LOREX: Climate Impacts Research Centre, Umea University

Location: Abisko, Sweden
Associated University: Umeå University
Program Dates: mid to late June 2019

About CIRC:

Umeå University’s Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) is housed within the Abisko Scientific Research Station (ANS) in the Swedish Arctic. ANS is operated by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, but CIRC is the primary occupant and responsible for most research and science communication activities. The relationship between the CIRC and the Polar Research Secretariat is cordial and synergistic in ways that create opportunities for visiting researchers. Fourteen faculty members are directly affiliated with CIRC, but all faculty members in Umeå University’s Department of Ecology and Environmental Science can use the CIRC facilities and host guest researchers. CIRC sits on an interesting and rapidly changing landscape with lakes and rivers of all sizes. These ecosystems are within mountain birch forests, mires, alpine regions, and adjacent to glaciers. Many lakes and rivers are easily accessible by foot or car from CIRC’s laboratories, but remote ecosystems are also easily accessed by helicopter – there is a helipad within walking distance. You can find information about available lab space and instrumentation here and here.

CIRC faculty conduct research in three main areas: freshwater ecology, aquatic biogeochemistry, and paleolimnology. Examples of current projects include:

Freshwater Ecology (Drs. Byström, Diehl, Englund, Jonsson, Nilsson, Sponseller, Seekell, and Ask)

  • Pharmaceuticals’ impact on lake food webs
  • Energy pathways supporting fish populations
  • Patterns of primary production in northern lakes
  • Response of fish populations to climate change
  • Connections between composition of ecological communities and ecosystem processes
  • Forestry impacts on rivers
  • Factors regulating river production and respiration
  • Response of lake food webs to liming
  • Arctic/Boreal contrasts in ecosystem production

Aquatic Biogeochemistry (Drs. Bergström, Giesler, Karlsson, Klaminder, Gudasz, Jonsson, Klaus, Isles and Olid)

  • Factors limiting production in northern lakes
  • Carbon cycle connections between permafrost and rivers
  • Patterns of lake carbon cycling
  • Pharmaceutical impacts on fish behavior
  • Patterns of carbon storage and mineralization in sediments
  • Factors regulating greenhouse gas production in lakes
  • Forestry impacts on lake ecosystems
  • Factors limiting productivity of phytoplankton

Paleolimnology (Drs. C. Bigler, R. Bigler, Korsman, and Capo)

  • Patterns of ecosystem recovery from human pressures
  • Water quality changes during the Holocene
  • Lake recovery from acidification
  • Long-term change in species composition based on ancient DNA

To learn more, visit the host institute’s website:

This program is supported by NSF grant #1831075, 2019-2021.

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