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  • Högel, Caroline (2022)
    The aim for this project is to set up a high-content imaging pipeline for phenotypic analysis of single cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples from healthy blood donors. The blood donors selected for the optimization experiments are known to carry specific allele variants of interest, based on an earlier FinnGen study. The main question is whether these genetic differences result in phenotypic changes in the PBMCs that can be identified by microscopic imaging and AI-guided image analysis. In this Pro Gradu work, I have optimized the pipeline of PBMC sample handling, immunostaining, and phenotypic imaging. PBMCs were gathered from healthy donors at the Blood Service Biobank. The frozen PBMC samples were thawed, and cells were plated on 384-well plates prior to immediate fixation with paraformaldehyde. The cells were then stained with fluorescent cell markers based on the Cell Painting assay (Bray et.al. 2016), followed by wide-field and confocal imaging with Opera Phenix high-content confocal microscope (FIMM High Content Imaging and Analysis unit). Novel deep learning methods are now being developed (Pitkänen group) to automatically learn phenotypes from the collected imaging data and associate them to the donor’s genotypes. We also used in-house tools for cell segmentation and further analysis as well as quality control (Paavolainen group). Primary results based on the features extracted from acquired images showed promising cell type - and donor -type specific clustering.
  • Junell, Niklas (2021)
    Hippocampal place fields play a key role in spatial navigation. New place fields are formed during exploratory behavior through long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic inputs to place cells located in hippocampal CA1. Recently, a novel form synaptic plasticity termed behavioral time scale plasticity (BTSP) has been demonstrated to occur in CA3–CA1 synapses in vitro. BTSP can potentiate synapses that were active several hundred milliseconds before or after a priming event such as a strong and prolonged somatic depolarization. This plasticity rule could be an important complement to well-established spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) which associates neuronal inputs with outputs at a time scale less than a few tens of milliseconds. The aim of this thesis was to determine whether high frequency antidromic stimulation can act as a priming event that enables BTSP induction in CA1 pyramidal neurons. The underlying assumption was that antidromic stimulation could prime BTSP via action potential backpropagation. High frequency bursting of CA1 neurons in hippocampal slices was achieved with 100 Hz antidromic stimulation of CA1 axons in the alveus. Schaffer collaterals were stimulated 500 ms before or after CA1 burst firing with intensities that were subthreshold for LTP when unpaired. I found that high frequency firing did not enable LTP induction during either of the two experimental protocols, suggesting that neuronal output alone is insufficient for priming BTSP.
  • Jaale, Marko (2007)
    Saaristomeren pinnanalaisen ravintoverkon rakennetta sekä ravinteiden alkuperää ja kulkeutumista tutkittiin hiilen ja typen pysyviä isotooppeja hyväksi käyttäen. Tutkimuksen kohteena olivat suspendoitunut partikkeliaines (SPM), sedimentin pintakerros, pohjaeläimet, kalat ja makrolevät. Näytteitä otettiin toukokuussa, kesäkuussa ja lokakuussa. Ravinnelähteiden arvioinnin ohella tutkittiin voiko sisäsaariston kalankasvatuksen vaikutusta määritellä analysoimalla kalanrehupellettejä. Lisäksi arvioitiin joidenkin lajikohtaisten tai lajien välisten ominaisuuksien erojen vaikutusta (esimerkiksi eläimen koko ja kudosten C:N –suhde rasvapitoisuuden kuvaajana) δ-arvojen määräytymiseen. Myös joitain tarkennuksia tehtiin lajien ravinnonkäyttöluokituksiin. Sisäsaaristossa toukokuussa pian lumien sulamisen aiheuttaman kasvaneen jokivirtaaman jälkeen SPM:stä havaittiin korkeita δ13C- ja δ15N-arvoja (keskimäärin -16 ‰ ja 9 ‰, vastaavasti). Ulkosaariston asemilta saatiin paljon alempia arvoja (-24 ‰ ja 4 ‰, vastaavasti). Sisäsaaristossakin arvot laskivat kesäkuuhun mennessä (-26 ‰ ja 5 ‰, vastaavasti) ollen kuitenkin hieman korkeampia kuin samaan aikaan tutkituilla ulommilla välisaariston asemilla. Kasviplanktonin lajistokoostumusta tutkittiin touko- ja kesäkuussa, mutta suuria eroja ei ajankohtien välillä havaittu. Lokakuussa sateisen loppukesän jälkeen δ13C oli tasainen (-23 ‰ - -24 ‰) koko tutkimusalueella, mutta δ15N oli taas huomattavasti korkeampi sisäsaaristossa (8 ‰) kuin ulkosaaristossa (4 ‰). Päinvastoin kuin yleensä tutkimuksissa on esitetty, tässä tutkimuksessa korkeat δ13C ja/tai δ15N-arvot kuvannevat lisääntynyttä jokien tuomaa terrestristä alkuperää olevaa ravinnekuormaa. Lisäksi kauden aikana suuresti vaihtelevat, mutta silti voimakkaasti korreloivat δ13C ja δ15N indikoivat hiilen ja typen olevan pääosin samaista alkuperää. Kirjallisuudessa ravinnepulssien yhtäaikaisesti korkeat δ13C ja δ15N katsotaan alkuperältään ihmis- tai eläinperäisiksi ja yleensä liitetään karjanlannan käyttöön lannoitteena. Tätä ei kuitenkaan voitu Saaristomerellä osoittaa, koska terrestrisiä ravinnelähteitä ei tutkittu. Kuitenkin muista tunnetuista SPM:n δ-arvoja voimakkaasti muokkaavista tekijöistä voitiin poissulkea ravinnerajoitteisuudesta johtuva fraktionaation muutos sekä synteettisten lannoitteiden käyttö ja kalankasvatus ravinnelähteinä. Pintasedimentistä saatiin paljon tasaisempia δ13C- ja δ15N-arvoja kaikilla näytteenotoilla (keskimäärin -24 ‰ ja 4 ‰, vastaavasti), jotka kuvannevat sedimentoituvan aineksen pitkäaikaisia keskiarvoja. Havaittavissa oli hienoinen laskeva suuntaus kohti ulompia asemia ja monista pohjan lähellä tai sedimentissä elävistä eläimistä saatiin samaan tapaan laskevia arvoja. SPM:n vaihtelevat ja eläinten δ-arvot korreloivat heikosti lukuunottamatta joitakin suspensionsyöjiä (Balanus improvisus ja Mytilus edulis). δ13C ja C:N korreloivat negatiivisesti joillakin lajeilla (Macoma balthica, Monoporeia affinis ja Mytilus edulis), joka johtunee muuttuvasta rasvojen osuudesta kudoksissa. Ainakin näiden lajien käyttöön ravinnelähteiden arvioinnissa kannattaa suhtautua varauksella. Makrolevien δ15N oli n. 4 ‰ korkeampi sisäsaaristossa kuin ulommilla asemilla, joka myöskin heijastanee jokien tuoman terrestristä alkuperää olevien ravinteiden vaikutusta. Fucus vesiculosus, tutkimuksen ainut varsinainen monivuotinen levä, sai 6 ‰ korkeampia δ13C-arvoja kuin muut levät keskimäärin. Gammarus sp:n Idothea baltican δ15N seurasi makrolevien δ15N:n vaihtelua, mutta δ13C:n perusteella arvioituna ne suosivat rehevöitymisen seurauksena runsastuvia rihmaleviä sisäsaaristossa, kun taas F. vesiculosus näytti kasvattavan tärkeyttä ravintona ulkosaaristossa. Hiilen ja typen pysyvät isotoopit osoittautuivat tehokkaiksi työkaluiksi ravinteiden lähteiden ja kulkeutumisen tarkasteluissa erityisesti sisäsaaristossa, vaikkakin joitakin lajikohtaisia piirteitä on otettava huomioon ja joidenkin biologisten prosessien, kuten denitrifikaation osuus fraktionaation aiheuttajana pitäisi määrittää ennen kuin luotettavia arvioita ravinnelähteistä voidaan tehdä.
  • Nuotiomäki, Annika (2019)
    Tarkastelen tässä tutkielmassa hiilijalanjälkitestien ja hiilijalanjäljen pienentämiseen tähtäävien kokeilujen kehittäjien näkemyksiä parhaista tavoista suomalaisten ohjaamiseen kestävämpiä elämäntapoja kohti. Etsin tutkielmassa vastauksia seuraaviin tutkimuskysymyksiin: 1. Minkälaisiin käsityksiin kuluttajista hiilijalanjälkitestit ja hiilijalanjäljen pienentämiseen liittyvät kokeilut perustuvat? 2. Millä tavoilla testin kehittäjien mielestä kuluttajia voi parhaiten ohjata kohti kestävämpiä elämäntapoja? Perustan tutkielman vihreän kuluttajuuden käsitteeseen sekä aiempaan hiilijalanjälkitesteistä ja ruohonjuuritason kokeiluista, erityisesti energiakokeiluista ja älykkäistä sähköverkoista tehtyyn tutkimukseen. Hiilijalanjälkitestien kehittäjiä on tutkittu vähän, mutta energiakokeilujen yhteydessä kehittäjien näkemyksiä kokeilujen osallistujista on tutkittu enemmän. Käytän tutkielmassa asiantuntijahaastattelujen vastauksista tehtyä sisällönanalyysia. Haastattelut on tehty talven 2018-2019 aikana. Tuloksena oli, että parhaita keinoja ohjaamisessa olivat henkilökohtainen apu asiantuntijoiden sekä vertaisryhmien muodossa, erilaisten elämänvalintojen ja -tilanteiden kuten asuinpaikan tai rahatilanteen tunnistaminen ja huomioiminen, erilaisten kulutusvalintojen suhteellisten vaikutusten vertailu ja vaikutuksista viestiminen sekä kestävien elämäntapojen hyväksyttävyyden lisääminen niiden trendikkyyttä kasvattamalla. Ohjausvastuun koetaan olevan ennen kaikkea julkisella sektorilla ja yrityksillä, mutta yksityishenkilöillä on vastuu vaatia uudenlaisia ratkaisuja.
  • Happonen, Jenni (2022)
    During times of complex sustainability crisis, there is an urgent need for policy measures that steer consumer-citizens towards environmental and climate friendly lifestyles, especially in rich high-consuming countries such as Finland. (Carbon)footprint calculators which have gained popularity in recent years, are considered as one potential policy measure. This explorative study aims at shedding light on what could be the role of footprinting tools in encouraging individuals towards sustainable lifestyles. The literature review delves into the previous research about the use and impacts of the footprinting tools. Empirically, I study the self-understanding and interpretations that users have about one specific consumption related carbon footprinting tool. The concept of carbon capability works as an analytical framework of the study. The concept refers holistically to the attributes and abilities of thought and action that a citizen should have in order to mitigate climate change in a meaningful way, both as an individual and as a member of society. The study asks what kind of speech related to carbon capability comes to the fore during the use of the carbon footprinting tool and what this reveals about the carbon capability of the users and the steering impact of the tool and its’ role as a carbon capability promotor. To answer these questions, I interviewed seven users of the tool “Sustainable Lifestyle Commitment” who live in Helsinki. As an analysis method, I apply theory-guided qualitative content analysis and adaptive research approach. The results highlight the diversity of interpretations given to the tool, making it difficult to demonstrate that the tool produces some certain impacts. Carbon capability approach shows that there is a need for policy measures encouraging more towards collective modes of action and societal level engagement towards sustainable living, in addition to (or in the context of) individual consumption related footprinting tools. Fairness should be an integrated part in efforts made to increase carbon capability of consumer-citizens.
  • Aarrelahti, Emmi (2023)
    Achieving the global 1,5 degrees Celsius climate target requires the contributions of several societal actors to reduce emissions. Several actors have started to work to untangle the emissions of their operations and abate them. The Turku and Kaarina parish union, which operates in Southwest Finland, has also set a personal goal to reduce its emissions, aiming to be a carbon-neutral organization by 2029. The purpose of this thesis is to find out the carbon footprint and the forests’ carbon sinks of Turku and Kaarina parish union and make the carbon neutrality roadmap with some examples of how to achieve the parish union’s carbon neutrality goal of 2029. In addition, the thesis examines through the selected case study the organization’s methodology of the carbon footprint and the realization of the carbon neutrality goals. Both the parish union’s carbon footprint and the forests’ carbon sinks are calculated for the year 2022. The materials of carbon footprint consist of the activity data of the parish union and the emission factors. The calculation of the carbon footprint is carried out based on the international standards, Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and ISO 14046. The forests’ carbon sinks are calculated based on the parish union’s information on its forestry management of 2022 and the research of Natural Resources Institute Finland about the carbon sinks and stocks of local parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland of 2021. The estimate of gross emissions of Turku and Kaarina parish union for 2022 is approximately 4985 tCO2e. The biggest emission groups are procurements, real estate, and travel. The size of the forests’ carbon sinks is approximately 1176 tCO2e, offsetting about 24–29 % of the gross emissions depending on the parish union’s carbon neutrality targets. Based on the union’s carbon neutrality goal, the net emissions should still be reduced by about 2261 tCO2e and offset by about 551 tCO2e. The realization of Turku and Kaarina parish union’s carbon neutrality goal would require significant emission reductions, especially from the biggest emission groups. Because the union has already executed a major portion of the easiest emission reductions of the union’s operations, the realization of new and large emission reductions is challenging to implement only in six or seven years. In addition, the realization of the carbon neutrality goal is hampered for instance the different limitations and uncertainties related to the carbon footprint calculation, stability of forests’ carbon sinks, and the practical implementation of the roadmap. However, the carbon neutrality goal of the Turku and Kaarina parish union will be progressing particularly with the successfully implemented sustainability transformation and transition and the Church’s environment diploma, supporting the Church’s environmental education, and promoting wide-scale societal transformation towards the climate-neutral life.
  • Kehvola, Hanna-Maija (2020)
    Ilmastonmuutos on aikamme suuri haaste, joka uhkaa sekä ihmisen että muun luonnon elinmahdollisuuksia ja sen ratkaiseminen edellyttää keinoja kaikilla sektoreilla. Maankäyttösektorilla ja maankäytössä tapahtuvilla muutoksilla on globaalisti suuri rooli ilmastotavoitteiden saavuttamisessa, sillä ekosysteemit sitovat ja varastoivat hiilidioksidia ilmakehästä. Samalla maankäyttösektori on keskeinen myös luonnon monimuotoisuuden ja muiden ekosysteemipalveluiden kannalta. Myös kaupunkien viherrakenne toimii hiilinieluna ja -varastona ja tukee kaupunkien omia ilmastotavoitteita. Tässä työssä tavoitteena on selvittää 1) Miten hiilinielut ja -varastot tunnistetaan ja ymmärretään kaupungissa ja mitä haasteita aiheeseen liittyy, 2) miten hiilinieluja voidaan edistää maankäytön suunnittelussa ja mitä ohjauskeinoja hiilinielujen huomioimisen edistämiseksi tunnistetaan, sekä 3) miten luonnon monimuotoisuus hahmotetaan suhteessa hiilensidontaan ja muihin ekosysteemipalveluihin. Tutkimuksen aineistona käytettiin puolistrukturoituja teemahaastatteluja, jotka toteutettiin kaupunkien asiantuntijoille. Aineisto analysoitiin laadullisen sisällönanalyysin keinoin. Tutkimus oli luonteeltaan teoriaohjaava ja teoreettisina viitekehyksinä käytettiin ohjauskeinojen teoriaa sekä ekosysteemipalveluiden putousmallia. Tutkimuksen tulosten mukaan hiilinielut ja -varastot tunnistetaan kaupungeissa yleisesti ottaen hyvin ja myös käytännön keinot niiden huomioimiseksi hahmotetaan. Aihe linkittyy hiilineutraalisuustavoitteisiin, joiden kautta aihe on noussut enemmän esille. Hiilinieluihin liittyy kuitenkin tietopuutteita erityisesti kaupunkirakenteen osalta. Tietopohjan lisääminen auttaisi täsmentämään hiilinielujen roolia osana ilmastonmuutoksen hillintää sekä jalkauttamaan aihetta maankäytön suunnitteluun. Haasteena nähtiin myös kaupungin kasvutavoitteiden yhteensovittaminen ekosysteemipalveluita tuottavan viherrakenteen kanssa. Hiilinielujen ja -varastojen edistämisessä keskeisiksi ohjauskeinoiksi katsottiin hallinnollis-lainsäädännöllinen ohjaus, jonka osalta kaavoituksella ja muilla velvoittavilla menettelyillä on suuri vaikutus, sekä informaatio-ohjaus, jonka osalta korostuivat tiedon lisääminen ja välittäminen, yhteistyö sekä kaupunkien strategiset ohjelmat. Myös taloudelliset ohjauskeinot ja toisaalta henkilö- ja ammattikohtaiset intressit ja arvot tunnistettiin vaikuttaviksi tekijöiksi. Hiilinielut ja -varastot nähtiin kaupungin viherrakenteen yhtenä arvona muiden ekosysteemipalveluiden joukossa. Monimuotoisuuden, hiilen ja ekosysteemipalveluiden yhteyksiä tunnistettiin, ja monimuotoisuuden ja hiilinielujen ja -varastojen samanaikaiselle edistämiselle katsottiin olevan mahdollisuuksia. Monimuotoisuus tuo keskusteluun uuden, laajemman ja kompleksisemman tulokulman, jossa korostuvat ekologisten prosessien ja rakenteiden moninaiset vuorovaikutussuhteet ja joka haastaa nykyistä maankäytön suunnittelujärjestelmää.
  • Rossi, Katriina (2020)
    HIV-1 is a lentivirus causing a serious immunodeficiency disease called AIDS to almost 38 million people in the world. Like all retroviruses, HIV has an ability to insert a copy of its genome into the host cell DNA thus having a lifelong effect on the host cell. Two identical copies of single-stranded RNA are first reverse transcribed, and then a protein called integrase inserts the DNA into the genome of T-cells of the human immune system. Studies have shown that in some retroviruses the integrase protein has a unique integration pattern favoring certain areas of the host cell genome. For example, active transcription units or promoter units are found to attract integration activity. On the other hand, with nuclear localization signals in its structure and an ability to attach to the human genome, it raises a question if the integrase could have additional functions. Regulating certain gene expression levels could support viral replication and the survival of the virus. The aim of the study was to determine whether integration sites differ from integrase genomic contact sites, which could be an indication of integrase’s additional role. Study was started by method optimization. Two chromatin fragmentation methods, sonication and endo-exonuclease treatment, were tested in order to achieve optimal sized DNA fragments for ChIP-sequencing. Two cell lines were infected with HIV-1. Genomic DNA was collected for integration site sequencing. Integrase genomic contact sites were studied with ChIP-sequencing. Next generation sequencing for both, integration sites and integrase genomic contact sites, was carried out by an outsource biotechnology company. Sequences were processed with bioinformatics platforms, such as Galaxy and Homer. Study of the effects of transfected integrase was also initiated by transfection method optimization. Treatment with endo-exonuclease resulted in correctly sized DNA fragments when DNA was first purified. In a cell lysate, a correct ratio of MNase and cells was not found, although several cell lysis methods and buffers were tried. This is why actual integrase genomic contact site samples were fragmented by sonication. In MRC-5 cell line, integration site sequencing resulted in over 2 M reads with 289 aligned, unique integration sites. Integrase genomic contact site sequencing resulted in 1.8E+6 Bowtie mapped reads. A brief analysis of the sequences including sequence visualization, comparison of localization in the genome and GO terms, showed that integrase genomic contact sites have certain patterns that differ from integration sites. Therefore, it was confirmed that the study is repeatable, as the results were in line with the study conducted several years earlier. These results also suggest that method optimization had been successful. As bioinformatics methods were used with default parameters only, more attention should be payed when sequences are analyzed more deeply. This will offer a more thorough understanding of the functions of integrase.
  • Sundman, Elina (2020)
    Hypothyroidism affected 337 370 people in Finland in 2019. The hypothalamus-pituitary negative feedback loop is used in the diagnostics of hypothyroidism. TSH, a pituitary hormone, is the most used diagnostic tool with the free thyroxine (T4) in a supporting role. L-T4 has been the main treatment option, since the discovery of peripheral deiodination. Biochemical and clinical euthyroidism is the aim of L-T4 therapy. There are no nationwide official treatment guidelines for hypothyroidism in Finland. The Finnish Endocrine Society has published their recommended guidelines in 2019. Studies have shown that 5–15 % of levothyroxine treated patients continue to report symptoms when they are biochemically euthyroid. The symptoms consist of typical symptoms of hypothyroidism: fatigue, cognitive symptoms, depression, anxiety and weight gain. The molecular basis of the symptoms is not yet known. These symptoms have notbeen studied in Finnish population. The aim of this study was to find out what symptoms levothyroxine treated patients report on Finnish social media support groups and view the current treatment of hypothyroidism and guidelines of treatment. This study was conducted by surveying patient-reported information from social media hypothyroidism related support groups. The posts were divided into two groups: hypothyreotic and athyreotic. The biochemical data and symptoms were collected from 137 posts in the athyreotic group and 191 in the hypothyreotic group. Only posts with TSH under or within the refence range and free T4 within the reference range wereincluded in the study. The results show that patients reported symptoms in 74 % of the posts viewed. 81 % of patients reported symptoms in the hypothyroidism group and 64.2 % in the athyreotic group. The most reported symptom in both groups was fatigue. Symptoms were reported within the normal TSH range (0.5-4 mU/l) and below the normal range (<0.5 mU/l). In asymptomatic patients the median TSH was 0.38 mU/l in the athyreotic group and 0.54 mU/l in the hypothyreotic group. Free T4 seems to be a little higher in the asymptomatic patients in both groups. 16.6-25 % the patients reported that they had had Free T3 measured. Free T3 seem to be higher in relation to free T4 in the athyreotic group that reported having no symptoms. L-T4 is the recommended treatment modality for hypothyroidism. Other options are synthetic combination treatment with L-T4 + L-T3 and desiccated thyroid extract (DTE).This study supports the view that hypothyroidism patients can have symptoms on levothyroxine treatment
  • Lehikoinen, Petteri (2013)
    Kosteikot ovat biodiversiteetiltään yksi maailman rikkaimmista habitaateista. Kosteikkojen ja niillä elävien vesilintujen tuottamien ekosysteemipalvelujen laajuuteen ja tärkeyteen on havahduttu vasta viime aikoina. Kosteikkoja ja niiden linnustoa uhkaavat maailman laajuisesti maankäyttö sekä makeiden vesistöjen pilaantuminen. Viimeisen vuosisadan aikana maailman kosteikkojen määrä on vähentynyt puoleen ja niiden tila on heikentynyt. Kosteikkolinnuston elinolot ovat heikentyneet ja linnusto on taantunut. Kosteikkoja rakentamalla ja kunnostamalla on voitu parantaa linnuston elinolosuhteita. Etenkin keinotekoisten kosteikkojen merkitys on ollut suuri luontaisten kosteikkojen tilan heikkenemisen myötä. Vain vähän tiedetään miten luonnollisten kosteikkojen hoitotoimet vaikuttavat linnustoon paikallisella tasolla. Niukasti tietoa on myös saatavilla päättäjille hoitotoimien kustannustehokkuudesta. Tässä työssä tutkittiin Etelä-Suomen kosteikkojen hoitotoimien vaikutuksia levähtävään ja pesivään linnustoon. Työn tarkoituksena oli selvittää eri hoitotoimien vaikutuksia ravinnonhankinnaltaan erilaisiin lintukiltoihin ja -ryhmiin. Yhtenä tutkimuksen päätavoitteena oli luoda käsitys hoitotoimien kustannustehokkuudesta sekä mihin resurssit kannattaa käyttää. Tutkimusalue käsitti 21 Etelä-Suomen linnustollisesti arvokasta kosteikkoa. Kosteikkoja kunnostettiin vuosina 2004–2012 kahdessa hoitojaksossa. Hoitojaksoja ennen ja niiden jälkeen kosteikkojen pesivä ja levähtävä linnusto selvitettiin. Suomen ympäristökeskus vastasi hoitotoimista ja linnustolaskennoista Uudenmaan ja Kymenlaakson ELY-keskusten kanssa. Kosteikkoja kunnostettiin pääasiassa avoimuutta lisäämällä laidunnuksen, puustonraivauksen, niiton ja äestyksen sekä ruoppauksen avulla. Muutolla levähtävä linnusto selvitettiin läpi muuttokauden noin viiden päivän välein suoritettujen laskentojen avulla ja pesivä linnusto selvitettiin viiden käyntikerran kartoitusmenetelmällä. Kohteiden linnut eriteltiin hoidettuihin osa-alueisiin sekä niiden ulkopuolelle jääviin hoitamattomiin osa-alueisiin. Kontrollialueina toimivat hoitamattomat kohteet ja osa-alueet. Lasketut linnut yhdistettiin ravinnonhankintansa perusteella kymmeneen kiltaan, jotka olivat puolisukeltajasorsat, sukeltajasorsat, kalansyöjävesilinnut, joutsenet, hanhet, kahlaajat, naurulokki, rantakanat ja kaulushaikara, avomaavarpuslinnut sekä pensaston ja ruovikon varpuslinnut. Kolmea viimeksi mainittua kiltaa tarkasteltiin vain pesimäaikana. Erikseen tarkasteltiin kansallisesti uhanalaisia sekä lintudirektiivin liitteen I lajeja. Hoitotoimien sekä niihin käytettyjen kokonaiskustannusten vaikutuksia kiltakohtaisiin lintumääriin tarkasteltiin lineaarisilla sekamalleilla. Syysmuuttoaineistossa kaikkien lintukiltojen määrät kasvoivat niitto- ja äestysalan myötä; laidunnuspinta-ala lisäsi hanhien ja kahlaajien lukumääriä. Kaikkien kiltojen lukumääriä lisäsi laidunala keväällä, lisäksi niitto- ja äestys - sekä ruoppausala lisäsivät kahlaajien lukumääriä. Kalansyöjien lukumäärät vähenivät ruoppausalan kasvun myötä, mutta yhteys oli tilastollisesti vain suuntaa antava. Pesimäaineistossa ruoppausala x kilta-interaktio osoittautui tilastollisesti merkitseväksi, mutta kiltakohtaisesti tarkasteltuna vaikutukset olivat suuntaa antavia; rantakanat ja kaulushaikara runsastuivat ja kalansyöjävesilinnut vähenivät. Sekä uhanalaisten että lintudirektiivin liitteen I lajien lukumääriä kasvatti laidunnus keväällä ja syksyllä. Hoitotoimiin käytettyjen kokonaiskustannusten suhteen runsastuivat syksyllä puolisukeltajasorsat, hanhet ja kahlaajat. Keväällä kokonaiskustannuksilla oli positiivinen yhteys puolisukeltajasorsien, kahlaajien ja naurulokin lukumääriin. Pesimäaineistossa kokonaiskustannukset kasvattivat naurulokin lukumääriä. Suuntaa-antavasti kokonaiskustannukset lisäsivät rantakanojen ja kaulushaikaran määriä sekä vähensivät kalansyöjävesilintujen määriä. Erityisesti huomioitavaa on, että hoitotoimilla havaittiin vain positiivisia merkitseviä tuloksia lintukiltoihin. Laidunnus oli tärkein yksittäinen hoitotoimi, mikä liittynee sen ympäristöä monipuolistavaan vaikutukseen. Hoitotoimista eniten hyötynyt kilta oli kahlaajat, mutta kaikki killat hyötyivät jostain hoitotoimesta. Hoitotoimien positiiviset vaikutukset liittynevät avoimuuden lisääntymiseen sekä karjan läsnäoloon, jotka voivat parantaa lintujen ruokailuolosuhteita sekä lisätä turvallisuutta. Kokonaiskustannukset paljastivat että naurulokki ja puolisukeltajasorsat hyötyivät hoitotoimista kokonaisuutena, sillä ne eivät poikenneet muista killoista yksittäisiä hoitotoimia tarkasteltaessa. Vähiten hyötyivät sukeltajasorsat sekä kalansyöjävesilinnut. Tutkimus osoittaa, että hoitotoimilla voidaan parantaa taantuneiden kosteikkolintujen elinolosuhteita. Koska hoitokohteet ovat Etelä-Suomen parhaimpia lintuvesiä, on hoitotoimien biologinen merkitys suuri. Vaikutukset eivät ole pelkästään kansalliset, vaan kunnostuksesta hyötyvät Suomenlahden muuttoreittiä pitkin pohjoiseen muuttavat kosteikkolinnut –aina Siperiaan asti. Yksi tärkeimmistä huomioista on, että hoidon loputtua kosteikkojen tila heikkenee. Hoitoa tulisi jatkaa, jottei saatuja hyötyjä menetettäisi. Tulevaisuudessa olisi tärkeää suunnitella mittavat hoitotoimet myös tutkimuksen kannalta, jolloin hoitotoimien vaikutuksia voitaisiin tutkia tarkemmin. Tärkeää olisi löytää keinot sukeltajasorsien ja kalansyöjien elinolojen parantamiseksi.
  • Pakarinen, Suvi (2011)
    The relationship between hosts and parasites is one of the most studied interactions between living organisms, and it is both universal and common in nature. Parasitoids are special type of parasites whose offspring develop attached to or within a single host organism that it ultimately consumes and kills. Hosts are arthropods and most parasitoids belong to the insect order Hymenoptera. For almost two decades metapopulation research on the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) has been conducted in the Åland Islands, Finland. The studies have been concerned with the population dynamics, evolution, genetics, behavior, natural history and life history characteristics of M. cinxia, as well as with species interacting with the butterfly. The parasitoids of M. cinxia have been under long term studies and much has been learned about specific host-parasitoid interactions during the past decade. The research for this Master s thesis was done in the Åland Islands during summer 2010. I conducted a reciprocal transplant style experiment in order to compare the performance of host butterflies (M. cinxia) under attack by different parasitoid wasps (C. melitaearum). I used hosts and parasitoids from five origins around the Baltic Sea: Öland, Uppland, Åland, Saaremaa and Pikku-Tytärsaari. The host-parasitoid relationship was studied in terms of host susceptibility and parasitoid virulence, addressing specifically the possible effects of inbreeding and local adaptation of both parasitoids and their hosts. I compared various factors such as host defence ratio, parasitoid development rate, cocoon production rate etc. I also conducted a small scale C. melitaearum egg development experiment and C. melitaearum external morphology comparison between different parasitoid populations. The results show that host resistance and parasitoid virulence differ between both host and parasitoid populations. For example, Åland hosts were most susceptible to parasitoids and especially vulnerable to Pikku-Tytärsaari wasps. Pikku-Tytärsaari wasps were most successful in terms of parasitoids virulence and efficiency except in Saaremaa hosts, where the wasp did not succeed. Saaremaa hosts were resistant except towards Åland parasitoids. I did not find any simple pattern concerning host resistance and parasitoid virulence between inbred and outbred populations. Also, the effect of local adaptation was not detected, perhaps because metapopulation processes disturb local adaptation of the studied populations. Morphological comparisons showed differences between studied wasp populations and sexual dimorphism was obvious with females being bigger that males. There were also interesting differences among populations in male and female wing shapes. The results raise many further questions. Especially interesting were Pikku-Tytärsaari wasps that did well in terms of efficiency and virulence. Pikku-Tytärsaari is a small, isolated island in the Gulf of Finland and both the host and parasitoids are extremely inbred. For the host and parasitoid to persist in the island, the host has to have some mechanisms to escape the parasitoid. Further research will be done on the subject to discover the mechanisms of Pikku-Tytärsaari host s ability to escape parasitism. Also, genetic analyses will be conducted in the near future to determine the relatedness of used C. melitaearum populations.
  • Pezzutto, Denise (2019)
    Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging concern at the global scale, threatening the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating bacterial infections. Among anthropogenically impacted environments, wastewater treatment plants have been indicated as possible reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes, putative hotspots for their horizontal gene transfer, and a source of their dissemination to the environment. Generally, the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes is reduced during the wastewater treatment process. However, some genes were shown to be enriched in purified effluent water and dried sludge, which are then released to the environment, compared to influent water. Also, the taxonomy of the hosts carrying antibiotic resistance genes could change as a result of horizontal gene transfer events. The aim of this study was to analyse and compare the host range of a series of antibiotic resistance genes in influent water, effluent water and dried sludge collected from the Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant in Helsinki, Finland, by applying Emulsion, Paired Isolation and Concatenation PCR (epicPCR). EpicPCR is a method that can link a gene of interest to the 16S rRNA gene from the genome of the host bacterium, without any cultivation step. The abundance of the hosts was also evaluated by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene from the whole bacterial community. In several cases, the target antibiotic resistance genes (blaIMP, blaNDM, ermB, ermF, sul1 and strB) were carried in effluent water and dried sludge by taxa that were not hosting them in influent water, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer events might have occurred during the treatment. All the examined genes were detected both in abundant and in rare taxa, including genera that also comprise pathogenic species, such as Arcobacter and Acinetobacter. Some of the detected hosts were not previously known to show resistant phenotypes, namely members of the family Methylophilaceae. These results corroborate the idea that wastewater treatment plants might be hotspots for the horizontal gene transfer of resistance determinants, and potentially disseminate antibiotic resistant pathogens to the environment. However, in order to ensure the accuracy of the results, the limits of epicPCR as a method need to be identified and addressed.
  • Rissanen, Jason (2020)
    Ants are among the most successful organisms in the world. They can be found almost anywhere on the planet and due to their high degree of sociality and complex societies they have become some of the most abundant creatures in most terrestrial ecosystems. Although sociality has benefits in the form of more efficient foraging, brood care, reproduction and protection from predators, it has costs too. Ants live in high densities in their nests and have frequent contact between them which can facilitate an efficient transmission of pathogens within the nest. Ants have become highly successful in spite of their potentially high susceptibility to pathogens. They share the same innate immune responses of other arthropods and have unique adaptations for coping with pathogens. In extension to physiological strategies for coping with pathogens, ants engage in behavioural strategies as well. Ants and other eusocial insects can also harness the structure and behaviour of the colony to prevent and cope with pathogen infections through social immunity. Ants can also engage in self-medication behaviour to combat disease. Self-medication is a behavioural strategy where individuals respond to pathogen infections by seeking out and using biologically active compounds to alleviate the effects of pathogens in a way that would be detrimental for uninfected individuals. The behaviour can be either therapeutic of prophylactic depending on when the compounds are used in relation to encountering the pathogen, and it can be extended beyond the self to other kin. While ants have been proven to medicate themselves with reactive oxygen species (ROS) in laboratory conditions, it remains unknown how they do it in the wild. In my thesis, I studied how the ant Lasius platythorax self-medicate in a natural setting by developing a multi-trophic system of ant – pathogen – aphid – plant interactions. In this system, the ants infected with a fungal pathogen (Beauveria bassiana) had the opportunity to forage on the nectar produced by the extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of a broad bean plant (Vicia faba) infested by vetch aphids (Megoura viciae). Plants that are stressed by aphids react with a systemic production of ROS, which ants are known to use for self-medication, and ROS could therefore be present in the EFN nectar as well, along with other potentially medicinal compounds. The aphids themselves could present the ants with both ROS, if it accumulates in the aphids due to the immune responses of the plant, and protein if eaten. In my thesis I found out that infected ants increase their foraging on EFN nectar during the first three days after infection compared to healthy ants. This immediate response to a pathogen infection shown by the infected ants fits in a self-medication context as well as the infection cycle of the pathogen, making this a strong case for self-medication. The change in foraging by the infected ants did not reflect on the changes in ROS content in the ants, possibly due to a lack of ROS in the nectar, but instead were likely to be caused by self-generation of ROS in the infected ants. The aphids feeding on the plant contained a higher ROS content compared to the ants, but I found no evidence of ants preying on the aphids, possibly due to the M. viciae being unpalatable for the ants or the ants finding medicinal compounds in the EFN nectar. The result of my thesis is a first step in to identifying natural ways for ants to obtain and use medicinal compounds from their environments and opens up new avenues of research in the topic of self-medication. The result also highlights the importance of biodiversity for the conservation efforts for ants and other insects. Insects are facing a drastic decline in both abundance and diversity due to human impact on their environments, including the prevalence in pathogens. By understanding the full extent of the immune strategies that insects use, including self-medication, we can develop more efficient methods of conservation to help them.
  • Armeni, Nicholas (2023)
    During this study I examined the roles that resource diversity and trophic complexity play in the emergence and maintenance of biodiversity (ecological complexity) via the use of the evolutionary software Avida. I found a positive relationship between resource diversity and ecological complexity as would be expected from previous studies. However, a trade off was observed between ecological complexity and resource diversity, following the principle of diminishing returns. I also showed that trophic complexity exhibited a positive relationship with ecological complexity echoing what was described in previous studies. However, this increase in ecological complexity resulted in an increase in competition which slowed down the accumulation of higher resources which in-turn affected the emergence of higher-level functions. This study further suggests that an increase in ecological complexity results in an increase in ecosystem stability, however more rigorous measures are needed to fully establish this link. Despite, the inherent abstractions that are present in the Avida system, it has provided valuable insights into the relationships between these ecological factors. The findings suggest that there is need for more future studies possibly looking at the resilience and recovery of these ecosystems as this would be critical for understanding and addressing the current biodiversity crisis.
  • Korpela, Johanna (2024)
    The demand for CO2-free electricity will grow in the future, which is expected to lead to an increase in onshore wind power capacity. Like all energy forms, wind power can have negative impacts on the environment, which can pose different risks for wind power companies. Several companies that have wind power in their portfolio have recently committed to biodiversity targets, typically aiming for no net loss or net positive impact on biodiversity. These targets are expected to be a possible avenue for competitive advantage, however, there is a research gap on whether biodiversity considerations can bring competitive advantage to companies. In my research, executed as a paid assignment for Fortum Renewables Oy, I examine wind power investors’ perceptions of biodiversity targets and whether they perceive that the targets can bring competitive advantage to wind power companies. In this thesis, I aim to provide answers to three primary research questions: 1) How do investors manage their investments’ biodiversity impacts? 2) Can setting biodiversity targets bring competitive advantage to wind power companies? and 3) What kind of biodiversity targets do investors value? For this research I interviewed investors known to invest in onshore wind power in Finland. I conducted seven interviews with eight informants, including both finance and sustainability professionals, representing seven different investors. I analysed the interview data using inductive thematic analysis provided by Braun and Clarke (2006). My research found that investors identify several possibilities for both risk mitigation and competitive advantage, which can be achieved through good biodiversity management. Thus, investors see value in biodiversity considerations, such as biodiversity targets. Simultaneously, investors recognised several issues regarding these targets, which hinder achieving competitive advantage through them. The findings of my research may prove useful both for companies that have or aim to set biodiversity targets and investors wanting to manage their investments’ biodiversity impacts.
  • Selanniemi, Patrick (2023)
    Forests cover around a third of the world's terrestrial surface. In addition to providing habitat for many of the world's animals and plants, they are also significant carbon sinks making them instrumental in curbing climate change. Protected areas (PA) are a common tool for conserving natural habitats and are a cornerstone in many conservation strategies because they establish zones free from human interventions and allow natural processes to thrive. Global conservation targets of land covered by PA have been reached with varying degrees of success, often limited by lack of political will, monetary funding, or over-ambitious targets. Additionally, the conservation effectiveness of established PA is also less than expected. Two large contributors to such failures are conservation funding and governance within each country, although such relationships have not been duly studied. In this study I assess how funding and governance relate to the effectiveness of PAs as measured through the magnitude of deforestation between 2001 and 2010. I question whether there are trade-offs between investing in expanding the protected area network and securing the protection of already established reserves through a geospatial analysis of open-source datasets of 34 countries. By comparing relative deforestation inside and outside protected areas I defined a conservation effectiveness response variable and built a model comparing the response variable with conservation funding (expressed as annual average funding for biodiversity) and governance (corruption), while controlling for overall amounts of deforestation and forest cover on a national scale. Furthermore, I explored the relationship between the expansion of PAs in each country during the same period and the observed deforestation. The results show a relationship between conservation effectiveness, governance (p=0.0706) and funding (p=0.0608), were increases in the funding and/or governance variables resulted in better conservation effectiveness. Additionally, conservation effectiveness was found to be higher in countries with better governance but the same level of funding. Furthermore, while governance was found to positively correlated with conservation effectiveness across all levels of governance, funding had a positive impact on conservation effectiveness only after a certain amount of funding was reached. No association between protected area expansion and conservation effectiveness was found indicating the absence of a trade-off. This study highlights the importance of allocating appropriate levels of financing needed for successful conservation efforts and how good governance is a prerequisite for achieving conservation outcomes. This is especially important in light of the new 2030 biodiversity targets that commit large parts of the global south to expand their PA networks with limited amounts of funding.
  • Lummepuro, Iina (2024)
    Social media influencers are called the opinion leaders of our time, as they have a lot of power over what peo- ple think and consume. Various sustainability actors expect that influencers take a strong role in the transfor- mation towards sustainability. In my thesis I examine, how do the reactions of the influencers’ followers and the perceived sense of responsibility and power of the influencer affect the way influencers share content on sustainability. In my research I also consider how different influencers receive differing responses to content related to sustainability. My analysis consists of interviews with six Finnish social media influencers. I conducted 5 semi-structured in- terviews, and received one written answer to the interview questions. I used thematic analysis as the analysis method in my research. The themes that arose from the interview data and from previous research are relation- ality between the influencer and their followers, connection between followers’ reactions and influencers’ sus- tainability content and the perceived sense of power and responsibility of the influencer. Three influencer profiles were created based on the interview data. The profiles describe different types of in- fluencers with different, specific audiences. The profiles demonstrate how different audiences respond to con- tent related to sustainability in different ways, how different influencers share sustainability content in different ways, and how influencers perceive their responsibility in different ways. My research shows that both the reac- tions of the followers and the perceived sense of responsibility of the influencer affect how an influencer shares content on sustainability. According to my research, the influencer's perceived power does not affect content shared on sustainability. This study contributes to the understanding of the issues that affect influencers’ behavior in sharing sustainabil- ity-related content. With this knowledge, it is possible to move closer to understanding whether influencers can be part of the change towards a more sustainable future. shared on sustainability. This study contributes to the understanding of the issues that affect influencers’ behavior in sharing sustainabil- ity-related content. With this knowledge, it is possible to move closer to understanding whether influencers can be part of the change towards a more sustainable future.
  • Retez, Gabriele (2021)
    After drastic declines in large carnivores’ populations globally, conservation efforts have been successful, and predators’ populations are in recovery. However, their comeback has led to new interactions with locals, generating different conflicts. Two main approaches have been considered to mitigate these conflicts, those being the land sparing and land sharing models, however, the land sparing model requires great extents of protected areas, areas that in Europe are missing, therefore forcing a call for the land sharing model. In Finland, this approach has generated debates among different stakeholders, the outcomes of this debate shaping the fate for the four species: brown bear (Ursus arctos), grey wolf (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Attitudes towards those species can be used to explore the drivers of the conflicts, however, only few studies have explored this context, considering the ecological and social dimension separately. In addition, the ecotourism industry has been recently recognized as a new stakeholder in the Finnish large carnivore’s context, but the effects of its activities were assessed only ecologically. Therefore, with this study I aimed to explore the attitudes of locals from a specific region of Finland towards the four large carnivores’ species, and to assess the different drivers of those species, through a combination of field questionnaires, social variables and large carnivores’ population data. I explored potential correlates of the differences in attitudes, adding also the spatial effect of ecotourism over the socio-ecological factors. I predicted attitudes to vary among species, having on one side the brown bear with positive attitudes, in contrast the wolf with negative attitudes, while neutral attitudes towards the lynx and wolverine. I also expected to find more negative attitudes in smaller localities rather than in localities with a greater human population density. Also, I explored whether the ecotourism activities have a positive or negative effect over the locals’ attitude towards carnivores, expecting the ecotourism industry to bring positive attitudes in nearby localities. As result, attitudes towards the four different species varied significantly, the attitudes towards each different species having different drivers, with the human population size being important for wolverines and wolves, while the status for bear and lynx populations. The ecotourism had an effect only on bear attitudes, being positively correlated (closer the ecotourism activities were, more positive the attitudes are). To mitigate the large carnivores-human conflict in Finland, a community approach is not the solution, since the different origins of the attitudes ‘drivers. However, the attitudes among species are positively correlated, consequently, by ameliorate the attitudes towards one species, also the others will benefit. Finally, by inducing a proper management within the ecotourism industry and promoting more the respective activity on a national level, the ecotourism can have a positive impact and get a positive role in the Finnish conflict.
  • Ahonen, Veronica (2019)
    Permafrost peatlands have the capacity to store significant amounts of carbon, and thus they act as important controllers of the climate. Approximately 14% of the world’s soil organic carbon pool is stored in permafrost peatlands, which are sensitive to climatic fluctuations due to their location in the high latitudes of the subarctic zone. Permafrost peatlands also act as a habitat for a large number of moisture-sensitive organisms, such as bryophytes and testate amoebae, which can be used to study how the hydrology of peatlands has changed and will continue to change throughout time, giving us an opportunity to predict the future of peatlands under a changing climate. In this Master’s Thesis I examined the testate amoebae composition and used these species as indicators to study hydrological fluctuations from three subarctic permafrost peatland cores extracted from Taavavuoma and Abisko in northern Sweden. The species compositions were combined with radiocarbon (14C) and lead (210Pb) dates to reconstruct the past water table levels for the late Holocene, spanning four climatic periods. The reconstructions were then compared to past studies on testate amoebae to understand how permafrost peatlands and their species assemblages respond to changes in the hydrology of the active layer of the peat. Out of the study sites only the Taavavuoma cores spanned the Dark Age Cold Period (DACP) and Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). Species compositions in both cores indicated fluctuating water tables during the DACP, but during the MCA the results began to contradict with one site showing a wetter, and the other a drier MCA. Two out of three study sites indicated a wetter Little Ice Age and a drier Post-Industrial Warming, supporting past studies indicating similar results, whereas one study site gave opposite results. The results indicated large variability in testate amoebae assemblages throughout time, indicating that the hydrology of peatlands can change very abruptly and vary considerably even on a local scale. Modelling is however complicated by the poorly known ecology of testate amoebae, which is why a multi-proxy approach is essential to reliably predict the future fate of permafrost peatlands.
  • Boxström, Agneta (2021)
    Abstract: Northern boreal peatlands form one of the biggest carbon pools in the biosphere, thus having great potential to cause major changes to the global carbon cycle. The ongoing recent warming may affect the carbon dynamics though factors, such as, vegetation, hydrology and permafrost balance. As the future is still uncertain there are no definitive answers on how the peatlands will react in the future. Fortunately, moisture sensitive organisms such as, bryophytes and testate amoeba is preserved in the peat and can therefore be used to reconstruct past climatic shifts. In this thesis I studied palaeohydrology and peat accumulation over the last two millennia, from three peat cores originating in a permafrost peatland in Rogovaya, Russia. I used testate amoeba as a proxy of past moisture conditions and plotted the taxa composition of each core against 14C and 210Pb dated samples, to reconstruct past moisture shifts. The results were also supplemented by plant macrofossil and carbon accumulation data for more robust results. Of the three cores, Rog11 provided the oldest testate amoeba dataset by reaching the Dark Ages Cold Period. During this period there were indications of dry moisture conditions followed by a wet Medieval Warm Period. The Little Ice Age gave indications of a drying trend, while toward the end of the LIA Rog8 indicated opposite moisture conditions. From the end of the LIA onwards a general trend of drying and increased carbon accumulated is noted. Yet, during the last decade the trend has turned. The wet shift might indicate that the threshold for the peatland has been reached and the amount of melting permafrost has exceeded the evapotranspiration rate. As a conclusion my result indicates that the dynamics of both hydrology and carbon are complicated processes affected by both autogenic and allogenic factors, therefore causing large variability even on a local scale. The absence of widely spread observations of the most recent wet shift also indicates that the response of the peatland to the recent warming might be unequal. To rectify this situation, continued research is crucial, so that we can increase our understanding of climate-peatland interactions.