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Asunto:[CeHuNews] 40/03 - Natural Geograpfy in Estonia
Fecha:Viernes, 11 de Abril, 2003  15:46:37 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>

CeHuNews 40/03

* June 16, 1992. Institute of Ecology was founded by the decision of the Presidium of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, approved by the General Assembly in November 17, 1992.

The basic research at the Institute is concentrated on the study of the structural-functional organization of the terrestrial ecosystems and their responses to changing environmental conditions. As a practical result the data obtained in basic research are used to prognosticate the development of ecosystems, landscapes, coomunities and physiological changes in plants connected with natural processes, climate changes and human activities. The resarch accociates from the Institute are largely engaged in the teaching process in the different universities as well as supervising the Ph.D. and Master degree students.

* April 20, 1993. the co-operation agreement with Tallinn Pedagogical University was undersigned to establish the joint chair of Geoecology, launched in September 1993. Based on the Chair the
master degree program in geoecology and doctoral program in ecology were started.

* February 24, 1995. the authors (leader J.-M. Punning) of the Publications of the Institute No 2 "The Influence of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors on the Development of Landscapes. The Results of a comprehensive study in NE Estonia" were granted the Science Award of the Republic of Estonia in the field of geo-bio sciences and agriculture.

* July 11, 1995. the Goverment of the Republic of Estonia ratified a new statue for the Institute, which established it as a national research institution functioning under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Education as the non-profit, public-law legal entity.

* August 28, 1995. co-operation agreement was undersigned to conduct the teaching in the Estonian Mining Education Centre in Jõhvi, NE Estonia.

* October 28, 1997. by the regulation of the Goverment of the Republic of Estonia No 798-k it was agreed to integrate the Institute of Ecology with Tallinn University of Educational Sciences.

* November 24, 1997. Minister of Education M. Klaassen and Rector of Tallinn University of Educational Sciences undersigned the agreement to integrate the Institute with University as autonomous research and development institution.

* June 16, 1998. assossiation agreement with Estonian Academy of Sciences was undersigned.

* February 24, 2000. Head of the Tartu Department Olevi Kull and Head of the Department of Ecophysiology Ülo Niinemets were granted the Science Award of the Republic of Estonia in the field of bio-geosciences for the results in studies of the adoptation of photosynthetic mechanism in leaf canopy.

* October 4, 2000 the new development programme was accepted by the Scientific Council of the Institute of Ecology.

* January 16, 2001 the structure of research of the Institute was reformed. Now research is carried out at the Department of Environmental Research, Department of Landscape Ecology, North-East Estonian Department and Tartu Department.

* February 24,  2001 Director of the Institute Jaan-Mati Punning was granted 4th class order of the White Star.

Kevade St.2 Tallinn, 10137 Estonia
tel: (+372 2) 66 21 853, fax: (+372 2) 66 22 283
Department of Environmental Research
Kevade St.2, Tallinn, 10137 Estonia, tel.: (+372); 6 621 853
Department of Landscape Ecology 
Kevade St.2 Tallinn, 10137 Estonia tel.: (+372) 6 622 187 e-mail
Tartu Department Lai 40, Tartu 51005 Estonia
tel.: (+372 7) 376 237; 
North-East Estonian Department Pargi St.15, Jõhvi, 41594 Estonia
tel./ fax: (+372 33) 61 912 e-mail:
Chair of Geoecology 
TPU, Narva Road 25-323, Tallinn 10120 Estonia
tel.: (+372) 6409 417, fax: (+372 2) 453 748 e-mail:



J.-M. Punning head of dept., dr. of geogr. sci., prof.  +(372) 2 6621853

T. Koff senior research associate, cand. of geol.-min. sci.  +(372) 6622187
T. Alliksaar research associate, Ph.D. of ecology  +(372) 6622187
M. Kangur engineer, MSc of geoecology, Ph.D student +(372) 6622187
J. Terasmaa engineer, MSc of geoecology, Ph.D student +(372) 6621677

K. Künnis research associate, Ph.D of ecology (+372) 6622187
V. Varlamov research associate, cand. of phys.-math. sci.  (+372) 6 445 676
A. Leeben research associate, Ph.D. of ecology (+372) 6622187
S. Lapimaa engineer (+372) 6727970


M. Ilomets group leader, senior research associate, cand. of geol.  +(372) 6622187
E. Karofeld research associate, Ph.D. of ecology  +(372) 6622187
E. Lode research associate, cand. of techn. sci., Ph.D. student  +(372) 6622187
R. Pajula research associate, M.Sc. of geoecology, Ph.D student +(372) 6622187

U. Ratas group leader, senior research associate, cand. of geogr. sci.  +(372) 2 6622187
R. Rivis research associate, M.Sc. of geoecology, Ph.D student +(372) 2 6622187

M. Tobias research associate, M.Sc. of geoecology , Ph.D student (+372) 6 566 425
A. Lukjanova  research associate, cand. of biol. sci (+372) 6 566 425
L. Truus research associate, M.Sc. of biology, PhD student (+372) 6 566 425


O. Kull head of dept., senior research associate, cand. of biol. sci.  (+372 7) 383 020
A. Kont research associate, cand. of geogr. sci.  (+372 7) 383 020
A. Aan research associate, M.Sc. of biology  (+372 7) 383 020
M. Mäesalu technician (+372 7) 383 020


V. Liblik head of dept., senior research associate, cand. of techn. sci.  (+372 33) 61 912
A. Rätsep senior research associate, cand. of techn. sci.  (+372 33) 61 893
A. Toomik senior research associate, cand. of techn. sci.  (+372 33) 60 615
K. Maalma technician  (+372 33) 61 912
M. Pensa research associate, M.Sc.of ecology, Ph.D. student  (+372 7) 61 893
E. Rull engineer (+372 33) 61 893
A. Luud research associate, M Sc of geography (+372 33) 61 893
M. Sepp research associate, MSc of geography
J. Murasova laboratory assistant  (+372 7) 61 893
E. Maalma cleaning person (+372 33) 61 912


J.-M. Punning director, dr. of geography, prof.  +(372) 2 6621853
A. Kants managing director  +(372) 2 6621853
E. Kadastik scientific secretary, MSc of geology +(372) 2 6621853
P.-H. Remmelkoor chief accountant +(372) 2 6621677
V. Kors driver  +(372) 2 6621677
E. Arro worker +(372) 2 6621677



Tallinn Pedagogical University

J.-M. Punning head of chair, professor
E. Karofeld assistant prof.
J. Jõgi assistant prof.
U. Ratas assistant prof.
H. Aasmäe lecturer
S. Siska lecturer


J.-M. Punning director, Inst. of Ecology, prof.,dr. of geogr. (chairman)
M. Ilomets group leader, Inst. of Ecology, cand. of geol.-min. sci.
E. Kadastik scientific secretary, Inst. of Ecology, MSc of geology, (secretary)
T. Koff senior research assoc., Inst. of Ecology, cand. of geol.min.sci.
A. Kont research assoc., Inst. of Ecology, cand. of geogr. sci.
H. Kukk dean, Tallinn Univ. of Educat. Sci. prof., cand. of biol. sci.
O. Kull head of dept., Inst. of Ecology, cand. of biol. sci.
V. Liblik head of dept., Inst. of Ecology, cand. of techn. sci.
P. Normak vice-rector, Tallinn Univ. of Educat. Sci., prof., cand. of physic.- math. sci.
U. Peterson research assoc. Tartu Observatory, Ph.D. of geography
M. Veiderma member of Estonian Acad. of Sci., prof. Tallinn Techn. Univ., dr. of techn. sci.



Basic research is concentrated on the study of changes in the state and dynamics ecosystems, including their diversity as well as on the application of paleoecological methods for the reconstruction of the dynamics of different ecosystems.
The researchers focus on the response peculiarities of lake ecosystems to the impact of natural and human-induced forces. Novel methods (active induced fluorescent and optical spectroscopy) are applied to study the relationships between carbon cycling in lakes and its deposition.


The department investigates the role of different environmental factors on the formation of bog water balance and the development of its structural levels. Attention is paid to the development and biodiversity of mires and to the scientific basis for the remediation of terminated peatlands. Also the researchers studies insular and coastal landscapes, focuses on dependence of biological diversity on the landscape pattern and changes in the human impact.


The main basic research field in Tartu Department is plant ecophysiology.  Inquiry into plant ecophysiology involves productivity and survival under environmental stress with the aim to understand how ecophysiological properties of plants affect the structure of plant communities. The stomatal sensitivity to water deficiency, ozone tolerance, effects of increased CO2 on plants and adaptations to stress occurring in leaf canopies are studied. We investigate the interactions of foliar light acclimation with other stress factors in the canopy.  Central is the question how and to which extent foliage acclimates to long-term variability in light environment (Qint) along the canopy. Thus, we focus on acclimation responses of foliar photosynthetic and light capture efficiencies (modifications in leaf anatomy, morphology, nitrogen content, nitrogen partitioning, carotenoid stoichiometry) to Qint, and also on how species of varying shade tolerance differ with respect to the flexibility to adjust the foliage to light gradients. Also, another part of the project primarily deals with temperature acclimation along canopy temperature profiles and on water stress development and influences across the canopy and during season. The costs and benefits of acclimation are also under the study. Costs are assessed in terms of foliage construction cost and chemical composition, and in terms of biomass partitioning between support and assimilative tissues, whereas a biochemical leaf photosynthesis model coupled to a canopy light interception model is used to estimate the possible benefits of acclimation.


Investigations of the dynamics and effects of different aero- and geotechnogenic factors caused by the oil shale industry on ecosystems in North-East Estonia are conducted. A method for the calculation of air quality indices that take into account the annual and short-time mean concentrations of pollutants was developed to improve the system of assessing ambient air quality, as well as to specify the areas where the pollutant concentrations may exceed the critical and guideline values for vegetation. The nature of the impact of rock blasting vibrations on environment was studied in openpit and underground mines. A set of data was analysed to determine the ground subsidence impact generated by underground mining on usable lands (forest and grasslands).

Basic research projects

Target -financed projects funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education:

No. 0280343s98 Inertness, tolerance and self-recovery of aquatic ecosystems (1997–2001).   Project leader J.-M. Punning.
Subproject I: Present state. Subproject leader S. Babichenko, senior personnel: A. Leeben, L. Poryvkina and V. Varlamov.
Subproject II: Paleoecological reconstructions. Subproject leader T. Koff, senior personnel: T. Alliksaar, K. Tõugu.

No. 0280341s98 Plant stress tolerance: dependence on genotype and influence on community structure (1997–2000). Project leader O. Kull, senior personnel: A. Aan, A. Lukjanova, Ü. Niinemets, A. Sõber and L. Truus.

No. 0280340s98 Impact of technogenic factors on the landscapes in North-East Estonia: identification and character of effects (1998–2001). Project leader V. Liblik, senior personnel: H. Kundel, M. Pensa, E. Rull, A. Rätsep and A. Toomik.

No. 0280344s98 Dynamics of landscape patterns under natural and human influence: processes and functional relationships (1998–2001). Project leader A. Kont.
Subproject I: Coastal areas. Subproject leader A. Kont, senior personnel U. Ratas, E. Nilson, L. Truus, M. Tobias and R. Rivis.
Subproject II. Mires. Subproject leader M. Ilomets, senior personnel E. Karofeld, E. Lode and R. Pajula.

Research projects financed by grants from the Estonian Science Foundation (ESF)

In 2001 there are nine projects (belonging to five research fields) financed by the ESF in progress at the Institute as follows:

Natural geography:
ESF 3772 Coastal zone responses to climate and sea level rise in Estonia (1999–2002). Principal investigator A. Kont, senior personnel: U. Ratas, E. Nilson, L. Truus, M. Tobias and K. Orviku (AS Merin).

ESF 4133  Rapid changes in the biological and geochemical composition of Holocene lake sediments and their climatical informativity (2000-2002) Prinicipal investigator T. Koff, senior personell: M. Kangur, J.-M. Punning, T. Martma (Inst. of Geology) and M. Sakson (Estonian Geological Survey).

ESF 3774 Relationships between a bog plant cover and microrelief pattern and bog massif hydromorphology (1999–2001). Principal investigator M. Ilomets, senior personnel: E. Karofeld and R. Pajula.
ESF 3775 Formation of spatial heterogeneity of the radiation field and canopy structure in a multi-layer plant community (1999–2002). Principal investigator O. Kull, senior personnel A. Aan.
ESF 3776 The influence of changes in air pollution intensity and nature on growth and needle age span of the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in the areas affected by the oil shale industry (1999–2002). Principal investigator V. Liblik, senior personnel: M. Pensa and A. Rätsep.
ESF4713 Degeneration of Sphagnum mosses and formation of mud-bottoms – development dynamics and role in raised bog ecosystem (2001–2003). Principal investigator E. Karofeld; senior personnel: M. Ilomets, R. Pajula, K. Kimmel (Endla Nature Reserve).

Marine sciences and limnology:
ESF 4714 Quantitative estimation of phytobiliprotein pigments of phytoplankton by excitation spectra of in vivo fluorescence (2001–2002). Principal investigator A. Leeben; senior personnel: L. Porõvkina.

Multi-diciplinar grant projects:

Natural geography and Ecology
ESF 3773 Dependence of the composition and structure of lake sediments on changes in environmental conditions (1999–2002). Principal investigator J.-M. Punning, senior personnel: T. Koff, T. Alliksaar, K. Tõugu and M. Sakson (Estonian Geological Survey).

Environmental technology and physics:
ESF 4717 Identification of oil spills using non-linear fluorescence spectroscopy (2001–2004). Principal investigator V. Varlamov; senior personnel: S. Babitchenko.