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  • Aalto, Angela (2019)
    Today it is desirable to utilise and reproductive sidestream materials from the industry. The food industry generates lot of sidestream waste which could be utilised in various products. Grain hulls are one example. The aim of this work was to study the structure and chemical features of sidestream oat and barley hulls from the industry. Furthermore, the potential to use hull fractions with pulp to produce kraft paper was examined. The grain structure and chemical features of oat and barley have been studied extensively in the food industry but hulls barely at all. The intention was to study lipids, hemicellulose sugars and lignins. From the perspective of paper production, it was important to examine hulls fibres (anatomy), fibre separation and fibre wall fibrillation. Kraft paper must possess specific mechanical properties. Sufficient fibrillation and fibre network of the plant fibres renders paper durable. The hull fibres were examined with a light microscope. The hulls were macerated before microscopy. Compounds, lipids, organic acids and sugars were extracted with hexane and acetone in the Accelerated Solvent Extraction. The samples were analysed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The hemicellulose sugars of the hulls were isolated with methanolysis and analysed with a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. The hull lignins were defined with pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The other compounds of the samples were extracted with acetone by Accelerated Solvent Extraction before pyrolysis determination. The oat and barley hulls were milled with a disc refiner and added to the softwood (pine) pulp in a Valley hollander beater. The pulp was milled for 90 min and the pulp filtration was measured with a Schopper-Riegler freenes tester. Also, water retention value was calculated. Sheets of paper were made with a conventional sheet mould. The aim grammage of the paper sheets was 60 g/m². The mechanical, physical and optical properties of the paper sheets were measured. The properties measured were thickness, density, surface smoothness/roughness, air permeability, opacity, light scattering, light absorption, brightness, tensile strength, breaking strength, elongation, bursting strength and tearing strength. Half of the paper sheets were calandered. The chemical properties of oat and barley hulls did not differ significantly from each other. The same hemicellulose sugars were found in the hulls of both grains, however more mannose and arabinose were found in oat hulls. The hulls of both grains had almost the same total hemicellulose quantity. The quantity and quality of lignins were also similar in both grain hulls. Guaiacyl lignin was dominant in both hulls. Minor differences in hemicellulose sugars does not have an impact on paper production. The hull fibres were very similar in microscopic examination, but oat hulls were somewhat longer than barley hulls. These differences did not impact the separation of fibres, the fibrillation of fibre wall or paper making. Oat hulls were harder, which became most apparent in the calandering and appearance of the sheets. Barley hulls were darker but the mechanical and physical properties of the grain hull paper sheets were quite similar. The hull fractions amount in the pulp (10% or 20%) did not significantly impact the results. The milled hull fractions were not distributed evenly in the sheets, the fibres did not separate properly and no internal or external fibrillation occurred. As mentioned before, the sheets were not homogeneous and the standard deviation of the sheet properties were partly significant. Adding the hull fractions to the pulp was successful and the milled hull fractions did not fall off the sheets. Calandered sheets were smooth and glossy. Moreover, the sheets were visually pleasing. This study indicated that it is possible to use hull fractions for paper and kraft paper production. The paper mostly met the same quality requirements as commercial paper. More research is needed for further optimisation. More research into the chemical properties of oat and barley hulls is also needed, because of the hulls of both grains contain antioxidant components and could provide more information about advanced fibre separation and fibre wall fibrillation.
  • Turula, Ari (2019)
    Ilmastonmuutos on yksi suurimmista eliöiden runsauteen vaikuttavista tekijöistä. Keskilämpötilat nousevat pohjoisella pallonpuoliskolla etenkin talvella, mikä vaikuttaa talvehtiviin lintuyhteisöihin. Osa lajeista hyötyy lämpenemisestä ja osalle siitä on haittaa. Lauhtuvista talvista hyötyvät esimerkiksi eteläiset, lämpöä suosivat lajit, jotka leviävät pohjoista kohti. Pohjoiset lintulajit joutuvat taas vetäytymään pohjoiseen vähentyvistä elinalueista johtuen. Kylmien alueiden linnuilta voi loppua elintila, sillä ne eivät voi vetäytyä loputtomasti. Euroopassa esimerkiksi Jäämeri rajoittaa monien lajien leviämistä enää pohjoisemmaksi. Suomessa on talvella huomattavasti vähemmän lintuja kuin kesällä, sillä suurin osa linnuistamme muuttaa pois talveksi. Tämä saattaa tulevaisuudessa muuttua, mikäli talvet muuttuvat leudommiksi. Osa muuttajista voi viivytellä mahdolli-simman pitkään ennen muutolle lähtöä ja osa saattaa jäädä jopa yrittämään talvehtimista. Tästä seuraa, että lintuyhtei-söt voivat muuttua enemmän lämpöä suosiviksi, jolloin yhteisöjä dominoivat eteläiset, lämpöä suosivat lajit. Talvisia lintuyhteisöjen muutoksia voidaan tutkia esimerkiksi talvilintulaskentojen avulla, joita Suomessa on tehty vapaaehtoisten toimesta jo noin 60 vuoden ajan. Tässä tutkimuksessa selvitin runsastuvatko eteläiset lämpöä suosivat lajit suhteessa pohjoisiin, kylmää sietäviin lajeihin Suomessa. Tutkimukseni aineistona olivat talvilintulaskennat koko Suomen alueelta alkaen talvesta 1956/1957 talveen 2014/2015. Aineisto sisältää yhteensä 609 laskentareittiä, joista jokaista reittiä oli laskettu vähintään 15 kertaa. Lisäksi selvitin, voidaanko joulukuun muuttuvilla koko Suomen keskilämpötiloilla selittää talvisten lintuyhteisöjen muutoksia. Keskilämpötilat olivat saatavilla vuodesta 1961. Suomen talviset lintuyhteisöt ovat muuttuneet enemmän lämpöä suosiviksi. Muutoksen voi aiheuttaa esimerkiksi muutaman eteläisen lajin yksilömäärien runsastuminen tai kylmää suosivien lajien katoaminen alueelta. Joulukuun nousevat keskilämpötilat selittivät puolestaan yhteisöjen muuttumista vuositasolla. Tulokset voivat tarkoittaa sitä, että leudon-tuvat alkutalvet tulevat muuttamaan lintuyhteisöjä myös jatkossa. Tutkimukseni osoitti, että lintuyhteisöt muuttuvat ilmastonmuutoksen myötä. Pohjoisille leveyksille jää yhä enemmän talvehtivia lajeja ja pohjoisen lajirikkaus saattaa jopa nousta. Koska ilmastonmuutos vaikuttaa lintuihin, on erittäin todennäköistä, että se vaikuttaa myös muihin eliöyhteisöihin. Linnut reagoivat ympäristön muutoksiin erittäin nopeasti, joten niiden avulla on mahdollista havaita muutoksia lyhyellä aikajänteellä. Suomalaiset lintulaskenta-aineistot ovat kansainvälisesti vertailtuna hyvin kattavat. Ne sisältävät arvokasta tietoa lintujen määristä, joten niitä on tärkeää hyödyntää tutkimuksessa myös tulevaisuudessa. Lisäksi on tärkeää tutkia ilmastonmuu-toksen ja elinympäristöjen muutosten yhteisvaikutusta lintuyhteisöihin, sillä nämä kaksi tekijää voivat vaikuttaa merkittävästi lajien kannankehityksiin.
  • Kettunen, Henna (2010)
    Elinympäristön vaikutusta eliölajien esiintymiseen voidaan tutkia habitaattimallinnuksen keinoin. Havainnot lajin esiintymisestä ja puuttumisesta eri kohdissa maisemaa suhteutetaan tilastollisen mallin avulla ympäristötekijöihin, jolloin saadaan kuva lajin elinympäristövaatimuksista. Tällöin oletetaan, että laji esiintyy kaikkialla siellä, missä sen elinympäristövaatimukset täyttyvät. Metapopulaatioteorian valossa näin ei kuitenkaan aina ole: maisemassa voi olla runsaasti lajille soveltuvia mutta asuttamattomia kasvupaikkoja, koska uusien yksilöiden leviäminen ja vanhojen häviäminen eivät välttämättä ole yksittäisten kasvupaikkojen tasolla tasapainossa. Siten myös lajin leviämiskyky vaikuttaa siihen, millaiseksi sen levinneisyyskuvio maisematasolla muodostuu. Tässä työssä keskityn tammen (Quercus robur) alueellisen levinneisyyden mallintamiseen. Tammen suhteellinen harvinaisuus Suomessa sekä sen rooli luonnon monimuotoisuuden merkittävänä tukipilarina tekevät siitä mielenkiintoisen kohdelajin ekologiselle tutkimukselle. Tutkimuskohteekseni valitsin Wattkastin saaren, n. 5 km2:n alueen Länsi-Turunmaalta. Wattkastissa on tutkittu kahdeksan vuoden ajan tammella elävien hyönteisyhteisöjen rakennetta ja kannanvaihteluita, ja saaressa kasvaa yli 1800 luonnonvaraista tammea, joiden tarkat sijainnit tiedetään. Tässä ympäristössä tutkin, rajoittaako tammen alueellista levinneisyyttä ensisijaisesti sopivien elinympäristöjen tilajakauma vai pikemminkin sen leviämiskyky. Yhdistin tammen esiintymiskuviota kuvaavaan habitaattimalliin kokeellisen aineiston, jonka avulla arvioin tammen paikallisen esiintymiskuvion ja tammelle soveltuvien elinympäristöjen tilajakauman vastaavuutta. Kokeellisen aineiston muodostivat 104 Wattkastiin vuonna 2004 istutettua pikkutammea, joiden selviytymisen ja kasvupaikkaolot kartoitin syksyllä 2009. Tutkin yleistetyillä lineaarisilla malleilla puiden menestymiseen - siis selviytymiseen ja kuntoon - vaikuttavia tekijöitä. Etsin potentiaalisia selittäjiä tammen menestymiselle kasvupaikan ympäristötekijöistä sekä istutetun puun sijainnista suhteessa luontaisiin tammikasvustoihin. Lisäksi tutkin habitaattimallin avulla, selittävätkö ympäristötekijät tammen nykyisen esiintymiskuvion Wattkastissa. Havaitsin, että istutetut puut olivat selviytyneet keskimäärin hyvin ja ettei niiden menestyminen riippunut sijainnista suhteessa luontaisiin tammikasvustoihin. Habitaattimallin selitysaste oli vain 19 %, eli kasvupaikkatekijät selittivät heikosti tammen nykyisen esiintymiskuvion Wattkastissa. Tulosten perusteella tammen paikallinen esiintymiskuvio ei vastaa sille soveltuvien elinympäristöjen jakaumaa maisemassa, joten tammen levinneisyyttä Wattkastissa rajoittaa ilmeisesti sen leviämiskyky. Tulokseni viittaavat siihen, ettei tammen elinympäristön laadussa ole suuria vaihteluita Wattkastin sisällä, koska sopivia kasvupaikkoja on tarjolla tammen nykyesiintymiseen nähden runsaasti. Tämä on tammihyönteistutkimusten kannalta kiinnostava tulos, koska se tarkoittaa, että aiemmat havainnot isäntäpuun sijainnin ja hyönteisten kannanvaihteluiden välisestä yhteydestä edustavat todellisia, tilaan sidottuja populaatioprosesseja eivätkä isäntäpuun välittämiä eroja elinympäristön laadussa. Lisäksi tutkimukseni osoittaa, että yhdistämällä habitaattimallinnukseen kokeellinen lähestymistapa saadaan realistisempi kuva lajin levinneisyyttä rajoittavista tekijöistä kuin tutkimalla pelkästään ympäristötekijöiden vaikutusta lajin esiintymiseen. Jos lajin rajoittunut leviämiskyky on vaikuttanut sen esiintymiskuvion syntyyn, pelkästään ympäristötekijöihin perustuva levinneisyysmalli liioittelee levinneisyyttä. Kokeellisen tutkimuksen avulla on tällaisessa tapauksessa mahdollista paljastaa myös leviämiskyvyn rooli esiintymiskuvion taustalla.
  • Lukkarinen, Iiris (2018)
    The aim of this study was to provide information about using citizen science in biology education. Citizen science is a form of scientific research, where public can participate in data collection or other phases of research. It is important to study educational use of citizen science, because citizen science has a lot of potential to increase students´ interest towards biology and knowledge about scientific research. In addition, citizen science could provide meaningful ways to use information and communication technology (ICT) in education. Using ICT, such as computers and smartphones, has become very common way to collect data in citizen science projects. This is a case study about using citizen science project called Matoseuranta, as part of biology education. Research questions were: (1.) How the teachers that participated in Matoseuranta experience the educational use of citizen science? (1.1) What benefits and challenges there is in the educational use of citizen science, according to the teachers? (2.) How well data collecting with mobile application is suited in citizen science project that is used in education? (2.1) What challenges and benefits there were related to collecting data with Matoseuranta-application according to the teachers? (2.2) How the teachers evaluate their skills and knowledge executing fieldwork that includes ICT? Survey was used to collect data from teachers that participated in Matoseuranta. 49 teachers answered to the survey (n=49). Open-end questions were used to collect qualitative data about teachers´ experiences about educational use of citizen science (1.1) and mobile app (2.1). This qualitative data was then categorised using qualitative content analysis. Likert-scaled questionnaire based on TPACK (=technological pedagogical content knowledge), was used to collect quantitative data about teachers´ self-efficacy related to executing fieldwork that includes using ICT (2.2). According to teachers, the most important benefit of educational use of citizen science was the autenthic research context, which increased student motivation. In addition, teachers mentioned that Matoseuranta increased students´ knowledge about scientific research. The unreliability of collected data was the most often mentioned challenge. Teachers felt that collected data was not reliable because students had no prior experience in executing scientific research. The mobile app was suited well in data collecting, because it provided an easy way to send data to researchers. In addition, few teachers mentioned that the app motivated students. Unfortunately, the app had many technical issues, which was the most often mentioned challenge about using the app. Most of the teachers felt that they master the use of technology and the skills needed in executing fieldwork. However, only few teachers felt that they have sufficient skills to execute fieldwork that icludes using ICT in a meaningful way. Based on the results of this study, it would be important to offer more citizen science projects that are suited in educational use to teachers. It would be beneficial to study what types of projects (theme, execution, ICT) teachers would want to use in their teaching. Results confirm prior assumption, that the task value is a very important factor influencing student motivation. It is important to make sure that students feel their work in school is meaningful. This study also suggest, that there is a need to provide training and materials about how ICT can be used in biology fieldwork.
  • Kari, Emma (2018)
    Metsällä on vahva asema suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa niin historiallisesti, taloudellisesti kuin kulttuurillisestikin. Metsällä on myös merkittävä rooli maapallon hiilen kierrossa, mikä tekee metsien hoidosta ja metsätaloudesta keskeisiä kysymyksiä kansainvälisessä ilmastopolitiikassa. Kesällä 2017 Suomessa käytiin laaja julkinen keskustelu Euroopan parlamentin tulevasta metsien käyttöä säätelevästä LULUCF-päätöksestä. Keskustelu tarjoaa mielenkiintoisen mahdollisuuden tutkia metsien, ilmastonmuutoksen ja suomalaisuuden suhdetta. Heinäkuussa 2017 Euroopan parlamentin ympäristövaliokunta teki ehdotuksen maankäytöstä, maankäytön muutoksesta ja metsätaloudesta (ns. LULUCF-sektori) aiheutuvien kasvihuonekaasujen päästöjen ja poistumien sisällyttämisestä EU:n ilmasto- ja energiapolitiikan puitteisiin. Esitys pohjasi komission aiempaa esitykseen ja sen tavoitteena oli panna täytäntöön Pariisin ilmastosopimuksen mukaiset velvoitteet hiilinielujen kasvattamisesta. Esitys koettiin Suomen metsäteollisuuden ja Suomen hallituksen parissa kohtelevan Suomen metsäsektoria epäoikeudenmukaisesti, sillä se uhkasi rajoittaa hallituksen tavoitetta lisätä metsähakkuita merkittävästi. Ympäristöjärjestöt sekä monet metsä- ja ilmastotutkijat kritisoivat tätä hallituksen tavoitetta voimakkaasti. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena on diskurssianalyysin avulla selvittää, millaisia puhetapoja Euroopan parlamentin hiilinielupäätöksenteosta tehdyssä uutisoinnissa esiintyi kesän 2017 aikana. Erityisenä kiinnostuksen kohteena ovat eri toimijoiden valitsemat diskursiiviset strategiat ja kuinka valittujen puhetapojen avulla rakennettiin tukea omalle näkemykselle – pyrittiin oman puhetavan hegemonisointiin. Parlamentin hiilinielupäätöksentekoa käsittelevien uutisten diskurssianalyyttinen tarkastelu nostaa esiin kaksi valta-aseman saavuttanutta diskurssia. Käytän näistä hegemonisoituneista diskursseista nimiä metsäisen taistelun diskurssi ja eettisen metsätalouden diskurssi. Molemmissa diskursseissa Suomen hallituksen tavoite kasvattaa hakkuita näyttäytyi positiivisena. Tutkimusajanjakso ajoittui keskelle Suomen satavuotisjuhlavuotta. Tämän voidaan katsoa vaikuttaneen yhteiskunnalliseen keskusteluun helpottaen isänmaallisuutta korostavien diskurssien rakentamista. Molemmat hegemonisen aseman saavuttaneista diskursseista perustuivat isänmaallisuutta ja suomalaisia hyveitä painottavaan retoriikkaan. Tutkimus nosti esiin myös kaksi hakkuiden kasvattamiseen kriittisesti suhtautuvaa diskurssia. Ne eivät kuitenkaan saavuttaneet hegemonista valta-asemaa, eivätkä juuri kyenneet uhkaamaan valtadiskursseja. Näistä ei-hegemonisista diskursseista käytetään tässä tutkimuksessa nimiä ilmastokiireen diskurssi ja kansallisen itsekkyyden diskurssi. Molemmat nojaavat hegemonisia diskursseja vahvemmin tutkijoiden auktoriteettiin asiantuntijoina ja abstraktille tasolle jääneeseen argumentointiin ilmastonmuutoksen pysäyttämisen kiireellisyydestä. Näin ympäristönsuojelijoiden argumentaatio ei onnistunut vetoamaan suomalaisten tuntemuksiin yhtä voimakkaasti kuin hakkuiden kasvattamista tukevien toimijoiden retoriikka. Metsäteollisuuden etujärjestöt käyttävät merkittävää taloudellista ja poliittista valtaa Suomessa. Ympäristöjärjestöillä ja tutkijoilla ei ole käytössään vastaavaa valtaa. Tutkimuksen pohjalta tämä ei kuitenkaan täysin selitä sitä, että ympäristönsuojelijat eivät onnistuneet rakentamaan diskurssia, joka olisi pystynyt haastamaan metsähakkuiden kasvattamista tukevien diskurssien hegemonisoitumisen.
  • Saarnisalo, Ona (2019)
    Lack of Ectodysplasin (EDA), caused by a mutated Eda gene, leads to a syndrome called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (XLHED) with defects in ectodermal organs such as teeth, hair and sweat glands. The molar teeth of Eda knock out (Eda KO) mice are absolutely and relatively smaller and have fewer cusps than the wild type (WT) molar teeth. In the absence of the EDA protein, the receptor of the EDA signalling pathway (EDAR) remains functional, and therefore EDA-protein therapy can rescue the development of ectodermal organs. The aim of this study was to determine EDA sensitivity windows and to describe the Edar expression pattern in developing mouse lower molars. Eda KO mouse skulls treated with EDA for 24 hours at different stages of development were imaged using x-ray microtomography. The response was studied by analysing the cusp patterns and size proportions of lower molars. In situ hybridisation was used to detect the Edar expression in the developing Eda KO and WT molars at different stages. The results show that molars are sensitive to EDA at the early stages of crown patterning, at the time when Edar is expressed in the primary enamel knot and the secondary enamel knots. The Edar expression pattern suggests that EDA signalling regulates molar size and cusp development through these signalling centres. EDA-treatment during a sensitivity window enhances the growth of the EDA sensitive molar, thereby breaking the previously reported inhibitory cascade –rule. The results of this study provide information for optimising the EDA therapy for XLHED patients.
  • Laiho, Helene (2022)
    Mercury (Hg) is a heavy metal acknowledged as a worldwide contaminant that accumulates in organisms and biomagnifies in food webs. The organic methylmercury (MeHg) species is harmful to animals, including humans, and mainly derived from the diet. The dietary Hg consumed by fish is mostly removed through the intestine, but some of the MeHg bioaccumulates, especially in the white muscle tissue of fish. Perch (Perca fluviatilis) and roach (Rutilus rutilus) are commonly found fish species in Finland. Perch has additional im-portance as it is the national fish of Finland, a popular food fish, as well as a monitoring species used to evaluate the chemical status of lakes. Seasonal variation of Hg in muscle tissue of fish is supposedly caused by starvation in winter, which condenses Hg in the muscle, and growth dilution in summer, which refers to fast somatic growth during the growing season, which dilutes Hg in the muscle. Similar to winter, spawning has also been found to condense Hg in muscle tissue of fish due to high energy investment into gonad development. Seasonal variation of Hg and variables driving seasonal changes have been shown to differ between fish species. Seasonal variation has been studied mainly during the open-water season. However, less is known about how winter conditions under ice affect Hg levels in fish. In this MSc thesis, I asked (Q1) How total mercury (THg) content in the muscle tissue of perch and roach change annually? (Q2) How THg bioaccumulation in the muscle tissue of perch and roach change annually? (Q3) What are the factors explaining annual variation in THg content in the muscle tissue of perch and roach? The practical application of results was to discuss if annual variation should be considered in monitoring programs and human health questions. The materials used in this study were collected from Lake Pääjärvi monthly from March 2020 to March 2021. Fish were collected using gillnet series. Length, weight, sex, sexual maturity, stomach fullness, Fulton’s condition factor (K), and muscle THg were determined from each fish. The annual length-corrected THg content variation was tested using analysis of variance. The annual THg bioaccumulation variation in the relationship between muscle and fish length was tested using simple linear regression analysis, and the seasonal variation in THg bioaccumulation was tested with LOESS regression analysis. Variables affecting seasonal variation were tested with stepwise multiple linear regression analysis. THg content of perch was the highest in winter and spring and the lowest in fall, while roach showed no significant seasonal variation. THg bioaccumulation of both species was highest in winter, spring, and early summer and lowest in fall. Perch displayed more substantial seasonal variation than roach. Biological and environmental variables that explained the THg content of perch were length, ice thickness, gonadosomatic index (GSI), light, and condition factor. Variables that explained the THg content of roach were length, sex, and total phosphorus (Tot-P). This study confirmed that starvation in winter, growth dilution in summer, and spawning in spring/early summer are vital factors driving seasonal variation. Due to evident seasonal variation, monitoring month should be pre-set in current monitoring programs.
  • Mattila, Bernd-Niklas (2020)
    Cladocerans play a key role in the aquatic ecosystem. They are abundant in lakes and are an essential part in the carbon and energy transfer of the food webs. These species are, however, prone to various environmental changes. Estimates have shown that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in northern lakes are likely to increase in the future. This increase of DOC in lakes has multiple impacts ranging from nutrient levels to shading impacts reducing primary productions. Investigating changes in cladocerans along a DOC gradient could help us understand how these species might develop in the future in our changing climate. In this Master’s Thesis, I studied how the cladoceran body length and community structure varied between 9 lakes with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration ranging from 2.4-33.5 mg l-1. For the analyses, these lakes where divided into two groups with a threshold of 12 mg l-1 or into groups of three based on their DOC concentrations. Then, the results were compared with cladoceran length data from an earlier study. Additionally, the changes in phytoplankton abundances and communities as well as the relation between DOC concentration and other environmental variables were analysed. The results showed an increase in the cladoceran body length above the DOC threshold. Moreover, the changes in body length varied between the studied genera. Both Ceriodaphnia sp. and Diaphanosoma sp. body length decreased in groups with higher DOC concentrations while Bosmina sp. were larger at high DOC concentrations. DOC concentration did not have any significant effect on the community structure of zooplankton. The studied lakes varied from their environmental condition making comparisons and general statements challenging. The results indicated that DOC concentration regulates the planktonic communities, but it is solely an imprecise predictor for changes in zooplankton communities. However, cladoceran densities seemed to benefit from increased DOC concentrations as nutrient levels also increased. Changes in cladoceran body lengths were challenging to interpret, because there are multiple factors that can have an impact both alone and combined with others.
  • Torvinen, Ida (2022)
    More than half of the global population lives in urban areas. Urban sprawl and densification have affected urban ecosystems and the services they provide. Urban vegetation is one of the most important providers of ecosystem services. Previous studies have shown that plant functional type and age of parks/trees affect soil properties in urban environments. However, knowledge on the effects of plant roots on ecosystem services is limited. In this thesis I focused on exploring the contribution of root biomass to soil carbon and nitrogen accumulation under evergreen and deciduous trees in urban greenspaces. In addition, I explored how soil properties differ based on tree type and age of the park/tree, and how sampling distance from the tree affects root biomass and soil properties. Soil samples were taken at five distances: 1) under the canopy (midway between the trunk and the canopy edge), 2) at the canopy edge, and 3)–5) 1 m apart, starting from the canopy edge. This transect of five distances was replicated three times per tree (30 trees in total). Trees belonging to two functional types were sampled, evergreen (mostly Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and deciduous (Linden, Tilia x europaea L.) trees. Sampling was done in young (ca. 15 years) and old (>70 years) urban parks in Lahti and Helsinki. The results show higher root biomass under young trees than old trees, and spruces had higher root biomass compared to lindens. Root biomass was positively correlated with soil organic matter, soil carbon and soil nitrogen. Sampling distance from the tree affected both root biomass and soil properties in young and old parks. Plant functional type affected soil organic matter, soil carbon, C/N ratio and acidity, but not soil nitrogen. Irrespective of tree type, soil properties varied less in old parks than in young parks between the sampling distances. Soils under old spruces had higher total carbon content compared to young spruces, whereas for lindens, tree age affected soil carbon less on. Total nitrogen content was higher in old parks than in young parks for both tree types. My study provides new information about how park tree roots affect urban park soil carbon and nitrogen accumulation. There are no previous studies on how far this root effect extends, and my study fills this knowledge gap. My results show that tree roots are an important factor in urban park carbon stocks. I also showed that age of the park/tree has an evident effect on urban soil properties. In the light of my research findings, it seems that a significant portion of ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation is produced underground.
  • Neuvonen, Eerika (2019)
    Corporations’ desire to act in a responsible way as well as the amount of sustainability guidelines has increased during the past decades. Responsible Care (RC) program is an international sustainable development guideline practiced in chemical industry. The program focuses on sustainable use of natural resources, safety and sustainability of production and products, well-being of work community and reduction of waste and emissions. This study seeks to examine the correspondence of contents between national Responsible Care (RC) program in Finland and sustainability framework guidelines known worldwide. The aim of the study is to examine how corporations in chemical industry who follow the national RC program can meet the goals of sustainability framework guidelines, what are the main differences between the national RC program and other sustainability guidelines, and how the national RC program should be improved. The research methods include the content analysis and in-depth interview for corporations. In this research, the sustainability framework is built and the involved guidelines are specified. The national RC program is reflected on the sustainability framework guidelines through content analysis. A model for comparative content analysis is developed to compare the contents of sustainability guidelines by the means of qualitative data visualization through radar charts. The corporate in-depth interviews are applied with a view to obtain complete and comprehensive responses. This study demonstrates that the national RC program highly corresponds to sustainability framework guidelines in terms of environmental responsibility and safety, while the RC program less highlights the dimensions of social and economic responsibility. Based on the main differences, the possible targets for improvement in the national RC program are suggested to enhance consideration of economic and social aspects in the program. From the in-depth interviews, corporations recognize the national RC program to be a useful tool to implement and develop corporation’s sustainability work, yet there is a need to better correspondence with sustainability framework guidelines and to be more user-friendly in practice.
  • Tiihonen, Katariina (2021)
    Forests have become one of the key themes when it comes to sustainability and have been subject to many demands and pressures from various stakeholders in recent years. In particular, the responsible use of forests has surfaced in discussions during the past 20 years. As the world and overall atmosphere is becoming more favorable to sustainability, companies are required to adapt to a changed society. The forest industry has a significant impact on Finland’s sustainable development and economy. In the forest industry corporate responsibility work has developed as demands from society have grown and the work has become more holistic over time as knowledge on the matter has increased. Pressures on companies' environmental work have come from outside companies from society, as well as from internal actors within companies. One well established forest industry company in Finland is Metsä Group, which has long been profiled as an environmentally responsible company. Therefore, corporate responsibility work and its development in Metsä Group has been selected as my research topic. In this thesis, I examine how environmental responsibility work has changed from the point of view of sustainability professionals in Metsä Group during the years 2000-2020. As research material, I use interviews with Metsä Group's sustainability professionals, as well as responsibility and annual reports from 2000-2020. For the interviews, I selected former and current Metsä Group employees who have worked in the company, either the whole duration or partly, during the years 2000-2020. I have analyzed the materials using content analysis as a method. The interviews revealed that, in general, employees felt that, compared to the early 2000s, in 2020 Metsä Group took more and more holistic action for its environmental responsibility. In general, it was seen that the most significant factors influencing corporate responsibility were megatrends such as climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as a general change in societal perceptions related to corporate responsibility. Leaders’ commitment and attitude towards environmental responsibility, as well as customer requirements, were also perceived as significant factors in promoting responsibility work. It was generally felt that if customers or management saw the matter as important it was invested in. All in all, the environmental corporate responsibility of Metsä Group had steadily improved during 2000-2020. Overall, the interviewees felt that environmental responsibility has been incorporated into Metsä Group's strategy, and that corporate responsibility work has become more holistic and professionalized.
  • Karlsson, Thomas Malte Molnár (2021)
    The way environmental issues are discursively constructed matters for how they are understood and what possibilities there are to solve them. This makes it relevant to investigate discourses around environmental issues and their proposed solutions. One such solution is ecological compensation, which has been widely implemented as a way to avoid environmental degradation and achieve no net loss of biodiversity. Compensation is also a contested mechanism, however, which has been shaped by the interplay of various discourses with diverging understandings of nature conservation. In this study, I investigate how ecological compensation is constructed by experts in Finland. Using the concept of storylines (Hajer 1995) I analyse 9 interviews conducted with experts involved in the discussion around ecological compensation, which is currently being implemented into Finnish legislation. Three storylines are identified which construct ecological compensation either as 1) a way to enable private actors to take environmental responsibility, 2) additional legislation to fill a “gap” in current conservation practices, or 3) a possibility to modify the relationship with nature by fostering local deliberations. This shows diverging understandings of ecological compensation among the experts and contestation over the way it should be implemented. What is at stake in the discussion are questions of how nature conservation should be understood, which makes ecological compensation pivotal for reconfiguring the field of nature conservation by shifting understandings of the roles and responsibilities involved. At the same time, consensus exists about the need to implement ecological compensation, which the experts all agree is the only possibility to stop biodiversity loss in Finland. This is traced to the interpretative flexibility of the ecological compensation concept which accommodates conflicting understandings and enables the experts to agree about the need for ecological compensation while contesting the “details” of how the implementation should take place. In that way, the implementation is supported despite contestation, and the discussion is focused on how – rather than whether – ecological compensation should be implemented.
  • Mäkelä, Iida (2021)
    Microbial diversity can be found everywhere around us. The diversity is however declining globally and the diversity loss is most visible in highly urbanized areas. The lack of microbial biodiversity has been linked to increased risk of certain im-mune mediated diseases most prevalent within urban population. Understanding how diversity differs between urban and rural areas can help us to figure out mechanisms behind biodiversity loss and higher frequency of immune-mediated dis-eases and develop prevention methods for the latter. The aim of the thesis is to study how bacterial communities differ between urban and rural areas using indicator species as proxy. The aim is also to find out if the results support the biodiversity hypothesis. The results of the thesis found out significant differences in diversity indexes between bacterial communities in urban and rural areas, which supports the biodiversity hypothesis. The study also found differences in Proteobacteria diversity index-es, which have been linked to some immune mediated diseases in previous studies.
  • Hämäläinen, Simon (2021)
    This thesis explores the drivers and barrier to greening in the Finnish music festival scene. The term greening originates in literature on sustainable business and refers to the process of a company achieving greater sustainability through investments, managerial and organisational decisions and implementing policies and processes. The concept of greening is applied to music festivals, a type of event, that cause significant negative environmental impacts. Sustainable event management attempts to mitigate negative environmental impacts and to cause positive impacts for instance through environmental education and inspiring behaviour change. As a theoretical framework, this thesis uses drivers and barriers impacting the greening of music festivals identified in literature. The drivers (organisational and personal values, competitive advantage, consumer demand and the desire to educate) and barriers (lack of finance or support from stakeholders, lack of control over venues, lack of control over patron behaviour, lack of time, lack of sustainable supplies and suppliers), networking in the festival scene and the use of external environmental audits form the basis for a qualitative content analysis. The findings based on interview data from five Finnish music festival managers and a representative from an environmental auditing service suggests that the most significant drivers are value-based and the motivation for greening stems from personal pro-environmental values and the desire to inform and educate audiences. The barriers to overcome are external, related to stakeholders, infrastructure and the supply chain as well as unsustainable attendee behaviour. Additionally, there is among festival managers some uncertainty regarding best practices. A need for increased support from stakeholders and for accessible information highlights the importance of networking. External auditing services should offer flexible and contextual tools and a more inspirational tone. In conclusion, sustainability is seen by the Finnish music festival scene as a key issue and one of increasing priority in the future.
  • Leinikki, Elli (2020)
    Iron-manganese (FeMn) concretions are found on soft sediment bottoms both in the deep sea and coastal sea areas, formed as a result of a combination of biogeochemical and microbial processes. It has been estimated that concretions occur at least in 11 % of the Finnish marine areas. Concretions form hard substrates on predominantly soft seafloors, and they are therefore suggested to increase geodiversity and habitat complexity of the seafloor. This has been found to correlate with biodiversity of the benthic fauna. Despite their widespread occurrence in the northern Baltic Sea, the ecological importance of FeMn concretions has been left unaddressed. In the recent assessment of threatened habitat types in Finland, concretion fields were classified as a data deficient habitat type. The aim of this study is to examine the role of FeMn concretions as habitats in the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Benthic biodiversity was investigated utilizing two approaches; the abundance of mobile fauna and sessile macrofauna were studied with point-dives. The data was compared to pre-existing data from similar soft bottoms where there are no observations of concretions, collected in the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU). Samples for sediment in-fauna were taken with a Van Veen Grab Sampler, and additional data was gathered also from Environmental Information System HERTTA (administered by Environmental Administration). The shape and quantity of concretions appear to affect the abundance of sediment in-fauna. Similarities to the invertebrate composition of soft sediment habitats depends of the soft sediment availability in the habitat, which is dependent on concretion shape and quantity. Crusts seem to affect the faunal composition more than spheroidal and discoidal concretions, as they offer the most complex habitats, significantly different from bare seafloors. Based on this study, the concretion fields should not necessarily be considered as just one habitat type, since the faunal composition appears to differ according to the shape of the concretions.
  • Lakka, Hanna-Kaisa (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.
  • Wanne, Vilma (2019)
    GRACILE (Growth Retardation, Aminoaciduria, Cholestasis, Iron Overload, Lactic Acidosis, and Early death) syndrome (Fellman disease, MIM603358) is a mitochondrial disorder that belongs to the Finnish disease heritage and follows an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. It is a lethal neonatal disease and the affected infants usually survive only a couple of days, but in some cases up to four months. The disease is very rare affecting about 1 in 47,000 infants in Finland. GRACILE syndrome is caused by a homozygous Finnish founder mutation (c.A232G) in the BCS1L gene, which encodes an assembly factor for the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex III. The missense mutation (c.A232G) causes an amino acid change (p.S78G) in the BCS1L protein. Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a terminal oxidase that is not naturally present in mammals. It enables the respiratory chain electron flow to bypass complexes III and IV. The AOX pathway works parallel with the respiratory chain and gets activated under stress conditions in plants and lower animals. In mitochondrial diseases with a complex III deficiency, such as GRACILE syndrome, AOX expression could alleviate the symptoms caused by the complex III dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of AOX expression on early-onset manifestations of the disease in the Bcs1lc.A232G mouse model of GRACILE syndrome. The mice used in this study have a genetic background with a short survival to P35-40. The respiratory chain function in freshly isolated mitochondria from the liver and kidney was studied, as well as complex III activity, mitochondrial mass and liver and kidney histology. The findings of this study suggest that AOX has a strong beneficial effect on both liver and kidney histology and it is able to restore the glycogen stores to some extent, thus alleviating the glycogen depletion seen in the mice. The Bcs1lc.A232G mice also had an improved body weight in the presence of AOX, suggesting a less severe energy deficiency due to the activity of the AOX transgene. CI- and CII-linked respiration was also robustly improved in the liver. Overall, the condition of the Bcs1lc.A232G mice was improved by the presence of the AOX transgene compared to the Bcs1lc.A232G mice not expressing AOX. These results are highly encouraging for further studies on the rescue effects that AOX seems to have on this disease model.
  • Kivelä, Linnea (2022)
    Light pollution, or artificial light at night, is a globally increasing environmental problem that threatens especially nocturnal organisms dependent on darkness. Modern lighting technology offers opportunities for mitigation of the ecological impacts of light pollution, but effective implementation requires better understanding of how different artificial light qualities, such as light spectrum, influence its effects on wildlife. The common glow-worm, Lampyris noctiluca, is an example of a species believed to be suffering from light pollution. Artificial light has been found to interfere with glow-worm reproduction by decreasing the success of females in attracting males with their glow. In this study, I investigated how the color (spectrum) of artificial light affects the attraction of male glow-worms towards a female mimicking stimulus, in order to find out whether certain colors of artificial light are less detrimental to glow-worm reproduction than others. I used dummy female traps to capture male glow-worms in the field and compared the catch success of traps in different treatments: illuminated from above with blue, white, yellow or red artificial light, or left unilluminated as a control. I also conducted a laboratory experiment where male glow-worms were given two choices. One of the choices was an unilluminated dummy female, and the other was either a dummy female illuminated with yellow or red light, or a red light illuminated area with no dummy female. Traps illuminated with short wavelength artificial light (blue and white) caught significantly fewer males than unilluminated traps or traps illuminated with long wavelength artificial light (yellow and red). There was no significant difference in the number of males caught between unilluminated traps and traps illuminated with long wavelength artificial light. In the laboratory, males significantly preferred an unilluminated dummy female over a dummy female illuminated with yellow light. However, the males chose a red light illuminated dummy female or area more often than an unilluminated dummy female, although this difference in preference was not significant. The results show that mate attraction in the glow-worm is influenced by artificial light color, with short wavelength artificial light decreasing the mate attraction success of female glow-worms more than long wavelength artificial light. This could point to yellow-tinted artificial lighting presenting an ecologically friendly alternative to cool white lighting. However, the specifics of how long wavelength artificial light affects male glow-worm perception of female attractiveness are still unclear. Furthermore, male glow-worms show signs of attraction towards long wavelength artificial light, which could form an evolutionary trap for them. The impacts of artificial light spectrum on organisms are thus not straightforward, but can vary depending on both species and situation.
  • Lintala, Annika (2020)
    Bipotential gonads are precursor structures for testes and ovaries. Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF1) is one of the most important transcription factors in an embryo needed for the development and maintenance of bipotential gonads. If SF1 is not expressed, bipotential gonads fail to develop, and genitalia and kidneys are not formed. Later, SF1 expression persists high in testes, where it supports Sertoli and Leydig cell formation and development. If SF1 is not expressed enough in males, the bipotential gonads differentiate into ovaries. The factors activating and regulating SF1 are not currently fully known. By getting more knowledge of how SF1 is controlled, regulatory mechanisms behind normal fetal development of gonads and disorders of sex development (DSD) can be understood better. The aims of this thesis were to study whether growth factors, that naturally regulate differentiation of developing gonads, promote differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) into Sertoli-like cells (SLCs) and whether SF1 expression is induced by the addition of these growth factors. For conducting the study, we used hiPSCs, which have an SF1 activation domain cassette previously introduced to the cells by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9) (CRISPR/Cas9) method. SF1 could be activated by adding doxycycline (DOX) and trimethoprim (TMP). These hiPSCs were differentiated into intermediate mesoderm (IM) on the first four days according to the protocol published earlier by the group. After this, the differentiation to SLCs was guided by adding growth factors to the culture medium. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) and prostaglandin-2 (PGD2) were tested separately and in a combined cocktail also including follicle stimulating (FSH) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In a control condition, cells were differentiated without additional growth factors. In all tested conditions, cells first differentiated into IM were further differentiated either in the presence or absence of DOX and TMP for 8 days. The differentiation medias were changed to the cells every day and lysis samples for quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) were taken every other day. The relative gene expression levels of bipotential gonad, testis and steroidogenic gene markers from each condition were monitored with qRT-PCR and compared to the levels of the undifferentiated hiPSCs. Immunocytochemistry was performed to see the changes in protein production. Against our hypothesis and the previous studies by others, none of the tested growth factors induced the cells to differentiate into SLCs. However, SF1 expression was triggered by chemical induction with DOX and TMP. Also, the expression levels of bipotential gonadal and testicular gene markers increased in control conditions with/without chemical induction. PGD2 conditions were the only ones to resemble the gene expression and morphology of control conditions while the others differed. These results indicated that the addition of bFGF, FGF9, FSH and GDNF did not improve the differentiation of iPSCs into SLCs and in fact, bFGF and FGF9 hindered their differentiation into SLCs. As a future perspective the optimal concentrations for each growth factor and the duration of growth factor supplementation ought to be tested to refine the protocol.
  • Huovinen, Lena (2021)
    Lake ecosystems are shaped by water chemistry processes that affect the lake environment and the species communities within. Changes in the water chemistry thus have far-reaching consequences. Water colour is one variable that affects water chemistry and stems from humic substances in the water. Dark water reduces light availability and also affects nutrient and oxygen availability. A trend of brownification of freshwater systems has been observed in recent years and it is expected to influence species community’s diversity and composition. The aim of this thesis was to study whether brownification is an ongoing issue in the study lakes and whether it has had a negative effect on phytoplankton diversity and resulted in shifts in the phytoplankton composition. A data set including about a 100 lakes in Finland with measurements from 1965 up until now served as the study system which was analysed with statistical methods. The results indicated a brownification trend in the past decades. The brownification so far had a positive impact on species richness but a negative impact on beta diversity. Brownification also affected species composition. Flagellates and autotrophic species increased in darker waters but mixotrophic species that are known to dominate in dark water colour, did not show a clear increase with water colour. Other hydrological variables than water colour could have had a bigger impact on the phytoplankton community than water colour but future monitoring of the phytoplankton community is recommended to see if water colour will have a negative impact on species diversity in the future.