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Varrio Subarctic Research Station
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Ainijarventie 114
FI-98890 Ruuvaoja
tel and fax +358 - 16 - 844 143

Longterm Research Series

Big Game 1967 -The big game research series are the oldest in the station. These are one of the most important both scientifically and practically of the research done in Varrio and have also beget many publications (Pulliainen, E.). Most of the research has been done in co-operation with the Frontier Guards, consisting of systematic snowline tracking of the border zone to Russia and, if necessary, elsewhere in the park. 2004 was a poor year for big game with only a few observations. The data is analyzed by the Department of Applied Biology at the University of Helsinki.

Box nests 1970 - The data of birds nesting in box nests is unique in its long duration. This has also led to many publications and has high recognizability and scientific value. The annual fieldwork period is quite short (two months Spring-Summer) and as such fits well the annual work cycle of the station. The box nest series provide numerical data. Year 2004 was a normal year.

Birdnests 1970 - The long-duration research and data into birds nests in the wild is also valuable, though a lacking a systematic methdology (except in duration). The nest data, however, is of high interest to ornithologists especially because of its long duration. The data about bird nesting in Varrio is collected, checked and the added on to the national material collections and archives by both the University of Oulu and University of Helsinki. The work continues in Varrio, though in 2004 the observations were fewer than in other years.

Animal Tracks 1971 - Data on animal tracks have been collected systematically, through what are called snow-line observations where the number of animal tracks are observed. This fits well together with other routines of winter. The research - now over 30 years in lenght - is unique exactly because of its systematic and long-term nature. The animal track observation provides numerical data and has been now computerized since Fall 2004.

Snowlines 1971 - The depht of snow and the water content is measured by systematic observation through what are called snow-line observations. Such animal track and snow-line observation is done twice a week (on two different lines) and they provide numerical data. The data has been computerized since Fall 2004.

Weather 1971 - Daily observation of the weather is done following the guidelines of the Finnish Meterological Institue and as a part of a national network of weather observation. The manual observation began already in 1971 and during the 1990s an automatic observation station was built in Varrio. The Finnish Meterological Institute maintains a yearly weather chart and the first full year of observation was 1975.

Cones series 1972 - From the same group of 50 Scots Pine and Norway Spruce trees, cones have been collected for over 30 years now. Such as systematic long-duration research is unique in Finland. This work that takes place in late Spring is well-suited for the annual work cycle of Varrio. The material has not yet been fully analyzed and has not been much published. The cone series produce both numeric and material data. From each of the trees all cones are collected and counted (cones per tree). Then from each cone, all seeds are counted and weighed (seeds per cone). All the dried seeds are archived and stored at the Oulanka Research Station. 2004 was business as usual.

Gyr Falcon 1973 - In Varrio one can find the southernmost Gyr Falcon nest in Finland. The chicks born here are ringed annually. In 2004, two chicks were ringed - number 17 and 18. Also, food remainders in the nest are systematically gathered (bones and wings of other birds etc.), which are then frozen for further research and kept at the Oulanka Research Station. The Gyr Falcon series have not also been fully analyzed but numerical data (on the number of chicks, birds spotted etc). exists 1973 onwards.

Marten 1975 - Research on the Marten is gathered in the winter, primarily based on the observation of tracks. The material exists now for over 20 years, both as written observation notes as well as frozen feces that are pre-pocessed at the Oulanka Research Station laboratory for later analysis. Both written and numerical data is thus collected.

Berries1976 - Wild berries (blueberry, lingonberry, cloudberry - and all other berries within the sample plots) have been systematically collected from the same sample plots for almost 30 years now. The berries are weighed, dried (natural weight), weighed again (dry weight) and stored for later analysis at the Oulanka Research Station. The weighing provides numerical data. In 2004 research was carried on as usual.

Nocturnal Insects 1976 - Nocturnal insects are collected when the ground is not frozen with light traps. The collected insects are send to the the University of Oulu where they are analyzed. Important publication have already been written bases on this data. 2004 went on as usual.

Snow depth 1978 - The depht and water density of snow is measured twice during winter (January and April) from a marked square with a total lenght of 4 km. This is done in collaboration with the Finnish Meterological Institute who archives the results. Research in 2004 was carried out as normal.

Phenology 1981 - Phenology-series have been observed as the routine research of Varrio Subarctic Research Station. This research has been co-ordinated together with Metsahallitus and all the observations (numerical data) have been saved and archived. The phenology analysis of plants was carried out during Fall 2004.

Game bird 1981 - The counting of game birds is done systematiccaly early Summer every year. These produce only numerical observations. Year 2004 went on as normal.

Moths 1982 - The same applies to moths as to Nocturnal Instects.

Moles 1982 - Until 2004, moles were captured systematically by traps, which were checked daily when the ground is not frozen. The moles were then frozen and stored at the Oulanka Research Station for later analysis. The series ended in 2004 because the method of capture was not allowed any more due to new legislation.

Bird counting 1984 - Birdcounting is carries out systematically during early summer. The data collected is numerical. 2004 went on as usual.

Aerosol 1991 - Aerosol research is a part of the SMEAR-measurements started in 1991. The SMEAR measurements are scientifically the most important part of Varrio, done automatically all year round, day an night (the measurements take place every ten second or every minute). The SMEAR-measurements are co-ordinated by professor Pertti Hari and Markku Kulmala. Aerosol and other SMEAR-measurement provide numerical data and year 2004 went on as normal.

Ozone 1991 - The same applies to Ozone as to rest of SMEAR research.

SmearWeather 1991 - The same applies to SmearWeather as to rest of SMEAR research.

Sulpher Dioxide 1991 - The same applies to Sulphur Dioxde as to rest of SMEAR research.

Nitrogen Oxide 1991 - The same applies to Nitrogen Oxide as to rest of SMEAR research.

Photosynthesis 1992 - The same applies to Photosynthesis as to rest of SMEAR research.

 Winter birdcounts 1992 - The winter bird counts follow the principles set nationally. It provides only numerical material. The research in 2004 was carried out as usual.

Dotterel Walk 1993 - The sytematic observation of the rare fjell bird, Dotterel, is important for bird protection and ornithology. It has produced significant publications from the station. The annual observation is based on a one days work: the Varrio Fjell chain is covered by walking 20 kilometers with a line of five observers. The data is only numerical. The last annual walk took place 2.7. 2005.

Ptarmigan 1993 - The observation of ptarmigan is based one radio tracking. This research had provided important information about the annual movement of the birds. The batteries in the radio-transmitter run out in about 2-3 years and birds dies and the series will end in 2006 as the last transmitters go silent. Only numerical data is collected. The observation continued in 2004, though in a more limited scale than before.

Capercaillie 1998 - The observation of Capercaillie is also based on radio tracking. The research has already provided valuable data on the movement of both male and females. Like with the Ptarmigan series, this research will also end as the batteries run out in 2006. The observation was carried out in 2004, though in a more limited scale than during previous years.

Sulphates 2005 - In December 2004, equipment was set up at the Varrio SMEAR-station that pumps air through special filters. These filters are changed every three weeks and from the filters sulphates, natrium, calium, magnesium and calcium are analyzed. The Finnish Meterological lnstitute coordinates this research that also provides numerical data.

Veli Pohjonen

Head of Varrio Subarctic Research (translation Matti Pohjonen (13.08.2005)


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