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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

Task Force Marine and transitional waters

The initiative for establishing the LTER-Europe Marine and Transitional Waters Task Force started during the LTER-Europe Coordination meeting held in Sofia, in December 2012.

The Task Force (TF) was officially proposed during the LTER-Europe Coordination meeting of Rome in November 2013 (see presentation) and it was formally approved by the LTER National Network Representatives in December 2013.

The Task Force, which will initially be coordinated by Alessandra Pugnetti (Italy, CNR ISMAR, Venezia), presently (January 2014) encompasses 38 research sites, distributed across 12 LTER-Europe Countries and along most of the European Seas (see map below):  the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Arctic. Two sites (belonging to France and Italy) are located in the Antarctic. The TF is predominantly characterized by coastal and transitional waters (view table of sites): most of the sites actually represent temperate shelves and transitional waters, such as lagoons, river deltas, estuaries and fjords.

Aims

Our broad commitment is fostering interactions and integrations among the LTER-Europe marine and transitional waters sites for a better and more active contribution to the LTER-Europe network. This will include promoting the exchange of knowledge of best practice for accessibility to research facilities, instrumentation, analytical methods and archiving of data in databases.

Our principal goal will be the establishment of working groups that will co-operate with the LTER-Europe Expert Panels.  In doing so we will also contribute to the implementation of the tools developed for LTER-Europe during the Life+ project EnvEurope (www.enveurope.eu):  DEIMS (LTER metadata tool), EnvThes (common LTER Thesaurus), EcoPar (LTER Parameters and Methods).

The first practical actions will be:

  1. to share a list of the most important publications for all relevant LTER sites to become familiar with the marine sites and the themes addressed by the different research groups
  2. to identify relevant scientific question/s that might be transferred and shared also to other non-marine sites in LTER-Europe and focus at least part of our activities on these topics (e.g., phenology, regime shift, changes in trophic state, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, contribution to and effects of climate change, reference values for EU marine directives, status assessments of the marine environment and its development…;  application of trait based approach, metabolic theory of ecology…)
  3. to connect with other marine networks and/or initiatives focussing on long-term ecological research not included in LTER-Europe (e.g., UK Marine Environmental Change Network, Euromarine…)
  4. to contribute to the main European directives (WFD and MSFD), with a LTER perspective and knowledge.

Map of sites

As at January 2014. A larger version is here.
Table of site details... (as at January 2014)

Map of LTER marine sites as at January 2014

Lead and contact

The Marine and Transitional Waters Task Force is currently headed by:

A. Pugnetti Alessandra Pugnetti (Italy), alessandra.pugnetti@ve.ismar.cnr.it