Mukhrino Field Station
STATION NAME AND OWNER
Mukhrino Field Station is owned and run by the UNESCO Chair on Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at the Yugra State University, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
The Mukhrino Field Station is located at the east bank of the Irtysh River near the confluence with the Ob River in the central taiga area of Western Siberia (60°54’ N, 68°42’ E), 26 km west of the town of Khanty-Mansiysk (60 000 inhabitants).
BIODIVERSITY AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Due to the severe continental climate, the environmental conditions in the region are comparable with the sub-arctic zone of Northern Europe. The research site is representative for the Western Siberian pristine carbon accumulating peatland ecosystem (“plain mires”). The mires cover c. 60 % of the land surface and can be regarded as important sources/sinks of greenhouse gases and aerosols. The main mire type of the site is raised bogs of the type “Pinedwarf shrubs-bogs” (“ryam”) characterised by pine trees, Ledum palustre and dwarf shrubs, with areas of Sphagnum fuscum. Interspersed are mires of the type “poor fens” (partly drained in the summer) dominated by Carex lasiocarpa and other graminoids, and Sphagnum balticum. Also ridge-hollow complexes, consisting of bog ridges and poor fen hollows are present. The (avi-) fauna includes many species typical for the peatland and extensive river floodplains near the station and of the relatively dry mixed forests between the peatlands and the floodplains.
HISTORY AND FACILITIES
The Mukhrino Field Station was opened in 2009. It is a two-storey wooden building with study/laboratory rooms, beds for 14 persons, a simple dining room with kitchen, and a Russian sauna. The experimental field is equipped with 1 km long walking boards, which cross the main mire ecosystem types and facilitate researcher’s access to perform experiments and measurements in and above the mires, without disturbing the ecosystems. In the centre of the field site, an equipment shelter has been built. Distributed across the field site are clusters of thermologgers, water level recorders, and nine semi-automatic chambers (1 m2) for measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes.
GENERAL RESEARCH AND DATABASES
The Mukhrino Field Station was primarily established for studies of the biodiversity (fauna, vegetation, mycology) and hydrology of the mire ecosystems, of the carbon storage in the peat layers, and for measurements of greenhouse gas fl uxes to and from the pristine peatland complex, located next to the field station. The station is also used for analyses of Climate Change effects in peatland ecosystems and carbon balance, and the spatial comparison of key areas in S-N transects (57-67° N) as an analogue for Climate Change over time. The station houses specialists in vegetation science, remote sensing, mycology, hydrology, and greenhouse gas emission measurements. The Mukhrino Field Station welcomes foreign and national guests for collaboration, research and educational purposes.
Near the Mukhrino Field Station, a limited number of local people, mostly from Khanty-Mansiysk town, can be met while fishing in the rivers and lakes. Hunting is mainly a winter activity using snowmobiles. The wider area is part of oil/gas concession area, but no activities are expected near the station for this decade.
The Mukhrino Field Station is accessible from Khanty-Mansiysk by road (first 20 km) and then either by boat (in spring and early summer only), by foot (7 km, in late summer) or by snowmobile (in winter and spring). Khanty-Mansiysk has an international airport with daily connections to Moscow.