LTsER Platforms

Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) is determinant to study all long-term ecological processes (e.g. the effect of climate change) and the impact of rare or episodic events (e.g. pollution), impossible to detect in short term. The main objectives of the LTER are storing relevant data in ecology, establish links between institutions and researchers and promote the exchange of knowledge. Nowadays there are LTER Sites worldwide, chosen to represent major ecosystem types. Overall there are 41 LTER national networks of scientists which develop long term research and are included in the international LTER network (ILTER). The LTER network organises around two levels: the LTSER platforms and the LTER Sites.

The LTSER platforms represent entire regions in the sense of cultural, land-use, historical, natural, administrational and economic units, comprising all relevant agents. It is an infrastructure comprising monitoring networks and in-situ research sites, technical supporting structures, laboratories, collections, museums, visitor centres, databases etc. It is an assumption of the LTSER platforms that there is an involvement of the research community, regional population, key stakeholders, decision makers and all potential beneficiaries of the knowledge produced. The LTER Sites are facilities of limited size (about 1 to 10 km 2), comprising mainly one habitat type and form of land use, and can be part of LTSER platforms. The research activities are concentrated at small scale ecosystem processes and structures.