LTER-Europe (Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe) is the community and networking component of the European LTER. Its elements are 26 national LTER networks (May 2021).
LTER-Europe is not strictly a membership organisation: there is no joining fee, for example. Instead, LTER-Europe is a regional group of national LTER networks within the global LTER network of networks, ILTER. Different from other continents and regional groups, LTER-Europe has managed to further develop organisationally and strategically through European scale flagship projects and entering the process of formal infrastructure development.
The evolution and components of the European LTER process are described here.
LTER-Europe has been serving as the first entry point in the European LTER process, because it is the least formalised component and has been catalyzing the bottom-up initiation of LTER networking in the countries.
Since its formal launch in 2007, LTER-Europe has sought to better integrate traditional natural sciences and holistic ecosystem research approaches that include studies of the human component. LTER-Europe was heavily involved in developing the concept of Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER). As a result, LTER-Europe now comprises not only ~500 LTER Sites but also 52 larger LTSER Platforms, where long-term interdisciplinary research is encouraged.