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

Whole Systems Approach

What makes eLTER special and unique is its whole-system approach to ecological and socio-ecological research. The concept, structure, and strategic vision of eLTER is based on the WAILS concept - the Whole Systems Approach to In-Situ Research on Life-supporting Systems. WAILS combines research on horizontal interactions between social systems and their environments with research in macrosystem ecology with its vertical interactions and scaling. The materials provided here introduce and explain eLTER's WAILS concept and how it can translate into research agendas for sustainable solutions to the Grand Societal Challenges.

Whole Systems Approach