Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Swedish Research Infrastructure for Ecosystem Research - SITES Asa

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Ola Langvall
Carina Härlin
Martin Ahlström

SITES Asa is one of nine sites within the Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science (SITES) and is also part of LTER Sweden. The site is located in the hemi-boreal zone in the south of Sweden (lat. 57°10’) and addresses research in forest and wetland ecosystems. It consists of a research station and three research areas; the experimental forest, the high-yield experimental forest (HYEF) and the Aneboda research area. They represent a range from intensively managed to semi-natural forests. The research infrastructure, including Asa research station with 12 employees, offers external researchers excellent research opportunities. Besides research, SITES Asa is also used for field education, extension and other outreach activities.

The Asa Experimental Forest (1 010 ha) is mainly used for traditional field experiments regarding forest management. In addition, environmental monitoring of climate, stream water chemistry, green-house gases and phenology is conducted.

The Asa HYEF (1 700 ha) is dedicated to a long-term project addressing the growth potential and effects of intensive forestry. The goal is to increase biomass production by 50% before the year 2050 while monitoring the environmental effects. All growth-enhancing treatments are applied at stand level and consists of intensive fertilization of the young forest, genetically improved spruce seedlings, the use of introduced tree species (e.g. Lodgepole pine and Hybrid larch) and the use of other growth-enhancing silvicultural methods. Stream water quality is monitored in the outflow of 11 watersheds. The Asa HYEF offers unique opportunities to study large-scale intensive forestry potential and its effects on the environment.

The Aneboda Experimental Area (170 ha) is located within a nature reserve and consists of coniferous forest and wetlands. Since 1994, research and integrated monitoring is conducted in a 19 ha catchment of the non-managed forest. The monitoring is related to the UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The focus is on ecosystem studies at catchment level. The objectives are to provide relevant background data from a reference area, and to distinguish the effects of changing climate and air pollution from natural variation. This research area is well suited for experimental studies of status, processes and dynamics in non-managed forests and to act as reference to conventional and intensively managed forests.