ideology of growth will hardly be achieved without intentional resistance. Since the three books analyzed lean on and draw from earlier and contemporary references critical to economic growth, the three themes might be utilized in analyzing and understanding growth critique in general. However, this should be verified in further studies. What is more, when applied to other texts one might discover new themes not covered in this study. Because this study concentrates on the aspects that the three books representing growth critique have in common, in the future one should examine whether there are different schools of thought within the 21st century growth critique. Another interesting subject for further studies would be to apply the three themes to analyzing degrowth visions and possible degrowth experiments.
  • Äystö, Lauri (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Sewage treatment plants produce circa 150 000 dry tons of sewage sludge in Finland each year. Sewage sludge contains a great amount of organic matter and nutrients but also a wide variety of harmful substances such as persistent organic pollutants and pharmaceuticals. Sewage sludge is waste material that must be properly disposed of. While more efforts are made to close nutrient cycles, the use of sewage sludge in agriculture has become a more attractive option also in Finland. In this study it was assessed whether or not organic contaminants present in sewage sludge may prove to be a problem for sludge applications in Finnish agriculture. The study was performed using mathematical models and data collected from literature. 34 different organic contaminants were selected and their accumulation into agricultural soil was simulated assuming that sludge was applied yearly. In addition, leaching was simulated for seven of the compounds. The simulated concentrations in soil and drain water were compared to predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC) given for each compound. Compound-specific data on each substances' behavior in soil environment and concentrations in sewage sludge was collected from literature. Because the data given in different sources varied, simulations were run for each compound using combinations of different values. For each compound 3–23 simulations were run. Simulations were performed with two models developed for simulating pesticide behavior in agricultural soils, PECsoil-calculator and MACRO 5.2. Finnish data on weather and soil properties were used in the simulations. For many compounds the simulated concentrations in soil and water were in the range of concentrations measured in field trials. According to the simulations, the most problematic compounds present in sludge are triclosan, 17α-ethinylestradiol, ibuprofen and carbamazepine. Triclosan and 17α-ethinylestradiol were the only compounds that exceeded their PNECsoil-values. Persistent organic pollutants such as PFAS- and PBDE-compounds accumulated into the soil very efficiently but did not exceed their PNECsoil-values. Leaching to sub-surface drains and below them was a significant end-point for carbamazepine and ibuprofen. These compounds did not exceed their PNECwater-values. However, the highest yearly average concentration in drain water simulated for ibuprofen exceeded the environmental quality standard proposed for it. The peak concentration in drain water simulated for triclosan was circa 70 times higher than its PNECwater-value. The compound-specific values used in the simulations contained a lot of variation. This increases the uncertainty of the results. However, the simulations demonstrate that based on current knowledge the agricultural use of sewage sludge may in some extreme cases cause harm for the environment.