Kaisa-Leena Huttunen

"Temporal variation should not be underestimated or dismissed relative to spatial variation."

Dr. Kaisa-Leena Huttunen

Kaisa-Leena Huttunen


Postdoctoral Researcher
Aquatic ecology

8 peer reviewed publications in international journals. The publications have been cited 98 times, of which the most cited publication accounts for 33 citations. The author has a h-index of 5.00. (Google Scholar)


I am a community ecologist currently working as a PostDoc researcher at the Ecology and Genetics Research Unit in a strategic research project "Understanding and predicting environmental change in northern rivers: biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in a changing climate". I graduated my doctoral degree in 2016 and have been working after that as a doctoral training coordinator in University of Oulu Graduate School (on research leave until 2021). The key focus of my research is on temporal dynamics of biological multi-species communities in natural and human impacted environments.

Research interests

  • Temporal patterns of biodiversity
  • Impacts of anthropogenic stressors on freshwater ecosystems
  • Biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems
  • Benthic invertebrates and microbes

As a community ecologist I am interested in describing how the patterns of species occurrences translate into multi-species communities and relate to surrounding abiotic and biotic factors. My research interests focus on temporal dynamics of freshwater communities the underlying question being the degree of similarity in their structure and composition through time. In my doctoral thesis I studied interannual variation of invertebrate communities in boreal streams using long-term data sets collected around Finland. Currently I am continuing with the same theme widening my scope to new temporal scales, systems and organisms; and from community structure and composition to community processes and ecosystem function. The importance of research based on long-term data is more crucial than ever in the world facing changing climate and other anthropogenic major changes. My aim is to provide new knowledge on temporal variation in biological communities – its rate, causes and consequences – both at pristine and human impacted environments thus increasing our understanding on ecological phenomena and helping to predict more reliably biotic responses to environmental change.

Twitter: KLHuttunen

Research groups

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Stream Ecology Research Group

Selected publications

  • Sarremejane, Romain; Mykrä, Heikki; Huttunen, Kaisa-Leena; Mustonen, Kaisa-Riikka; Marttila, Hannu; Paavola, Riku; Sippel, Kalle; Veijalainen, Noora; Muotka, Timo (2018) Climate-driven hydrological variability determines inter-annual changes in stream invertebrate community assembly. - Oikos online, online . [Original] [Self-archived]
  • Jourdan, Jonas; O'Hara, Robert B.; Bottarin, Roberta; Huttunen, Kaisa-Leena; Kuemmerlen, Mathias; Monteith, Don; Muotka, Timo; Ozolins, Davis; Paavola, Riku; Pilotto, Francesca; Springe, Gunta; Skuja, Agnija; Sundermann, Andrea; Tonkin, Jonathan D.; Haase, Peter (2018) Effects of changing climate on European stream invertebrate communities: A long-term data analysis. - Science of the total environment 621, 588-599 . [Original]
  • Huttunen, K. -L.; Mykra, H.; Oksanen, J.; Astorga, A.; Paavola, R.; Muotka, T. (2017) Habitat connectivity and in-stream vegetation control temporal variability of benthic invertebrate communities. - Scientific Reports 7, 1448 . [Original]
  • Huttunen, Kaisa-Leena (2016) Biodiversity through time : coherence, stability and species turnover in boreal stream communities. - Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. Series A, Scientiae rerum naturalium 669. Oulu. Artikkeliväitöskirja. 141. [Original]
  • Huttunen, Kaisa-Leena; Mykrä, Heikki; Huusko, Ari; Mäki-Petäys, Aki; Vehanen, Teppo; Muotka, Timo (2014) Testing for temporal coherence across spatial extents : the roles of climate and local factors in regulating stream macroinvertebrate community dynamics. - Ecography 37 (6), 599-608 . [Original]
  • Huttunen, K.; Mykrä, H.; Muotka, T. (2012) Temporal variability in taxonomic completeness of stream macroinvertebrate assemblages. - Freshwater Science 31, 423-441