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

New paper on linking essential biodiversity variables and ecosystem integrity

7 September 2017

This paper considers the benefits linking two approaches - Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) and Ecosystem Integrity (EI) -  in the context of two global networks - ILTER and GEO BON.                

The lead author, Peter Haase, along with many of the paper's co-authors, is involved in European LTER and it's development.


Global change effects on biodiversity and human well-being call for improved long-term environmental data as a basis for science, policy and decision making, including increased interoperability, multifunctionality, and harmonization. Based on the example of two global initiatives, the International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), we propose merging the frameworks behind these initiatives, namely ecosystem integrity and essential biodiversity variables, to serve as an improved guideline for future site-based long-term research and monitoring in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. We derive a list of specific recommendations of what and how to measure at a monitoring site and call for an integration of sites into co-located site networks across individual monitoring initiatives, and centered on ecosystems. This facilitates the generation of linked comprehensive ecosystem monitoring data, supports synergies in the use of costly infrastructures, fosters cross-initiative research and provides a template for collaboration beyond the ILTER and GEO BON communities.

Further information

  • Peter Haase, Jonathan D. Tonkin, Stefan Stoll, Benjamin Burkhard, Mark Frenzel, Ilse R. Geijzendorffer, Christoph Häuser, Stefan Klotz, Ingolf Kühn, William H. McDowell, Michael Mirtl, Felix Müller, Martin Musche, Johannes Penner, Steffen Zacharias, Dirk S. Schmeller, The next generation of site-based long-term ecological monitoring: Linking essential biodiversity variables and ecosystem integrity, In Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 613–614, 2018, Pages 1376-1384, ISSN 0048-9697.