River Continuum Theory in Tampinjoki-Hanhijoki-Emolanjoki in Mikkeli, Finland

This study was conducted to assess if the river continuum concept also works in northern coniferous forest areas and if it can be used in environmental education in upper secondary schools. The research was carried out at three different locations in Finland- Tampinjoki, Hanhijoki and Emolanjoki. Samples of biological and hydrological morphological factors were taken from every part of the river, analyzed and then compared to the original theory. The study was made with simple equipment that can usually be found in schools. The results followed the river continuum concept quite well with a little exception of invertebrates in the second research point. By connecting the results with analyses made by the city of Mikkeli, current river conditions were assessed. Invertebrates, vegetation and the analyses showed some signs of eutrophication especially in the last part of the river. These results can be used when planning new construction in the area or monitoring river conditions. Protecting and developing the river with the help of these results can help to maintain the biodiversity and beauty of the environment and allow versatile use of the area.

Finalist 2008 Stockholm Junior Water Prize