The research stations provide land for various types of field trials, and take responsibility for installation, maintenance and data collection. Changes in vegetation, forest status and environmental conditions in air and soil are studied as part of specific monitoring programs. Activities include both fundamental and practically oriented studies.
As early as when the first field stations were built it was decided that they should have a broad focus. Large amounts of resources were spent on environmental assesments of soil conditions, vegetation and the state of the forest. Meteorological stations were also established, the data if which are compiled in annual reports.
Several of the field stations have staff stationed all year round. Additionally, each station has a scientific advisor. Extensive excursion activities are conducted with both Swedish and foreign groups of visitors.
The research parks and stations
All of the unit's experimental forests and research stations are part of LTER Sweden, which is a network for stations dedicated to environmental monitoring and research in ecology. The network is funded by SLU and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science)
Two of the units research stations: Svartberget and Asa, are taking part in SITES, a national infrastructure including 9 research stations from several universities and with a geographical spread that covers most of the country. Infrastructure is available within several ecosystems and climate zones: Natural forest, managed forest, streamwater-systems, lakes, mires, mountainous birch forest, mountains, agricultural land and animal territories. Both Svartberget and Asa are participating in all three thematic programs within SITES: SITES Water, SITES AquaNet and SITES Spectral.
Svartberget and Asa are also part of INTERACT, a coalition consisting of almost 100 research stations in the Arctic and boreal regions that work to build up the capacity to research and carry out environmental monitoring in the region. INTERACT also gives researchers the opportunity to travel to and do research at approximately half of these stations through their transnational access program.
Svartberget is also a member of ICOS Sweden. ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) is an infrastructure for research and monitoring of greenhouse gases funded by the Swedish Research Council. ICOS Sweden is in turn park of ICOS Europe.