Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) celebrated in special issue
8 June 2016
A special issue concerning long-term ecosystem research has recently been published
The special issue of Ecological Indicators is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the German network, LTER-D.
In their introductory paper, the editors, Peter Haase, Mark Frenzel, Stefan Klotz, Martin Musche and Stefan Stoll, describe two main reasons which long-term ecosystem research (LTER) is essential in order to understand environmental change. First, they argue, LTER approaches can help to distinguish naturally driven change from anthropogenic change. Second, changes occur over a wide range of timescales, which requires making long-term observations in order to separate short-term variability from long-term trends.
They conclude, "...to gain a deeper understanding of the processes that drive our ecosystems and to disentangle anthropogenic and natural changes as well as short-term fluctuations and long-term trends, long-term ecosystem research and observation is indispensable."
The special issue comprises 13 articles spanning a range of marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems within and beyond Germany. In their editorial, Haase and colleagues describe the LTER development needs, pointing in particular to the essential role of the EU eLTER H2020 project in improving LTER networking within Europe, through activities such as harmonizing data and improving data access.
- Haase, P., Frenzel, M., Klotz, S., Musche, M., Stoll, S. (eds) 2016. The value of long-term ecosystem research (LTER): Addressing global change ecology using site-based data. Ecological Indicators 65 is available online to subscribers.
- The German LTER sites Siptenfelde and Rhine-Main Observatory and are open for research via the eLTER H2020 Transnational Access scheme, along with 16 other sites across Europe
- A special issue by the UK LTER network will be published later this year