Rauni Strömmer


Research areas

Description of research and teaching

After completing MSc degree on plant ecology, I focused my research to soil ecology, especially to nitrogen cycling and the role of mycorrhizal fungi and other soil organisms in forest ecosystems. The impact of N fertilization and N deposition on microorganisms and processes in forest soils become the topic of my PhD studies After receiving my PhD degree in 1990, I spent a post-doctoral 10 months at Petawawa National Forestry Institute in Ontario, Canada, where I had an opportunity to study the response of soil microbial community to several silvicultural practices in a large scale plantation ecosystem. After the period (1991-1998) as a lecturer and an associate professor in the University of Oulu, I got my present position as a professor on soil ecology in the University of Helsinki in 1998.

My present research project ‘Organismal diversity and its importance to perceived ecosystem services across ecological gradients’ within a group by Dr Rauni Strömmer, Dr Heikki Setälä, Dr Martin Romantschuk, Dr Ari Jumpponen, Dr Nan Hui and Dr Gaia Francini.

Short description: Human population in urban areas is rapidly expanding. Consequently urban land area is also expanding resulting in greater ecosystem level disturbances and potentially compromised ecosystem services. Our collaborative Finnish-Chinese research project aims to evaluate the loss of biodiversity and concomitant decrease in ecosystem services. Specifically, our project targets the soil microbial communities and the pivotal ecosystem functions they provide in urban park soils. We address these issues by evaluating whether or not the aboveground plant community structure is correlated with richness of microbial communities, how this microbial richness relates to diversity genes involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, and how the biodiversity and ecosystem services vary across ecological gradients in urbanized milieus.

Other recent activities deal with N cycling in ecosystems, diversity of ectomycorrhizal communities in Pb contaminated forest soil, and the impact of wood ash as a fertilizer on ectomycorrhizae and microbial processes in forest soils.



Highlighted publications

  1. Natural attenuation is enhanced in previously contaminated and coniferous forest soils

    Kauppi, S., Romantschuk, M., Strömmer, R. & Sinkkonen, A. 2012 In : Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 19, 1, p. 53-63 11 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  2. EcM fungal community structure, but not diversity, altered in a Pb-contaminated shooting range in a boreal coniferous forest site in Southern Finland.

    Hui, N., Jumpponen, A., Niskanen, T., Liimatainen, K., Jones, K., Koivula, T., Romantschuk, M. & Strömmer, R. 2011 In : FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 76, 1, p. 121-132 12 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  3. Testing the homogenizing effect of low copper sulfate concentrations on the size distribution of Portulaca oleracea seedlings in vitro

    Sinkkonen, A., Penttinen, O-P. & Strömmer, R. 2009 In : Science of the Total Environment. 407, 15, p. 4461-4464 4 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  4. Low toxicant concentrations decrease the frequency of fast-growing seedlings at high densities of annual baby's breath (Gypsophila elegans)

    Sinkkonen, A., Strömmer, R. & Penttinen, O-P. 2008 In : Environmental Pollution. 153, 3, p. 523-525 3 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  5. Soil and decomposer responses to grazing exclusion are weak in mountain snow-beds

    Virtanen, R., Salminen, J. & Strömmer, R. 2008 In : Acta Oecologica. 33, p. 207-212 6 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  6. Impact of soil contaminants on plant growth depends on stand density and mobility of the contaminant

    Sinkkonen, A. T., Hansi, M., Vesterinen, M., Kauppi, S. & Strömmer, R. 2008 p. D335-D342

    Publication: Conference contributionA4 Article in conference publication (refereed)

  7. Can density-dependent changes in plant growth indicate success of in-situ remediation?

    Sinkkonen, A. T. & Strömmer, R. 2007 p. 40-45

    Publication: Conference contributionA4 Article in conference publication (refereed)

  8. Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes, and carbon dioxide production in boreal forest soil fertilized with wood ash and nitrogen

    Maljanen, M., Jokinen, H., Saari, A., Strömmer, R. & Martikainen, P. J. 2006 In : Soil Use and Management. 22, 2, p. 151-157 7 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  9. Lead contamination of an old shooting range affecting the local ecosystem: a case study with a holistic approach

    Rantalainen, M-L., Torkkeli, M., Strömmer, R. & Setälä, H. 2006 In : Science of the Total Environment. 369, p. 99-108 10 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

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Highlighted activities

  1. Supervision of doctoral thesis, Nan Hui

    Rauni Strömmer (Supervisor), 2010

    Activity: Thesis supervision, mentoring and examinationSupervisor or co-supervisor of doctoral thesis

  2. Recycling of Biomass Ashes

    Rauni Strömmer (Member of organizing committee), 22 Mar 201023 Mar 2010

    Activity: Conferences, workshops, courses, seminarsOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

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Latest projects

  1. ADELE: Autoimmune Defense and Living Environment

    Sinkkonen, A., Puhakka, R., Romantschuk, M., Strömmer, R., Valve, R., Parajuli, A., Hyöty, H., Laitinen, O., Rajaniemi, J. & Siter, N.

    Unknown funder


    Project: Research project


    Strömmer, R.

    Unknown funder


    Project: Research project

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