Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 657–665 | Cite as

Brook lampreys of life: towards holistic monitoring of boreal aquatic habitats using ‘subtle signs’ and oral histories

  • Tero MustonenEmail author
  • Tarmo Tossavainen
Research Paper


In this article the observation and spread of brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri) will be discussed as a bio-indicator and a ‘subtle sign’ in the boreal. Brook lamprey is a small non-parasitic freshwater lamprey species indicating good ecological health of aquatic habitats. This article presents knowledge co-produced through a 7-year monitoring programme in the south boreal catchment area of the Jukajoki River, North Karelia, Finland. Over the past one hundred years, this basin has been negatively affected by human land use. Monitoring methods employed as part of this programme have included both rigorous scientific sampling and large-scale traditional and local knowledge (TEK) monitoring. International long-running community monitoring efforts are assessed to position these Finnish traditional knowledge flows. Examples provide for the discussion of new monitoring and restoration methods of boreal aquatic habitats and contribute to the new realisation of these landscapes that were once hidden and now positioned to emerge, providing the suitable social-geographical space is present and accessible to allow for that.


Acidic soils Boreal basins Brook lamprey Ecological restoration Finland Traditional knowledge 



This article has been made possible by the SOVIKO Project (Grant No. 2017).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare no conflict of interest.


Oral Sources

  1. Aronsuu K (2017) Specialist on lamprey populations. Center of Commerce, Transport and the Environment. Email interview 10.2.2017Google Scholar
  2. Kissapuro Oral History Tape 100516: A male forester and land owner from the village of Alavi, in his 50 sGoogle Scholar
  3. Kissapuro Oral History Tape 140716: A male forester and land owner from the village of Alavi, in his 50 sGoogle Scholar

Written Sources

  1. Alexander C, Bynum N, Johnson E, Waterhouse J (2011) Linking indigenous and scientific knowledge of climate change. BioScience 61(6):477–484. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apgar MJ et al (2017) Moving beyond co-construction of knowledge to enable self-determination. IDS Bulletin, [S.l.], v. 47, n. 6. ISSN 1759-5436. Accessed 26 June 2018.
  3. Aronsuu K, Virkkala P (2014) Substrate selection by subyearling European river lamprey and older larvae (Lampetra spp.). Ecol Freshw Fish 23(644–655):2014. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aronsuu K, Wennman K (2012) Vesirakentamisen ja säännöstelyn sekä niihin liittyvien kompensaatiotoimenpiteiden vaikutukset Kalajoen kala-, nahkiais- ja rapukantoihin: Yhteenveto vuosien 1978–2010 velvoitetarkkailujen tuloksista. ELY-keskus [Impact of hydroelectric construction and regulation and compensation measures associated with them on river Kalajoki and its fish-, crustacean and lamprey populations: summary between 1978-2010]Google Scholar
  5. Aronsuu K, Marjomäki T, Tuohino J, Wennman K, Vikström R, Ojutkangas E (2015) Migratory behaviour and holding habitats of adult river lampreys (Lampetra fluvialitis) in two Finnish rivers. Boreal Environ Res 20:120–144Google Scholar
  6. Berkes F (1999) Sacred ecology—traditional ecological knowledge and resource management. Taylor & Francis, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  7. Bieling C, Plieninger T (eds) (2017) The science and practice of landscape stewardship. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Birkhead T (2008) Wisdom of birds: an illustrated history of ornithology. Bloomsbury, New York, p 2008Google Scholar
  9. Civas L, Kesminas V (2011) Fish distribution and ecological state of the Siesartis River, Lithuania. Acta Zool Lith 21(2):153–162. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cruikshank J (2005) Do glaciers listen—local knowledge, colonial encounters & social imagination. UBC Press, Vancouver, p 2005Google Scholar
  11. Danielsen F, Burgess ND, Jensen PM, Pirhofer-Walzl K (2010) Environmental monitoring: the scale and speed of implementation varies according to the degree of peoples involvement. J Appl Ecol 47:1166–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Degerman E, Bergström L, Wennhage H, Leeuw J, Soler T, Olsson J (2016) Fisk som miljöindikator. Aqua Reports 2016: 9. Uppsala: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences [Fish as environmental indicators]Google Scholar
  13. Freyhof J (2016) Lampetra planeri. The IUCN red list of threatened species 2011:e.T11213A3262868. Downloaded on 24 July 2016
  14. Goodwin C, Dick J, Rogowski D, Elwood R (2008) Lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis and Lampetra planeri) ammocoete habitat associations at regional, catchment and microhabitat scales in Northern Ireland. Ecol Freshw Fish 17:542–553. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grabarkiewicz JD, Davis W (2008) An introduction to freshwater fishes as biological indicators. EPA, Washington, p 2008Google Scholar
  16. Huntington H (1998) Observations on the utility of the semi-directive interview for documenting traditional ecological knowledge. Arctic 51(3):237–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huntington H (1999) Traditional knowledge of the ecology of beluga Whales in the Eastern Chukchi and Northern Bering Seas, Alaska. Arctic 52(1):49–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huntington H (2000) Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: methods and applications. Ecol Appl 10(5):1270–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huntington H (2011) The local perspective. Nature 478:182–183CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Huntington H, Fox-Gearheard S (2005) Chapter 3: Indigenous perspectives. In: Arctic Council. Arctic climate impact assessment., cited 5th March 2017
  21. Jazdzewski Z, Marszal L, Przybylski M (2016) Habitat preferences of Ukrainian brook lamprey Eudontomyzon mariae ammocoetes in the lowland rivers of Central Europe. J Fish Biol 88:477–491. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnson N, Alessa L, Behe C, Danielsen F, Gearheard S et al (2015) The contributions of community-based monitoring and traditional knowledge to Arctic observing networks: reflections on the state of the field. Arctic. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kiiskinen T (2013) Jukajärven valuma-alueen kunnostustarpeen arviointi. 2013 [Assessment of the need of ecological restoration of the catchment area of Lake Jukajärvi]Google Scholar
  24. Krupnik I, Aporta C, Gearheard S, Laidler G, Holm L (2010) Siku: knowing our ice—documenting inuit sea-ice knowledge and use. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lehtinen A (2008) Landscapes of domination: living in and off the forests in Eastern Finland. In: Jones M, Olwig KR (eds) Nordic landscapes: region and belonging on the Northern Edge of Europe. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp 458–482Google Scholar
  26. Li S, Werner KM, Stauffer JR (2014) An examination of Petromyzontidae in Pennsylvania: current distribution and habitat preference of lampreys. Northeast Nat 21(4):606–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. LUKE (2017) Fish observation maps. Available in Finnish at, visited 10th February, 2017
  28. Mäenpää E, Myllynen K, Pakkala J, Aronsuu K, Koskenniemi E (2001) Talvehtimisaikaisen veden laadun vaikutus sukukypsien nahkiaisten (Lampetra fluviatilis) fysiologiseen tilaan ja mädin hedelmöittymiseen. Länsi-Suomen ympäristökeskus, 2001. [Impact of water quality to the over wintering lampreys and their physiology and roe]Google Scholar
  29. McDonald M, Arragutainaq L, Novalinga Z (1997) Voices from the Bay: traditional knowledge of Inuit and Cree in the Hudson Bay Ecoregion. Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  30. MacDonald J (2000) The Arctic sky—inuit astronomy, star lore and legend. Royal Ontario Museum, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  31. Mustonen T (2013) Oral histories as a baseline of landscape restoration—co-management and watershed knowledge in Jukajoki River. Fennia Int J Geogr 191(2):76–91. Retrieved from
  32. Mustonen T (2014) Power discourses of fish death: Case of linnunsuo peat production. Ambio 43:234. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Mustonen T, Mustonen K (2013) Jukajoen ja -järven kunnostussuunnitelma. Snowchange Cooperative, KontiolahtiGoogle Scholar
  34. Myllynen K, Ojutkangas E, Nikinmaa M (1997) River water with high iron concentration and low pH cause of lamprey roe and newly hatched larvae. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 36:43–48CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Olwig K (2002) Landscape, place and the state of progress. In: Sack RD (ed) Progress: geographical essays. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 22–60Google Scholar
  36. Olwig K (2008) Has “geography” always been modern?: choros, (non)representation, performance, and the landscape. Environ Plan A 40:1843–1861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schroll F (1959) Zur ernahrungsbiologie der steirichen ammoceten Lampetra planeri (Bloch) und Eudontomyzon Danfordi (Regan). Int Rev Hydrobiol 44(395–429):1959Google Scholar
  38. Shasteen D (2007) Distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of the threatened, Least Brook Lamprey. South Illinois University, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  39. Sheridan J, Longboat D (2006) The Haudenosaunee imagination and the ecology of the sacred. Space Cult 9:365–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smith L (2005) Decolonizing methodologies—research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books, London, p 2005Google Scholar
  41. Tossavainen T (2018) Jukajoen nykytila ja alustava kunnostussuunnitelma. University of Applied Sciences Karelia, Joensuu [Status of River Jukajoki and a Preliminary Restoration Plan]Google Scholar
  42. UNEP (2014) UNEP yearbook 2014.
  43. Yrjölä S, Lehtonen H, Nyberg K (2015) Suomen kalat. Nemo, Helsinki [Fishes of Finland]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Eastern Finland and Snowchange CooperativeJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Karelia University of Applied SciencesJoensuuFinland

Personalised recommendations