University of Oulu

Antti Sallinen, Justice Akanegbu, Hannu Marttila, Teemu Tahvanainen, Recent and future hydrological trends of aapa mires across the boreal climate gradient, Journal of Hydrology, Volume 617, Part B, 2023, 129022, ISSN 0022-1694,

Recent and future hydrological trends of aapa mires across the boreal climate gradient

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Author: Sallinen, Antti1,2; Akanegbu, Justice3; Marttila, Hannu3;
Organizations: 1Biodiversity Centre, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Finland
2Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
3Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
4Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 17.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-07-12


Aapa mires are boreal peatland complexes comprised of wet, typically patterned fens in the center and Sphagnum bog vegetation at the margins. Their distribution is controlled by climate and local catchment hydrology. The daily discharge of twelve aapa mires across the boreal zone was explored for 1961–2099, with the CPIsnow model using observational weather data and projections based on climate models (CMIP5) and emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Mire hydrology was assessed for climate-zonal differences, seasonal patterns, and longer-term trends. The results indicated past and future changes in hydrology, particularly related to the duration and magnitude of snow cover and the timing of snowmelt. Increasing winter discharge and decreasing spring discharge were detected in recent past in the southern sites, and these trends were indicated to continue in the future throughout the study area. By the end of the 21st century, the typical seasonality of discharge is indicated to weaken throughout the study area and to largely disappear in the south boreal catchments. In the northernmost sites, a mismatch between past trends and future projections of spring discharge was discovered, indicating complexity and uncertainty of snow process modeling. The hydrological changes indicated in this study, together with direct impacts of increasing temperatures, threaten aapa mires, affecting biodiversity and greenhouse gas balance. In changing climate, special attention should be paid to winter conditions and snow, essential for the hydrological cycle in the north but under-explored in mire hydrology studies.

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Series: Journal of hydrology
ISSN: 0022-1694
ISSN-E: 1879-2707
ISSN-L: 0022-1694
Volume: 617
Article number: 129022
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.129022
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
1171 Geosciences
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (project 311655, SHIFTMIRE; AS, JA, TT), the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Kainuu Regional Fund (AS), and the Kone foundation (AS).
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (