Finnish Peatland Society (Suoseura ry)

Chair

Tapio Lindholm (new!)
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Natural Environment Centre/Biodiversity
P.O.Box 140
FI-00251 Helsinki
e-mail: tapio.lindholm (at) ymparisto.fi
phone: +358 295 251 379
web: www.suoseura.fi

Secretary
Tuula Larmola
Suoseura ry
Natural Resources Institute Finland new!
Latokartanonkaari 9
00790 Helsinki
Finland
phone: +358 9 19157955
mobile: +358 50 319 9481
e-mail: suoseura49 (at) gmail.com 

Annual Report 2014

The Society’s activities were quite numerous once again in 2014. This year was the Society’s 65th year of operation, and thus an anniversary. Current research topics and the latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in two seminars arranged by Suoseura. Traditionally the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attendance fees. A two-day autumn excursion, “The 65th Anniversary Excursion”, headed to the peatlands of south-West Finland at the beginning of September. The Society published the 65th volume of the scientific journal SUO - Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

In connection with the annual spring meeting on 1 April 2014, a half-day seminar on “Use of Economically Unprofitable Forestry-Drained Peatlands” was held at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Vantaa. The seminar gathered together 40 participants. Senior Inspector Niina Rissanen from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry presented the changes in the Act on the Financing of Sustainable Forestry; Prof. Anne Tolvanen (Metla) gave a presentation on the research projects on “LIFE Peat Land Use”; Dr Soili Kojola from Metla introduced the National Forest Inventory’s results on poorly productive sites of the forestry-drained peatlands; and Juha Ovaskainen MSC from Vapo Oy asked, from the peat producer’s point of view, whether it is possible to use those sites in peat production. During and after the presentations there was time for discussion (see also: www.suoseura.fi).

In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting, on
26 November 2014 at the House of Estates in Helsinki, the 65th anniversary seminar was held. The seminar was devoted to giving newly graduated or PhD students or post-doctoral students in peatland research the chance to present their latest research topics. The seminar gathered together 70 participants.

The presentations concerned the following topics: Dr Tuula Larmola discussed how methanotrophy induces nitrogen fixation during peatland development; PhD student Antti Sallinen presented on the local peatlands and climate project in north-east Finland; and Dr Tuomas Haapalehto presented the results of restoring ecosystem structure and functions to peatlands degraded by forestry drainage.

PhD student Markku Koskinen described how organic carbon leaches from the peat as a result of restoration and logging; Dr Paavo Ojanen presented results on the greenhouse gas balance in forestry-drained peatlands; PhD student Maija Lampela had studied peatlands in the tropics and demonstrated how challenging the reforestation of the drained and burned tropical peat swamp forests is; and Dr Anna Laine presented results on land use impact on the vegetation and GHG fluxes of young coastal mires. A poster session was also included in the seminar (see all the seminars and presentations at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2014).

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion was arranged this year to the peatlands in south-west Finland. Twenty-two members of Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the upcoming new Teijo National Park and its peatlands. The diverse content of the excursion was planned by geologist and Senior Researcher Emeritus Riitta Korhonen and Senior Researcher Kimmo Virtanen (GTK, Kuopio). Riitta Korhonen also served as tour leader and Kimmo Virtanen as a tour guide.

The peatland sites like the Punassuo mire close to the coast of the Baltic Sea (which will be a part of the upcoming Teijo Natural Park), the paludified rock hollow mire called Stormossen, the Kurjenrahka National Park and Kekkilä´s peat production area at Linturahka mire were all included in the excursion. The evening programme took place in the very unique holiday village “Herrankukkaro”. The programme included a peat bath in a smoke sauna, a warm outdoor pool, sea swimming, and a ceremonial meal with more than 10 different fish courses. A travelogue of this excursion by Antti Sallinen was published in SUO 65 (2):63-69 (see also pictures from the excursion at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2014).

Publications

The quarterly journal of SUO (see also www.suoseura.fi/suo/), the Finnish Peatland Society, SUO – Mires and Peat, published two numbers (1 and 2) of the 65th volume, with a total of 96 pages. The number of reprints was 420.

Activities in IPS

Dr Samu Valpola, as a member of Executive Board, participated in EB meetings and other events held in Gröningen on 26-28 March, in Oulu on 4-8 August, in Riga on 25-28 August, and in Brussels on 11-13 November. Dr Sakari Sarkkola and Dr Leena Larva participated in the SAB (Scientific Advisory Board) meeting and Dr Leena Larva participated in the SAB meeting as well as in the Annual Meeting of IPS on 28 August 2014. Jenni Simkin, Secretary of Suoseura, also participated on behalf of the IPS in the 8th European Ramsar meeting in Kufstein on 20-24 September. Members of the Finnish Peatland Society also actively attended the IPS Commission meetings and the annual meeting of IPS in 2014.

Annual Report 2013

The Finnish Peatland Society’s activities were numerous in 2013. Current research topics and the latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in three seminars arranged by Suoseura. Typically, the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attendance fees. A twoday autumn excursion headed to the mires of western Finland in the middle of September. The main goals of the excursion were to get to know the mires of the land uplift coast and those on acid sulphate soils.

A special seminar in conjunction with the Finnish Association of Members of Parliament and Scientists (TUTKAS) was arranged in November at the Parliament House. The theme of the seminar was Peatlands of Finland – Resources or Nature Values?

The Society published the 64th volume of the scientific journal Suo - Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

1) In connection with the annual spring meeting on 13 March 2013, a half-day seminar on the latest developments relating to ongoing legislative issues concerning mires and peatlands was held at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. The latest legislative amendments concerning mire protection were presented by the Ministerial Counsellor Satu Sundberg (Ministry of the Environment), and the new Forest Law was presented by Johnny Sved, M.Sc. (Forestry Development Centre, TAPIO). In addition, the latest research results relating to “Sphagnum moss as a growing media and its growing techniques” were presented by Professor Emeritus Risto Tahvonen (MTT Agrifood Research, Finland) and Dr Niko Silvan (Metla, Finnish Forest Research Institute). Among these issues, the new Bioenergy Association of Finland, which started its work in Helsinki at the beginning 2013, was introduced by its managers Jouko Rämö and Hannu Salo. The seminar attracted a total of 48 participants.

2) On 15 October, a half-day seminar was arranged on “Restored Wetlands: On the Point of View of After-Use”.The seminar was held at the House of Estates in Helsinki, gathering 43 participants. Five different after-use methods and related issues were presented: “A general overview of after-use methods” was given by Project Manager Olli Reinikainen (Vapo Oy); “Results of newest research and ecosystem services of water chemistry in connection with restoration” were presented by Dr Tapani Sallantaus (Finnish Environment Institute); “The new restoration guide for drained peatlands” was presented by Special Planner Maarit Similä (Metsähallitus, Department of the Natural Heritage Services); a presentation about tree biomass production on cut-away peatlands was given by Lasse Aro, M.Sc. For. (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Metla); while Special Planner Mikko Alhainen (The Finnish Wildlife Agency) spoke about “The life and return of rural wetlands project”. At the end of the day, newly graduated Dr Meeri Pearson (Metla/University of Helsinki) presented work from her doctoral thesis, “Effects of Soil Preparation on Scots Pine Seedling Vitality and GHG Emissions” (www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df159.htm).

3) In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting, on 19 November 2013, at the House of Estates in Helsinki, an afternoon seminar was held to honour the 100th birthday of Cajander’s famous mire classification system (Über die Moore Finnlands 1913). The seminar gathered together 55 participants. The seminar started with a presentation by Dr Tapio Lindholm (Finnish Environment Institute) on “A.K. Cajander the person and how he came to create the system which has tenaciously kept its power up to present”. After this historical introduction, Dr Kimmo Virtanen (Geological Survey of Finland) discussed how the Cajander theory is applied in geological surveys in Finland, whileas Professor Harri Vasander (University of Helsinki) gave a presentation about how drained peatland forests are also classified by the theory. At the end of the seminar, Dr Markku Saarinen gave a presentation on his newly-published doctoral thesis as a “research checkup” on the subject of “Vegetation succession and the layers of raw humus in drained peatland forest regeneration areas” (www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df164.htm).

4) On 13 November, a seminar called “Peatlands of Finland – Resources or Nature Values?” was held at Finland’s Parliament House in Helsinki. Suoseura had the special opportunity to arrange a seminar together with the Finnish Association of Members of Parliament and Scientists (TUTKAS). The aim of the seminar was to introduce up-todate information concerning the resources of peatlands and peat, peatland forestry, peat energy use, environmental effects, ongoing research and the National Peatland Strategy to the members of the Finnish Parliament as well as to the general public. Nearly 80 participants attended the seminar. A short report on this seminar is published in Suo – Mires and Peat 64 (4). At all seminars there was a vivid discussion about the topics concerned. (See all the seminars and presentations on www.suoseura.fi/toiminta).

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion was arranged to the mires of western Finland in the middle of September. The main goals of the excursion were to get to know the mires of the land uplift coast and those on acid sulphate soils. 19 members of the Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The interesting and diverse programme and guidebook for the excursion was put together by Samu Valpola (Geological Survey of Finland, Kokkola). The excursion started from the “baby” mires on the coastline and ended with an excursion to the world’s biggest energy plant, Alholmens Kraft, which uses biofuel to generate heat and power. In between, we became familiar with the work of the Finnish Forest Research Institute/Metla in Kannus municipality and peatland research sites fertilized by ash, saw Finland’s largest nature conservation site owned by private citizens, learned how to conduct drainage and careful forest management practices on acid soils, and also visited one energy peat production site. The evening programmes included a traditional sauna and a good dinner with joyful company. A report of this excursion by Samu Valpola and Jenni Simkin will be published in Suo – Mires and Peat 65(1) in 2014.

Publications

In 2013, the Finnish Peatland Society published four numbers (1, 2-3 and 4) of the 64th volume of the quarterly journal SUO - Mires and Peat; this issue was 184 pages in total and the number of reprints was 450 (see also www.suoseura.fi/Suo).

Activities in the IPS

Dr Samu Valpola, as a member of the IPS Executive Board, participated in the EB meetings in Leiden, the Netherlands and Tallinn, Estonia. Dr Sakari Sarkkola and Dr Leena Larva participated in the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meetings and Riitta Korhonen, Chair of Suoseura, participated in the SAB meeting as well as in the Annual Meeting of IPS and the National Committee Round Table in Leiden. The Annual IPS Award of Excellence 2013 was given to Professor Harri Vasander, also in Leiden.

Annual Report 2012

Suoseura, the Finnish Peatland Society organized again many activities in 2012. Current research topics and latest research results concerning peatlands were presented in three seminars arranged by Suoseura. Traditionally, the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees. In addition, a three-day autumn excursion headed to the aapa mires of Eastern Lapland in the beginning of September. The Society also published the 63rd volume of the scientific journal Suo - Mires and Peat.

Meetings and seminars

1) In connection with the annual spring meeting on March, 26th 2012, a half day seminar about “Latest research results of the GHG-fluxes on Finnish peatlands” was held at the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Vantaa. The seminar gathered 55 participants. The topic of the seminar concentrated on GHG fluxes measured mainly on forestry drained peatlands, and on the question “are forestry drained peatlands a source or sink of carbon?”

In four presentations, this topic was examined with different kind of views and with different kind of measurements (Dr. Aleksi Lehtonen, Metla; Dr. Paavo Ojanen and Dr. Kari Minkkinen, University of Helsinki; Dr. Annalea Lohila, Finnish Meteorological Institute; and Dr. Heikki Simola University of Eastern Finland). One presentation of a newly published Ph.D. work also concentrated on the “Use of wetland buffer areas to reduce nitrogen transport from a forested catchment: retention capacity, emissions of N2O and CH4 and vegetation composition dynamics” by Dr. Anu Hynninen. After and during the presentations there prevailed a vivid discussion.

2) The Finnish Peatland Society felt responsibility to arrange a separate seminar on a current topic in Finnish media during the year 2012, on “Environmental loads to water bodies caused by energy, but also by forestry and agricultural uses of peatlands”. A whole day seminar was held on October 17th at the “House of the Estates” in Helsinki, with nearly 80 participants.

Out of the six main presentations, three presentations concentrated on research results of the environmental loads caused by different kind of economical use of peatlands. Firstly by forest drainage, measured by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) presented by Professor Leena Finér. Those caused by energy peat production were measured by Vapo Oy, and results were presented by Research Scientist Anneli Wichmann. Loads from agricultural use were measured by MTT Agrifood Research Finland, and the results presented by Senior Research Scientist Merja Myllys. In the other three presentations, some research results were presented, but mostly ongoing research programmes were introduced. For instance, the research program “Taso” by the Finnish Environmental Institute (measurements of environmental loads caused by peatland forestry and energy peat production in Central Finland) was presented by coordinator Päivi Saari. The lake sedimentation research program was presented by Chief Scientist Samu Valpola (GTK). The results of mapping acid sulphate soils in Finland and the environmental risk of using peatlands in those areas was presented by research scientist Jaakko Auri (GTK).

3) In connection with the Society’s annual autumn meeting at the “House of Science and Letters” in Helsinki on November the 20th, a half day seminar on cultural and sociological research of peatlands, “People on the mire” was held with 30 participants. The main organisers of the seminar were the Institute for Natural Resources, Environment andSociety, the University of Eastern Finland and Suoseura. Dr. Kirsi Laurén acted as the coordinator of the seminar.

In her opening speech, she told about the perspectives of cultural and socionomical peatland research and the main focus in those studies today. The subjects of the presentations included research such as “Mires and peatlands as the frame of households” by Dr. Minna Tanskanen and “The economical and cultural importance of mires in reindeer herding” by Ph.D. student Annika Nyström. “Ecosystem services of mires from the local people’s point of view in Finnish North-Karelia” were presented by Ph. D. student Suvi Silvennoinen.

Dr. Anu Lounela told about local values and the climate change regime in tropical peatlands in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Finally professor Yrjö Sepänmaa gave a speech entitled “The mire – how negative values turn out to be positive”. For all seminars and presentations see www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2012.

Excursions

The traditional autumn excursion of the Finnish Peatland Society was arranged to the aapa mires of Eastern Lapland in Finland. 30 members of Suoseura took part on this three-day excursion. The marvelous and diverse program of the excursion was planned by the peatland forestry expert Juhani Karjalainen (Metsähallitus. Kemijärvi).

The beautiful natural aapa-mires in autumn colours, peatland nature reserve areas as well as peatland forestry, heat and power plants, possible phosphor mining areas and their environmental questions, tourism on peatlands and arctic hills, not forgetting the agricultural use of peatlands, were included in the program.

Evening entertainment included of course sauna, good meals and good company. Altogether 800 km of travelling by bus went actually quite easily. The travelogue of this excursion, written by Asta Harju and Samu Valpola was published in Suo 63 (3-4) 2012. Pictures of the excursion can be seen at www.suoseura.fi/toiminta 2012.

Publications

In the year 2012, the Finnish Peatland Society published four numbers (1,2, and 3-4 combined) of the 63rd volume of the quarterly journal of SUO - Mires and Peat, with altogether 164 pages. The number of reprints was 450. For more information, see alsowww.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in IPS

The most crucial activity for the members of Suoseura within IPS was to attend the 14th International Peat Congress “Peatlands in Balance” in Stockholm, Sweden, June 3 - 8, 2012. Altogether nearly 80 members of Suoseura participated in the Congress. A Congress review by Sarkkola, S. & Korpela, L. (Ed.) entitled “Peatlands in Balance – 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm, Sweden” was published in Suo - Mires and Peat 63 (3-4): 123-146.

The members of Suoseura participated actively also in the IPS Commission meetings and the Annual meeting of IPS in Stockholm 2012.

 

Annual Report 2011

The Finnish Peatland Society - Suoseura was again very active in 2011. The year started with a seminar about the ”Balneological, therapeutic and medical use of peat as well as other versatile uses of peat and mires”. The seminar was held to celebrate the Chair of the Society, Senior Researcher Riitta Korhonen’s retirement from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

Another whole day seminar was arranged in connection with the annual spring meeting, about the newly published ”Proposal of a national strategy for responsible utilization and conservation of mires and peatlands in Finland”.

“Peatlands in agriculture” was the topic of oral presentations in connection with the regular annual autumn meeting in the end of the year 2011. Traditionally the meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees. Our yearly autumn excursion was arranged in the middle of September to the southern aapa mires in Northern Ostrobothnia.

Meetings and seminars

1) A seminar on “Balneological, therapeutic and medical use of peat and versatile uses of peatlands and mires” was held at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) in Espoo on 8 February 2011 with 100 participants. There were three presentations on peat balneology: Senior Researcher, Mrs. Riitta Korhonen: 20 Years Research on Peat Balneology at the Geological Survey of Finland, Specialist Doctor, Mrs. Leena Larva: A pilot study into the influence of the Finnish peat sauna on the climacteric symptoms of women, and Hair Specialist (B.Sc.) Mrs. Annikki Hagros-Koski: Peat treatments for scalp problems.

The topics of the other six presentations were about the recreational use of mires and peat (Mr. Reino Haanpää), about the therapeutic use of peat as products (MD. Mr. Heikki Ruha), about peat textiles (peat textile artist, Mrs. Papu Marjatta Pirtola), about the former (1996-2000) development programme ”Livelihood from peatlands” and its results, carried out in Western Finland (M.For.Sc., Mr.  Hannu Salo), and how the quite new National Park ”Leivonmäki” with its mires was born in Central Finland (M.Sc., Mrs. Lea-Elina Nikkilä). There will be a special number about these subjects in the first issue of Suo 63(1)/2012 (www.suoseura/suo).

2) In connection with the annual spring meeting at the House of Estates, in Helsinki on 23 March 2011, a seminar about the newly published “Proposal of a national strategy for responsible utilization and conservation of mires and peatlands in Finland” was held.

The seminar gathered 53 participants. At this meeting, experts from different fields explained what kind of changes the new strategy will bring to different sectors using peatlands and mires in the future; in mire conservation (Nature Conservation Controller, Mr. Pekka Salminen, Ministry of Environment,  Nature Conservation Manager Mr. Eero Kaakinen ELY-Centre of Ostrobothnia), in the regional development and planning sector (Project Manager, Mr. Ismo Karhu, Regional Council of Oulu), in peat research (Ph.D., Mr. Kimmo Virtanen, GTK), for energy peat and the peat industry (M.For.Sc., Mr. Hannu Salo, Association of Finnish Peat Industries), in the forestry sector (Manager in Forestry Mr. Hannu Niemelä, Forestry Development Centre Tapio), in agriculture (Senior Researcher, Mrs. Merja Myllys, MTT Agrifood Research Finland), in mire and peatland restoration (Senior Researcher, Mrs. Kaisu Aapala), in the  balance of Carbon emissions and sources (Ph.D., Mr. Kari Minkkinen, University of Helsinki), and how the new strategy succeeded in taking all these sectors in consideration (Senior Inspector, Mr. Aimo Aalto, Ministry of Employment and the Economy). At the end of the seminar, also a panel discussion was arranged.

3) In connection with the annual autumn meeting on 22 November 2011 with 20 participants, two oral presentations were held. The subjects of the presentations were the research of agricultural use of peatlands and its environmental effects by Senior Researcher, Mrs. Merja Myllys (MTT Agrifood Research Finland) and how the new farmland cleared on peatlands in the 2000s is a big challenge for climate and agriculture politics in Finland by Ph. D., Mrs. Kristiina Regina (MTT Agrifood Research Finland).

Excursions

1) A spring excursion to the mires of Belarus was arranged in co-operation with the Finland-Belarus Society (www.svvs.fi ). Suoseura offered the possibility to take part in this excursion to its members during 5 - 10 May 2011. A report with numerous photos by Dr. Pertti Lahermo has been published in Suo 62 (2)/ 2011 and also on the Society’s website: www.suoseura.fi.

2)The traditional autumn excursion was arranged to the southern aapa mires of Ostrobothnia region in Finland. Thirty members of Suoseura took part in this two-day excursion. The purpose of the excursion was to get acquainted with how the new peatland strategy works in practise and also to get familiar with the new mire programmes of that area and especially to see the beautiful aapa mires. A summary of that excursion (by Dr. Eila Tillman-Sutela) will be published in Suo 63(1) 2012.

Publications

In 2011, Finnish Peatland Society published the 62th volume of the quarterly journal of SUO (Mires and Peat), with altogether 74 pages and 450 copies. More information is available at www.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in the IPS

In every IPS Commission, there is a national representative from the Finnish Peatland Society.
Many members of the Finnish Peatland Society attended the IPS meeting in Quebec City, Canada in June.  Also many of our members have been actively taking part in the arrangements of the 14th International Peat Congress, to be held in Stockholm, 3-8 June 2012, during the  year 2011. More information about the Finnish Peatland Society can be found at www.suoseura.fi.

Riitta Korhonen, Chair
Leila Korpela, Secretary

Annual Report 2010

The activities of Finnish Peatland Society - Suoseura in year 2010 concentrated mostly on three occasions. Big effort of the members of Suoseura as well as the Organizing Executive Board was the work with the preparation of the National Strategy of Mires and Peatlands of Finland. Traditionally two regular annual meetings for members; spring and autumn meetings, were arranged with oral presentations and a seminar about current topics concerning mires and peatlands. At the spring meeting, the topics of the presentations was “the environmental effects of peatland forestry”.

In connection of the autumn meeting, a seminar titled: Finnish Peatland Society and International Peat Society (IPS): Review to the strategies of peatland and mire management (see: www.suoseura.fi) was arranged. The meetings and seminars were open to anyone interested, without any attending fees.

Meetings and seminars (see also www.suoseura.fi)

I Meeting,
The Annual spring meeting, 16th March 2010, in Helsinki

 14 attendants) followed by lectures:
- Ph.D. Riitta Väänänen, Phosphorus retention in forest soils and the functioning of buffer zones used in forestry in Finland (based on her Ph.D. –work) (www.metla.fi/dissertationes)
- Ph.D. student Paavo Oja (Helsinki University), The greenhouse gas emissions of peatlands drained for forestry in Finland - based on (Metla’s) measurements on forested peatland sample plot network.

II Meeting, the Annual autumn meeting, 25th November 2010,
at House of Estates, Helsinki (60 attendants) (http://www.suoseura.fi/eng/index.html)

The seminar started at 10.00 am and the topics of the morning were:
- Welcoming words -  Riitta Korhonen, Chair of the Finnish Peatland Society
- Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management -  Donal Clarke, President of the IPS
- What is IPS? - Björn Hånell, First Vice President of the IPS
- Review to the Strategy for Finnish Peatland and Mire Management - Jaana Kaipainen, Secretary General of the Working Group, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The morning session was ended by the presentation of Björn Hånell
- Towards the next Peat Congress in Stockholm 2012.
The topics of the afternoon concerned the activities of Finnish Peatland Society in different IPS Comissions and the Comissions were presented.
The seminar ended with the Annual Assembly of the Finnish Peatland Society.

Excursions

Suoseura was partly responsible for arranging the two days field trips in the connection of IPS Convention 2010 in Jyväskylä, Finland, 14-18 June.

So, instead of the traditional autumn excursion, the members of Suoseura were offered the possibility to attend the Field trips of Peat Technology and After-Use of Peatlands 17-18 June 2010, in the vicinity of Jyväskylä and Tampere area. Especially, the after-use field trip was popular among the members of Suoseura as well as the members of IPS other nationalities.

Publications

The journal of SUO (see also www.suoseura.fi/Suo)
In year 2010, Finnish Peatland Society published the 61th volume of the quarterly journal of SUO (Mires and peat), with altogether 94 pages and number of reprints 450.
Since 2005 the whole scientific articles of Suo are also published in the website: www.suoseura.fi/Suo.

Activities in IPS and in its Commissions

In Finnish Peatland Society’s activities in IPS includes the arrangements of the Field-trips of IPS Convention 2010, in Jyväskylä, june 2010.

Suoseura, Finnish Peatland Society also arranged together with the IPS Commission VI the Balneological Symposium of IPS in Kurikka, Finland, 2-4 September. The Symposium was called the “Round Table on the Use of peat in Balneology, Medicine and Therapy”. There were altogether 20 participants from Germany, Estonia and Finland.
 (see the short report in: Peatlands International 2/2010).

Many of the members of Finnish Peatland Society took actively part in reviewing and commenting the final version of the IPS Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management.

Annual Report 2008

The activities of the Finnish Peatland Society - Suoseura in 2008 have been many. Suoseura arranged two regular meetings for its members, traditionally in spring and autumn. Connected to every meeting there were presentations or lectures about current topics concerning mires and peatlands. The meetings were open to anyone interested.

This year, an autumn excursion was arranged to the mires of South-East Finland. Because so many members of the Finnish Peatland Society, about fourty, participated in the Tullamore Congress, the number of our own excursions and meetings was one less than usual.

Meetings and seminars

Annual spring meeting, 11 March 2008, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), Vantaa (20 attendants), lectures on the after-use of cut-over peatlands:

  • Managing director Hannu Salo (Ecotrac Oy), Presenting the new book, “Guide of after-use methods for cut-away  peatlands” 
  • Ph.D. (For.) Niko Silvan (Metla, Parkano Research Unit), Production of Sphagnum biomass in cut-away peatlands - a new annexation!

Annual autumn meeting, 18 November 2008, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA),Vantaa (34 attendants), presentations on:

  • - Assessment of the threatened habitat types of Finland (Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE), special part on threatened mire habitat types of Finland
  • - M.Sc., Senior researcher, Aira Kokko (SYKE), background and methods
  • - Lic. Phil., Managing director of nature conservation, Eero Kaakinen (The Environment Center of Northern Ostrobothnia), Results
  • - M.Sc., Senior researcher, Kaisu Aapala (SYKE), Spruce mires as an example of threatened mire habitat types

Excursion to Kymenlaakso

The traditional autumn excursion of the Finnish Peat Society took place from 16 to 17 September 2008 and visited the mires of South-East Finland in the areas of Kouvola, Hamina, Lappeenranta and Lake Saimaa.

Altogether 42 members of Suoseura took part in this excursion. The peatland researchers of the Geological Survey of Southern Finland, Dr. Markku Mäkilä and Mr. Ale Grundström were the main guides and organizers. In addition to the members of Suoseura, Mrs. Marie Kofod-Hansen (TorvForsk), Mr. Magnus Brandel (Swedish Peat Producers’ Association), Mr. Stefan Östlund (Neova Ltd.) from Sweden and Mr. Erki Niitlaan (Estonian Peat Association) from Estonia also took part in this excursion.

The first day started with a visit to the Mustila arboretum in Elimäki municipality.  Over 100 years old, it is the largest arboretum in Scandinavia. The next sites were the mires of Valkmusa National Park, comprising the largest natural mires of the littoral zone of Southern Finland.

Afterwards, Jari Jääskeläinen from Vapo Oy guided us through a new peat production area at Vehkaoja, which was in the preparation phase - the area had been drained first for forestry - to an old  peat production area at Haukkasuo mire, where peat production had started already in the 1940s and will soon be finished. For overnight, we travelled to the shores of Lake Saimaa, to the holiday center Saimaanranta in Taipalsaari.

On the second excursion day, we first visited the sub area of the city of Lappeenranta, where we saw a very old peat layer formed over 10,200 years ago. This was found in connection with construction works. The next place visited was something other than soft peat -  a museum of jewels in Ylämaa municipality and a granite quarry of Palin Granit Ltd. The war history became familiar at Miehikkälä where we visited the defence line of Salpalinja. In the Ruokolammensuo mire, near the town of Hamina, the peat layer transgression of the Litorina Sea and the method of taking peat samples with a peat drill became familiar.

Just before we started on the way back home, we heard a presentation by forest ecology Ph.D. student Paavo Ojanen from the University of Helsinki on his research in co-operation with the Finnish Forest Research Institute, where the CO2 gas exchange on peatlands drained for forestry is measured and simulated. A travel report, written by Iida Kämäri is available in Finnish: Suoseuran syysretki Kaakkois-Suomen soille. Suo 59(3): 89-93.

Publications

In the year 2008 the Finnish Peatland Society published the 59th volume of the quarterly journal SUO, comprising altogether 146 pages and printed in 600 copies.

The Society has also published a new book: Korhonen, R., Korpela L. and Sarkkola, S. (eds.), Finland - Fenland,  Research and sustainable utilisation of mires and peat. The book was published at the same time also in Finnish as “Suomi-Suomaa”. The book comprises 14 main themes and 38 different sub-themes of recent knowledge in all different fields concerning the peatlands and mires of Finland, written by 42 experts in their own fields. The official publication day of the books was the 10 September 2008. The price of the English version is € 58 including mailing costs and it can be easily ordered at the IPS website.

Activities in IPS and its commissions

About 40 members of Finnish National Committee participated in the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore, Ireland in June. The Finnish members have also actively taken part in other IPS meetings and as national members in IPS Commissions and Working Groups in 2008. More information on activities and publications can be found at www.suoseura.fi.