The activities at Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station began in 1910. The station offers infrastructure for university field courses and field research. The station operates under University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
Originally, university courses were the main purpose of the station. This day, forestry students spend from 6 to 8 weeks in Hyytiälä during their first year of the university studies. Research activities have increased at continuous rate since the 1950s. Especially the research on tree ecology and peatland ecology has been thriving. In the end of 2016, several academic dissertations were based on field research in Hyytiälä.
Interdisciplinary research collaboration between Division of Atmospheric Sciences at Department of Physics, and Department of Forest Sciences has continued over two decades..
At the SMEAR II measuring station in Hyytiälä the functioning of trees and the interactions between the forest and the atmosphere is widely studied. At the moment, it is the leading field station measuring cycling of carbon, water and other nutrients. The all-year-round, day and night measurements are for example used in assessing the effect of climate change on boreal forests, and the effect of boreal forests on climate.
The multidisciplinary station is especially famous for the research group studying atmospheric aerosols, lead by prof. Markku Kulmala. The group successfully brings together researchers from different fields, most notably physics, meteorology, chemistry and forest ecology. Dozens of publications based on SMEAR II data are published every year in international peer-reviewed journals. More information about how the measurements and research is conducted can be found at carbontree.fi. The site also visualizes carbon uptake by a research tree in real-time, in history, or in user-defined environment.