The pristine quality of nature in Salla is verified by extensive long-term research conducted since 1967 at the Värriö Strict Nature Reserve research station. Värriö Strict Nature Reserve was established in 1981 and used strictly for scientific research. The research station is managed by the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Helsinki. The station collects long-term observational data on topics such as phenology, berry and cone crops, birds and insects. The data is used for monitoring changes in the northern forest and fell habitats and the climate factors influencing them. Current research is focused on air pollution movements and atmospheric processes and ecosystem function in the North. The research station is also the site of the SMEAR I measurement station, which represents the University of Helsinki’s cutting edge research in atmospheric sciences and forestry. Research data is utilised not only for academic studies and teaching, but also to support the development of tourism and nature conservation and to develop sustainable economic activities in the region.
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