Research on carbon and water exchange of taiga and tundra ecosystems in eastern Siberia was undertaken in cooperative projects of the Institute for Biological Problems Cryolithozone (IBPC), Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences in Yakutsk and the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam (Department of Hydrology and Geo-Environmental Sciences).

In a larch/ birch forest near Yakutsk (Spasskaya Pad Field Station) and on a tundra site near Chokhurdakh in the Indigyrka lowlands (Kytalyk reserve) flux measurements were made with eddy correlation towers. From 2004 onwards, this research was extended with measurements of methane fluxes and a survey of active layer thickness and temperature. The aim is to estimate the annual exchange rates and their interannual variability, and to determine the sensitivity of the fluxes to environmental factors.

The 2005 and 2006 campaign was funded by the Vrije Universiteit and NWO (Dutch Organization of Scientific Research) and is a continuation of research in the EU TCOS (Terrestrial Carbon Observation System) project. Starting in autumn 2006 this research continues for three years as a Darwin Centre for Biogeology project (NWO funded) in cooperation between VU Amsterdam, University of Utrecht (Palaeoecology) and Wageningen University (Vegetation Ecology). This resulted in joint fieldwork at the tundra site in the summer of 2007, including a methane flux measurement campaign on tundra and floodplain environments and on thermokarst lakes, establishment of vegetation-ecological experiments and sampling of lake bottom sediments for palaeoecological research. A site was established for long-term monitoring of active layer thickness.

In 2007, VU Amsterdam and IBPC received a grant from the Dutch-Russian Scientific Cooperation Fund to establish a more permanent research facility at the tundra site that will provide a longer time series of carbon exchange data, hydrology and permafrost dynamics. Contact K. van Huissteden (ko.van.huissteden@falw.

Jef Vandenberghe (