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1. Course title

Veden, hiilen ja typen kierto maa-alueilla
Vattnets, kolets och kvävets kretslopp på land
Terrestrial water, carbon and nitrogen cycles


2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 53693 Veden, hiilen ja typen kierto maa-alueilla, 5 op

3. Course status: optional

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?
ATM300 Advanced Studies in Atmospheric Sciences
optional for

  • Study Track in Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Study Track in Meteorology

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed.

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

-The course may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both.
-If the course is not offered every year, this must be indicated here.
-Specification of the teaching period when the course will be offered

7. Scope of the course in credits

5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course


9. Course learning outcomes

You will learn to know the physical and biological processes driving the heat and mass exchange of forests, wetlands and lakes with the atmosphere. You will learn how these processes are linked to water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. You will be able to apply the gained knowledge to solving problems on biogeochemical cycles and you will learn how to handle and analyze the real field on the phenomena.

10. Course completion methods


Contact teaching: lectures and exercises. Calculus circle organized for helping with exercise problems. E-learning option organized with weekly skype meetings.

Non-contact teaching: Reports on scientific articles. Learning diary.

Completion requirements: 30% of the exercise problems to be solved. Problems are theoretical ones (pen-and-paper) and small programming tasks for analyzing data. Three reports on scientific articles. Learning diary.

11. Prerequisites


Micrometeorology and biosphere-atmosphere exchange.

“Boundary-layer physics I” is recommended but not prerequisite if “Micrometeorology and biosphere-atmosphere exchange” is passed.

12. Recommended optional studies


Micrometeorology and hydrology field course

Siirtoilmiöt I


Eddy covariance intensive course




Ilman epäpuhtauksien fysiikka, kemia ja vaikutukset; Kenttämittaukset


Global biogeochemical cycles


Eddy covariance intensive course


Kasvihuonekaasujen tutkimuskysymyksiä maa- ja vesiympäristöissä

13. Course content


Micrometeorology: Concept of roughness sub-layer and its influence on the similarity relations; Wind profiles in vegetation; Vertical variations and effect of stability on canopy turbulence characteristics; Influence of leaf area density and profile to

Energy fluxes and energy balance: Conservation equation for scalars – and how it is related to measurements; Conservation of energy - the energy balance equation; Components of energy balance; Diurnal and annual cycles in different ecosystems; Feedbacks to the boundary layer dynamics

Water cycle: Precipitation, interception, throughfall, stemflow; Evapotranspiration from wet surfaces; Transpiration from plant canopies; Modeling evapotranspiration  - the Penman-Monteith –equation

Plant hydraulics: Water flow from soil matrix to the leaves; Cohesion theory; Embolism

Carbon cycle: Global carbon fluxes and stocks; Components of carbon cycle of vegetated ecosystems; Photosynthesis; Respiration and its components; Role of environmental factors in carbon cycle processes and in carbon balances

Methane: Methane production processes in wetlands; methane emissions and transport mechanisms to the atmosphere (diffusion, plant-mediated transport, ebullition); total carbon balance and its drivers

Lakes: Heat exchange and evaporation; Global importance of freshwater systems in carbon cycling; Orgnanic carbon budgets; Stratification and in-lake physical processes; Water-air exchange processes; carbon dioxide and methane exchange      

Nitrogen cycle: Nitrogen reservoirs, sources and sinks; Global importance of nitrogen; Nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; Carbon-nitrogen interactions; Boreal forests

Synthesis of topics: Coupling of carbon, water and nitrogen cycles; Feedbacks between forest ecosystems and the atmosphere

14. Recommended and required literature


  • Lecture notes
  • Three articles delivered during the course
  • Supplementary reading:

Arya, P.S. 2001: Introduction to Boundary-Layer Meteorology

Monteith J.L. & Unsworth M. 1990. Principles of environmental physics

Kaimal J. C. & Finnigan J. 1994: Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows

Finnigan, J. (2000) Turbulence in Plant Canopies. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech.

32, 519

Hari P & Kulmala L. (eds). 2008. Boreal forests and climate change, Springer.

Aubinet M., Vesala T. and Papale D. (eds.) 2012: Eddy covariance. A Practical Guide to Measurement and Data Analysis. Springer.

IPCC Assessment Report: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (WGI AR5), Chapter 6: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles

Nobel, P.S. (1991) Physicochemical and Environmental Plant Physiology.

Academic Press, san Diego.

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

Weekly lectures and exercises (individual work). Three reports on scientific articles (individual or group work). Writing of a learning diary after each lecture and exercise and delivering it in the end of the course (individual work). Weekly skype meeting for e-learning students.

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale


Final grade is based on exercises (40%), learning diary (50%) and self-evaluation of the learning diary (10%).

17. Teaching language


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