A1 Journal article (refereed)
Soil moisture variations from boreal forests to the tundra (2023)

Kemppinen, J., Niittynen, P., Rissanen, T., Tyystjärvi, V., Aalto, J., & Luoto, M. (2023). Soil moisture variations from boreal forests to the tundra. Water Resources Research, 59(6), Article e2022WR032719. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022wr032719

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKemppinen, J.; Niittynen, P.; Rissanen, T.; Tyystjärvi, V.; Aalto, J.; Luoto, M.

Journal or seriesWater Resources Research



Publication year2023

Publication date23/05/2023


Issue number6

Article numbere2022WR032719


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/87344


Soil moisture has a profound influence on life on Earth, and this vital water resource varies across space and time. Here, we explored soil moisture variations in boreal forest and tundra environments, where comprehensive soil moisture datasets are scarce. We installed soil moisture sensors up to 14 cm depth at 503 measurement sites within seven study areas across northern Europe. We recorded 6,138,528 measurements to capture soil moisture variations of the snowless season from April to September 2020. We described the spatio-temporal patterns of soil moisture, and test how these patterns are linked to topography and how these links vary in space and time. We found large spatial variation and often less pronounced temporal variation in soil moisture across the measurement sites within all study areas. We found that throughout the measurement periods both univariate and multivariate models with topographic predictors showed great temporal variation in their performance and in the relative influence of the predictors within and across the areas. We found that the soil moisture-topography relationships are site-specific, as the topography-based models often performed poorly when transferred from one area to another. There was no general solution that would work well in all the study areas when modeling soil moisture variation with topography. This should be carefully considered before applying topographic proxies for soil moisture. Overall, these data and results highlight the strong spatio-temporal heterogeneity of soil moisture conditions in boreal forest and tundra environments.

Keywordssoilmoistureforestsmeasuring methods

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:06