Jari Niemelä

Jari Niemelä
University of Helsinki | HY · Department of Environmental Sciences

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183
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Publications

Publications (183)
Article
Full-text available
Context Structural and functional connectivity, as subconcepts of landscape connectivity, are key factors in biodiversity conservation and management. Previous studies have focused on the consequences of connectivity for populations of terrestrial organisms, which may not be appropriate for aquatic organisms. Objectives As landscape connectivity c...
Article
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Record climate extremes are reducing urban liveability, compounding inequality, and threatening infrastructure. Adaptation measures that integrate technological, nature-based, and social solutions can provide multiple co-benefits to address complex socioecological issues in cities while increasing resilience to potential impacts. However, there rem...
Preprint
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Context: Structural and functional connectivity, as subconcepts of landscape connectivity, are key factors in biodiversity conservation and management. Previous studies have focused on the consequences of connectivity for populations of terrestrial organisms, which may not be appropriate for aquatic organisms. Objectives: As landscape connectivity...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a perspective on nature-based solutions. First, the argument is developed that nature-based solutions integrate social and ecological systems. Then, theoretical considerations relating to relational values, multifunctionality, transdisciplinarity, and polycentric governance are briefly outlined. Finally, a conceptual model of...
Article
Urban green spaces (UGS) provide multiple benefits, and public parks in particular have a key role in supporting ecological and social sustainability in cities, contributing to human-nature interactions. We studied the interrelationships between uses, experiences and the environment by adopting a novel concept of urban biocultural diversity (BCD)....
Article
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Science-policy interface organizations and initiatives (SPIORG) are a key component of environmental governance designed to make links between science and society. However, the science­policy interface literature lacks a structured approach to explaining the impacts of context on and by these initiatives. To better understand these impacts on and i...
Article
Maintaining urban greenspace is important for stimulating diverse human-nature interactions. Yet, which greenspace to prioritize for conservation under threat of urban densification is a major planning challenge. Besides ecological knowledge and objective use, people’s subjective perception or opinion of urban greenspace has been emphasized in asse...
Article
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Artikkelissa luodaan katsaus Suomen metsänhoidon ja metsien käytön suunnittelun kehittämistarpeisiin metsäluonnon monimuotoisuuden turvaamisen näkökulmasta. Erityistä huomiota kiinnitetään metsänhoitomenetelmien ja alueellisen metsäsuunnittelun kehittämistarpeisiin.
Article
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To address the pressing problems associated with biodiversity loss, changes in awareness and behaviour are required from decision makers in all sectors. Science-policy interfaces (SPIs) have the potential to play an important role, and to achieve this effectively, there is a need to understand better the ways in which existing SPIs strive for effec...
Article
Biocultural diversity is an evolving perspective for studying the interrelatedness between people and their natural environment, not only in ecoregional hotspots and cultural landscapes, but also in urban green spaces. Developed in the 1990s in order to denote the diversity of life in all its manifestations―biological, cultural and linguistic―co-ev...
Article
Renewable energy policies are necessary for achieving carbon neutrality which is the main goal for climate change mitigation. The cities in the Helsinki Metropolitan area have committed themselves to significantly reducing carbon emissions through various climate measures including some measures for renewable energy utilization. We use multilevel p...
Article
The ecosystem service (ES) concept is becoming mainstream in policy and planning, but operational influence on practice is seldom reported. Here, we report the practitioners' perspectives on the practical implementation of the ES concept in 27 case studies. A standardised anonymous survey (n=246), was used, focusing on the science-practice interact...
Article
The Ecosystem Services (ES) concept highlights the varied contributions the environment provides to humans and there are a wide range of methods/tools available to assess ES. However, in real-world decision contexts a single tool is rarely sufficient and methods must be combined to meet practitioner needs. Here, results from the OpenNESS project ar...
Article
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Environmental justice sheds light on the distributive and procedural aspects of planning and decision-making. We examined the challenges arising from the perspective of environmental justice on multi-level and participatory environmental governance by exploring the governance of aquatic environments in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. We found three...
Technical Report
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As the ecosystem service concept has become more widely recognised, so the number of biophysical, socio-cultural and monetary methods available to assess ecosystem services has increased. There is relatively little guidance on how to select and combine these methods into hybrid approaches that address policy purposes. Based on experiences from 27 c...
Book
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Urban biodiversity is an increasingly popular topic among researchers. Worldwide, thousands of research projects are unravelling how urbanisation impacts the biodiversity of cities and towns, as well as its benefits for people and the environment through ecosystem services. Exciting scientific discoveries are made on a daily basis. However, researc...
Article
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Helsinki Metropolitan area possesses significant solar potential, which can be utilized by installing solar panels and collectors in the cities’ public and private premises to fulfill the emission reduction targets. However, current development of solar energy production in the region is in its infancy. This paper outlines how current state of sola...
Conference Paper
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Cities are key actors in global and country level climate mitigation efforts. Many cities around the world are committed to significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through climate strategies including carbon neutrality. The City of Helsinki and the Helsinki Metropolitan area (Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, and Kauniainen) intend to become c...
Technical Report
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This report is the final deliverable (D2.3) of WP2 of GREEN SURGE project (2013-2017) as a part of the EU FP7 (ENV.2013.6.2-5-603567). This research aims to illustrate how the Biocultural Diversity (BCD) concept can help urban practitioners, planners and decision-makers to understand the integration between biological diversity in Urban Green Infra...
Article
The promise that ecosystem service assessments will contribute to better decision-making is not yet proven. We analyse how knowledge on ecosystem services is actually used to inform land and water management in 22 case studies covering different social-ecological systems in European and Latin American countries. None of the case studies reported in...
Technical Report
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Urban green infrastructure (UGI) plays an important role in the many urban challenges of the 21st century. This report summarizes and integrates the main findings which are presented in the GREEN SURGE deliverables and scientific papers. With this, our work contributes to important debates around UGI. This includes debates around which benefits are...
Article
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The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held its 5th plenary session in Bonn during March 2017. After last year’s pollinator assessment, the biodiversity assessments currently being undertaken are shortly to be available for peer review. The scientific community can play an important role in bot...
Article
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Cities generally adopt territorial- or production-based rather than consumption-based emissions accounting systems but they find difficult to adopt a specific emissions standard. Due to the diverse calculation methodologies cities use, inter-city emission reductions and climate action comparisons remain challenging. It is crucial to learn how citie...
Article
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The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will monitor ground beetle populations across a network of broadly distributed sites because beetles are prevalent in food webs, are sensitive to abiotic factors, and have an established role as indicator species of habitat and climatic shifts. We describe the design of ground beetle population sam...
Article
Traditionally, biocultural diversity (BCD) has been researched in non-western and indigenous societies. Recently, it has also been applied in urbanized and industrialized societies, in particular for the planning and management of urban green infrastructure (UGI). Diversity in human and biological systems is considered to support cities’ adaptation...
Article
Despite calls for evidence-based policies, the process of using evidence in forest conservation policy implementation has remained unclear. In this paper, we focus on voluntary conservation and investigate complex ways to use evidence in implementation of the Forest Biodiversity Programme METSO in Finland. Data were collected via nine focus group d...
Article
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Carbon neutrality represents one climate strategy adopted by many cities, including the city of Helsinki and the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. This study examines initiatives adopted by the Helsinki metropolitan area aimed at reducing energy-related carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality through future actions. Various sectorial...
Article
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The implementation of the work programme of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) relies on the involvement of experts and institutions, and on the outreach to policy-makers and other addressees at various levels of decision-making. Effective sub-global structures are needed to link the intergo...
Article
Urban ecology is a field encompassing multiple disciplines and practical applications and has grown rapidly. However, the field is heterogeneous as a global inquiry with multiple theoretical and conceptual frameworks, variable research approaches, and a lack of coordination among multiple schools of thought and research foci. Here, we present an in...
Article
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Sustainable urban storm-water management is a key policy of the European Union. Increasing populations, densification and global climate change cause major challenges for the management of urban run-off waters. Small urban aquatic ecosystems (ponds, brooks, wetlands) are important, because they support human health and well-being through water regu...
Article
The Convention on Biological Diversity's national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) are major mechanisms for mainstreaming biodiversity into national policies. This article examines whether and how the NBSAPs contribute to mainstreaming biodiversity across policy sectors in Finland in order to halt biodiversity loss. We have develop...
Chapter
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Toistuvuuden taika: refleksiivinen tiedontuotanto tutkijan ja tiede-politiikkakytkösten näkökulmista
Article
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The role of ecological processes governing community structure are dependent on the spatial distances among local communities and the degree of habitat heterogeneity at a given spatial scale. Also, they depend on the dispersal ability of the targeted organisms collected throughout a landscape window. We assessed the relative importance of spatial a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Description: The report outlines the conceptual framework for assessment of biocultural diversity (BCD) in urban areas as a part of the EU FP7 (ENV.2013.6.2-­‐5-­‐603567) GREEN SURGE project (2013-­‐2017)
Article
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Green infrastructure (GI) is a strategic planning instrument to achieve sustainable development. The main functions of GI are to protect biodiversity and safeguard and enhance the provision of ecosystem services (ES). In this paper we present the development of a semi-quantitative place-based method, aiming at assessing GI based on the provision po...
Article
In collaborative urban planning, one of the key questions is how the input from residents’ participation can be integrated into planning and decision-making. In the planning of the urban green infrastructure, this input is necessary for understanding how residents experience and value their living environment. Use of this input is particularly chal...
Technical Report
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English summary The city of Helsinki has launched a new master plan process, which covers the entire municipal area (185 km2), excluding the Östersundom district. The project involved close collaboration work between the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki and the Helsinki City Planning Department. More than 40 experts par...
Article
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I use a two-tier approach to structure future research challenges in urban green space ecology. First, questions that are too large for a single country or discipline to address revolve around two issues: (a) how urban green spaces will be affected by socio-demographic and environmental drivers, such as climate change, and (b) how to plan and manag...
Article
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Recent research and professional interest in planning for sustainable and resilient cities emphasizes the assessment of a broad spectrum of urban ecosystem services. While such assessments are useful to establish specific benchmarks, and for measuring progress toward sustainability and resilience goals, they do not motivate, or support the innovati...
Chapter
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Capturing the status and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban landscapes represents an important part of understanding whether a met-ropolitan area is developing along a sustainable trajectory or not. However, this task also represents unique challenges for policy makers and scientists alike, chal-lenges that lie at both the metho...
Chapter
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We are entering a new urban era in which the ecology of the planet as a whole is increasingly influenced by human activities (Ellis 2011; Steffen et al. 2011a, b; Folke et al. 2011). Cities have become a central nexus of the relationship between people and nature, both as crucial centres of demand of ecosystem services, and as sources of environmen...
Article
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To foster strong connections between knowledge and policy action, science–policy interfaces, and the information they produce and exchange, need to be credible, relevant and legitimate. Though this is widely accepted, there has been less emphasis on the problem of trade-offs between these attributes, and how the trade-offs manifest themselves in pr...
Article
Insect and plant assemblages of dry meadow habitats have declined dramatically since the late 19th century due to changes in grassland management practices and the resultant overgrowth of these with nitrophilic vegetation in Finland. The Municipality of Helsinki is committed to developing strategies for the maintenance of urban biodiversity, and ne...
Article
The URBES project bridges the knowledge gap on the role of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being. It further aims to inform urban management and decision-makers on how to best integrate the natural environment and human needs. The URBES partnership of academic institutions and international organisations translates science...
Book
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Urban region is ecologically sustainable, when the growth and development do not endanger ecosystem services and biodiversity even in a long run. This report presents an approach, developed in a Sustainable urban land use and transport (Seutukeke) –project during 2008-2011, for concretizing ecological sustainability in urban land use and transport...
Article
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Cities are key drivers of global climate change, with the majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being tied to urban life. Local actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change are essential for stabilization of the global climate and can also help to address other urban ecological problems such as pollution, decreasing biodiversity, etc. Compa...
Article
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Golf is a popular sport, with increasingly large areas of urban and peri-urban land being designated for golf course development. Yet, more than half of the land area of a typical golf course is considered rough and out-of-play areas that can, if managed appropriately, provide habitats for wildlife. Using pitfall traps, 6944 carabid beetles belongi...
Article
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Ecosystem services are vital for humans in urban regions. However, urban development poses a great risk for the ability of ecosystems to provide these services. In this paper we first address the most important ecosystem services in functional urban regions in Finland. Well accessible and good quality recreational ecosystem services, for example, p...
Article
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Rigorous and widely applicable indicators of biodiversity are needed to monitor the responses of ecosystems to global change and design effective conservation schemes. Among the potential indicators of biodiversity, those based on the functional traits of species and communities are interesting because they can be generalized to similar habitats an...
Article
1. Anthropogenic pressures have produced heterogeneous landscapes expected to influence diversity differently across trophic levels and spatial scales. 2. We tested how activity density and species richness of carabid trophic groups responded to local habitat and landscape structure (forest percentage cover and habitat richness) in 48 landscape par...
Article
There is a long tradition of sustainable forest policy in Finland. Today, forests should be managed on the basis of the principles of sustainable forestry. However, economics have driven such forestry practices, resulting in dramatic changes to the natural structure and dynamics of Finnish forests. Commercial forests should, however, also provide h...
Article
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In recent years social, economic and environmental considerations have led to a reevaluation of the factors that contribute to sustainable urban environments. Increasingly, urban green space is seen as an integral part of cities providing a range of services to both the people and the wildlife living in urban areas. With this recognition and result...
Book
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Green space has become a major issue in European cities in recent years as a result of enhanced environmental awareness, urban marketing, planning policy and growing population densities. Up to now, however, the subject of sports areas and grounds has attracted little research, despite the fact that since the First World War such public and private...
Article
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Green-tree retention is an integral part of forest management in the boreal zone. Retention of small spruce mires, proposed as ‘key habitats’ for many forest organisms, is recommended while logging, but the efficiency of such practices for the maintenance of forest species is poorly understood. Hence, we studied boreal spiders and carabid beetles a...
Article
Urbanisation causes similar landscape patterns across the world; cities are characterised by a densely populated and highly disturbed urban core, a less disturbed suburban zone and a least disturbed rural surroundings. In 1998, we set up a project to investigate the effects of this urbanisation gradient on the responses of carabid beetles (Carabida...