Tree water uptake under changing snow-rain seasonality: The forgotten tree-induced upward fast flow in boreal soils


BFF-Water aims to clarify Boreal Forest WATER Fluxes under changing rain-snow seasonality. BFF-Water features an innovative in-situ high-frequency water isotope and water flux measurement set-up with interdisciplinary methodology. For the first time, the process-based tree water uptake strategies and forest water use will be revealed in high-latitude boreal forests.


Snowy forests in Finland
Snowy forests in Finland. Picture: Zuosinan Chen

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Academy of Finland

Funding amount

782 552 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

Boreal forests cover 33% of the global forest area, and 65% of the water used by boreal forests is through trees. Knowing how trees use water under rapidly changing snow and rain in northern environments is critical in Finland, nation of a thousand lakes, where 74% of the land is covered by forests.

BFF-Water will renew our understanding about (1) if tree water uptake modifies water’s isotope characteristics, (2) if tree water uptake significantly affects soil water in boreal forests, (3) how ongoing snow and rain changes influence tree water uptake, and (4) how forest hydrology responds to changing precipitation in boreal regions. We will achieve this by conducting innovative 4-year field measurements with up-to-date instruments and interdisciplinary methodology in two typical boreal forests around the Arctic Circle.

In a warming and ‘greening’ Arctic, BFF-Water will benefit forest and water resource related stakeholders and lower climate risks for society.