A new interesting project has started in Finland: BioTar – Development of biological monitoring methods for the effects of the use of peat lands. The abbreviation BioTar comes from the words Biological, of course and Tarkkailu (=monitoring). The ending “-tar” means a female person in Finnish, so altogether the name gives an impression – at least to this Finnish mind – of a green, fairylike spirit leading the study.

The aim of the study, that takes place between 2011 and 2014, is to find new, innovative and cost effective methods to estimate the the ecological state of the water near peat lands. I wonder if they have included desmids in their list of interesting indicators? Desmids are often very sensitive for changes in, for example, electrical conductivity, which will probably occur if someone begins to harvest peat. In the Netherlands desmids has been used as indicators for Water Framework Directive, take a look at

The study will be done by the Finland’s environmental administration and the university of Oulu. The ones skilled in the Finnish language can find more information on

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