Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

eLTER at GfÖ Annual Meeting in Leipzig

19 September 2023

From 12-15 September the Annual GfÖ Meeting, which is an international conference hosted by the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland took place in Leipzig (Germany). More than 1 100 participants from more than 30 countries attended the conference. 

One of the 60 thematic sessions was dedicated to "Infrastructures and Networks in Biodiversity Research", a perfect frame for introducing the European eLTER Research Infrastructure. To attract people, the eLTER talk was titled "eLTER RI – A new European Research Infrastructure offering added value for researchers" and was delivered by Mark Frenzel from UFZ, Germany. The focus of the presentation was to introduce eLTER, its stage of development, the concept of standard observations safeguarding harmonised data generated at eLTER sites in the future and finally the multiple benefits created by eLTER: these are ranging from networking opportunities to data access, services and tools.

Finally, it has been demonstrated that eLTER is linked as a use case to the German NFDI4Biodiversity (NFDI= National Research Data Infrastructure) where it is about creating a workflow for a functional national node for German eLTER data.

The following is the abstract of the eLTER’s talk during the GfÖ meeting:

We live in a world of rapid social, economic and ecosystem change, facing major environmental challenges such as global warming, biodiversity loss and pressure on natural resources and the complex interactions between people and nature over the long term. Environmental sustainability can only be achieved on the basis of robust knowledge and empirical evidence needed to identify and mitigate human impacts on ecosystems. Addressing these issues in a transdisciplinary way requires world-class ecosystem research through a well-connected, extensive network of sites, facilities and experts, with openly shared and easily accessible data, tools and workflows supporting researchers. This is the goal of the pan-European Integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem, Critical Zone and Socio-Ecological System Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) which is currently (2020-25) being built and developed. eLTER RI operates by catalysing scientific discovery and insights through state-of-the-art research infrastructure comprising about 250 high-level and well-instrumented facilities. One of the main objectives of long-term ecosystem monitoring and research is to provide harmonised and standardised data sets based on the concept of eLTER RI Standard Observations in the near future, and additionally to mobilise legacy data to support evidence-based solutions. Alongside these data, several tools and services which are already in place or close to being available will help to serve multiple scientific communities. Some of these tools will be presented and we will show the links to NFDI4Biodiversity and NFDI4Earth by describing the workflows and tools foreseen for eLTER use cases serving as national nodes for eLTER data.