LTER-Czechia dares to meet in person to celebrate governmental support for eLTER RI
26 October 2021
In June 2021, the Czech LTER network successfully held their annual meeting near Sokolov (CZ). The decision was made to meet in person because of significant recent progress in Czechia's involvement in the building of eLTER RI after the government expressed conditional political support for eLTER last autumn.
Following tradition, the second day of the annual meeting was dedicated to a field trip to one of the Czech LTER sites, this year to LTER Sokolov post-mining ecosystems, led by its site coordinator Jan Frouz. The field trip started at the FALCON catchment site, the newest component of this LTER site, which visitors were most curious about. Established in 2019, FALCON is an array of four artificial catchments which represent a globally unique experimental setup.
After Chicken Creek in Germany and Hydrohill in China, FALCON is the world's third currently monitored artificial catchment, and is the first to include treatments (reclamation with alder plantation vs. spontaneous succession), as well as replicates (two per treatment).
Individual catchments are hydrologically isolated from the adjacent environment and allow monitoring of all significant fluxes of elements and energy in the ecosystem. The field trip then continued along the successional gradient to other reclaimed or successional monitoring plots of varying age that have been studied since 1992.