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Suonenjoki research infrastructure

In Suonenjoki, forestry is studied from seed to first harvest and horticultural research is carried out. Suonenjoki has the only forest seedling research nursery in the Nordic countries, with an annual production that can vary between 0.3 and 1.5 million seedlings, depending on demand. The Suonenjoki farm is about 40 ha in size and is established on sandy pine forest soil. Boreal Forest Regeneration platform in Suonenjoki is part of European AnaEE research infrastructure.

Research greenhouse

  • A gable-roofed, steel-framed, honeycomb-plastic greenhouse divided into three compartments for year-round use. The partition walls of the compartments are made of transparent honeycomb board, as are the external walls. 
  • Surface area 180 m2. Compartments of approx. 60 m2, each with six watering tables, each 1.25 x 3.6 m. Some of the tables have automatic irrigation. 
  • The greenhouse has automated temperature and lighting control. Cooling with an automated hatch system. Humidity control with high pressure humidification system and Novarbo water wall in two compartments. Shading curtain in each compartment.   
  • Greenhouse built integrally to the main building, with pre-treatment rooms, laboratories, test cabinets, etc.

Seed laboratory

  • X-ray equipment
  • microscale
  • germination cabinets
  • blower air separator
  • seed counter
  • small-scale curing
Photo: Sirpa Kolehmainen & Minna Kivimäenpää / Luke.

Laboratory of Plant Pathology and Molecular Biology

  • Biosafety cabinet, autoclave
  • PCR and q-PCR equipment, PCR cabinets in a separate room, electrophoresis, blotter and versatile imaging equipment

Microscopy Laboratory

  • light and stereo microscopes, microscope camera
  • digital 3D microscope
Photo: Katja Mentula / Luke.

Physiology laboratory

  • spectrophotometer
  • well plate reader
  • sample homogenizer

Plant Micropropagation Laboratory

  • For the maintenance of plant cell cultures 
  • Cryopreservation research and purification of new plant cell cultures
  • Laminaires, autoclaves, microscopes, culture rooms for cell maintenance and growth spot cleaning.

Soil Laboratory

  • annealing furnace
  • sieve machine

Cold testing chambers

  • 4 pcs
  • temperature -70-+45 °C

Climate chambers

  • 6 pcs
  • LED luminaires with adjustable spectrum
  • adjustment of growing conditions (light, temperature rhythm, temperature interval)

Portable measuring instruments for laboratory and field use

  • gas exchange equipment
  • fluorescence meters
  • chlorophyll meters
  • spectroradiometer and photometers
  • hyperspectral imaging room and hyperspectral camera 
  • Dualex sensor for monitoring chlorophyll, phenols and nitrogen levels

Greenhouses and open-air hardening off fields

  • two with solid plastics of 960 m2 each
  • two with lifting plastics of 580 m2 each
  • semi-automatic irrigation booms
  • Short-day irrigation equipment and open-air irrigation booms 2 units
  • open field with irrigation

Plant production hall

  • Nursery filling and sowing line
  • winter storage of seedlings at -4 °C, 160 m2
  • metal workshop: welding, turning, milling and small machines

Open-air platform for experimental research

  • Pine forest of origin established in 1991
  • ca. 10 hectares
  • monitoring of short-term experiments, possibility of irrigation

Forestry research platform

  • A permanent open-air drip-irrigated and ground- and air-heated spots test setup under construction. 
  • Adjustable irrigation and heating. Adjustable canopies are also planned to control rainfall. 
  • Data transfer from sensors to database.

Research forests

  • The total area of the Suonenjoki research forest is 461 hectares, consisting of 6 different plots in Suonenjoki (5) and Pieksämäki (1).
  • Of the total area, 95% is forest land. In terms of habitat type, the forest land is mainly fresh forest, 76%. The remainder is deciduous and dry forest. 
  • In terms of treatment lines, the Suonenjoki study forests include the normal good forest management line, the mature forest line, the dense forest line, the natural development line and the research theme area. 
  • The average volume of the stand is 196 m3/hectare.

Mole garage and field

  • Indoor and outdoor animal husbandry facility suitable and licensed for rodent research.

Laboratory and pre-treatment facilities, cold rooms

  • refrigerators, freeze dryers, scales, mills
  • freezers, deep freezers
  • seed cellar, stratification room

Equipment maintenance room

  • washing machine for laboratory vessels
  • clean water system
Photo: Erkki Oksanen / Luke.

Areas of research

  • Forest plant production: development and research of plant production methods.
  • Plant protection: testing the efficacy and usefulness of plant protection products used in forestry.
  • Forest pathology: plant diseases of forest trees and nurseries.
  • Forest tree seed production: development of seed production in seed orchards and seed research in the seed laboratory.
  • Silvicultural research: regeneration, early harvesting, nursery and pre-harvesting and silvicultural logistics. 
  • Plant climatic tolerance: testing and research on the annual cycle and stress tolerance of forest tree seedlings and horticultural plants.
  • Forest breeding: field trials in forest breeding.
  • Horticultural research: vegetative propagation and resistance testing of certified mother seedling production and strawberry seedling production methods.
  • Substrate testing
  • Seedling climatic tolerance testing