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Projects

Hydropeaking

Hydropeaking can lead to negative effects on the communities in the river and in the riparian zone by, for example, benthic organisms being moved by high water velocities or affected by mechanical changes in sediment when the flow is high. Low flows may instead mean, for example, cause fish “to strand” as the water level suddenly drops. Fluctuations in water flow can also cause rapid changes in water temperature and turbidity, as well as leaching of nutrients from the riparian zone. In the long run, all of these effects may give rise to changes at various trophic levels in the food chain. These changes can be difficult to predict and the robustness and resilience of organism communities are likely to depend on the abiotic nature of the aquatic environment, such as differences in geomorphology.

 

Our project focuses on examining how geomorphological parameters of the watercourse affect the effects of short-term regulation on biological values, that is, what marks a watercourse where hydropeaking has large and small effects on organism communities, respectively?  The project will provide the hydropower industry with support in their decision making. The project in funded through Energiforsk.

 

Global analysis of effects from road salt use

Together with Aqua-net and the Swedish University of Agriculture in Umeå we are involved a multi-investigator study that hope to synthesize the results of 20 to 30 standardized mesocosm experiments conducted during summer 2018. This experiment is conducted in temperate regions across Canada, USA, and Europe where winter deicing salts are applied on roads.

 

RIP - Global analyses of riparian buffers around boreal streams
Remnant strips of forest around streams and rivers, so called riparian buffers, are vital for mitigating forestry impacts on aquatic environments. Clear-cutting is a common harvest strategy around the world and leaving intact riparian buffers around water bodies is highly recommended in many jurisdictions. This project aims to evaluate how are riparian buffers implemented in the Swedish and other boreal landscapes during modern forestry operations. In contrast to earlier work which only used on-ground evaluation in relatively spatially limited designs we are aiming to use publicly available data sets on national and international level. The work will be conducted across numerous boreal jurisdictions (Sweden, Finland, Canada) by using different types of data sets.

 

Biorest - Local- and landscape-scale effects on biodiversity after stream restoration

 

 Streams are inherently spatially hierarchical and nested. Geomorphic and biotic processes, form, and community composition at a smaller reach scale are governed by larger landscape scales. Thus, the potential for restoration success must be understood within a framework of the geomorphic and biotic processes acting on different scales and constraining recovery at smaller scales. The project addresses a need for more effective stream restoration to restore biodiversity. Specifically, I will address questions regarding species dispersal in a catchment perspective.

For more information visit or lab webpage: www.biorest.org 

Riparian buffers in agricultural landscapes

 

In April 2016, I joined Professor Hjalmar Laudons research group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå. In the project we evaluate the quality of riparian buffer zones in agricultural areas with GIS-based data set that cover all stream, rivers and lakes in Sweden. The project is a collaboration with the Swedish marin and water agency.

 

The Jefferson Project at Lake George

 

In May 2015, I joined The Jefferson Project at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) as a postdoctoral researcher. This project is collaboration between RPI, IBM and the FUND for Lake George and combines data analytics with experimentation to understand how human activity impacts Lake George. The goal of the Jefferson Project is to revolutionize the way we research, monitor, conserve, and interact with aquatic ecosystems. By combining cutting-edge sensing technology (e.g., underwater sensors, weather stations) with state-of-the-art computing and visualization power to fast-forward our understanding of lake ecosystems and make Lake George a global model for ecosystem understanding and protection. Right now we are working in a variety of experimental venues by using mesocosms and conducting stream and lake surveys. 

 

 

Breaking the ice!

 

As climate changes are predicted to influence ice formation, snow cover and winter temperatures in cold regions there is great need to study the effects of a changing climate on vegetation. Thus, my dissertation research mainly involved streams and rivers during the winter season, with a focus on ice and winter effects on vegetation. I have to a large extent been working interdisciplinary, connecting hydrology with ecology and also worked in different temporal and spatial scales. I related ice formation, winter climate and flooding to riparian and in-stream vegetation in the boreal region.  To do this I looked at what factors are controlling ice formation in streams and river by studying both fluvial and physical processes of river reaches and related it to the ice formation during winter. Then I linked the ice formation, winter flooding and winter climate to the vegetation patterns both by conducting experiments and with a 3 year inventory, focusing of disturbance mechanisms. One of the most interesting findings from this research was that winter floods play an important role for the plant diversity in the riparian zone. 

 

 

 

LIFE and Rivers

 

While my dissertation work have been focusing on effects of winter conditions on vegetation, I have also been involved studying in stream restoration projects and its influence on vegetation patterns. In my Masters research I looked at where to successfully locate stream restoration efforts by studying the riparian productivity using phytometers and conducting a greenhouse experiment, thereby examining the performance of plants in soils from restored and channelized rivers. My previous lab group at Umeå University were also at that time leading a large scale EU funded restoration project (LIFE). The project involved many different stakeholders, showing how much you can accomplish when you work together.

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