Grants and residencies

Research and art

Docent, Academy research fellow Arzel Céline and working group (POOL)

211600 €

The role of seasonal wetlands as biodiversity hotspots and nature-based solution to water quality decline in the Finnish boreal forest ecosystems: a multi actor and transdisciplinary approach

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

The project combines science and art to raise awareness on seasonal wetland ecological functions, services and biodiversity in boreal forest ecosytem. We aim to provide knowledge to restore, conserve and protect these sensitive environments. Many of them have been lost or degraded by lack of understanding of their uniqueness and role for Finnish forest diversity. It is urgent to bring to the attention of the general public the knowledge about ecosystem services offered by these biodiversity hotspots. Seasonal wetlands in forest landscapes are crucial features for watershed functioning especially for water quality and flow regulation. Their importance for amphibian development such as newts and for waterbird breeding, resulting from their specific seasonality and fishless characteristics, has been put forward recently. Human activities in Finnish forest ecosystems have impacted these habitats through drainage and degradation of their ecological functions for wood harvesting. The perspectives of arts (dance, photography, paint) and sciences will be united to portray the natural resource treasure that are these seasonal wetlands in order to reach a public who has never heard about or been in contact with such environments, and to inform and improve the biodiversity in Finnish commercial forests. The location and ecological characteristics of seasonal wetlands will be investigated using innovative multispectral remote sensing methods from drone to satellite acquisition platforms. The unique ecosystem functioning linked to the hydroperiods of these temporary environments, natural and restored, will be studied through a special emphasis on their food web spatio-temporal dynamic. Their temporality will be expressed through artwork as time will be an integral dimension of resulting photographic and paint art timelapses. The study area is EVO Natura 2000 area which is representative of typical Finnish forests and benefits from 30 years of rigorous field data knowledge.