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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

Task Force Mediterranean

Aim and Scope

The Mediterranean Task Force aims at long-term collaboration of LTER sites in Mediterranean areas across Europe.

The initiative for establishing a Mediterranean work group started in the ILTER conference that took place in Israel on 29 August 2010. It was based on the understanding that Mediterranean countries share common ecological attributes and are therefore exposed to similar threats, such as: fires, drought, enhanced urbanization, landscape fragmentation or invasive species.

We agreed on the establishment of a forum for brainstorming and discussion, data sharing and, in the future, try to set a comparative study or long term monitoring of common variables.

Electronic questionnaires were distributed among representatives of LTER sites from Mediterranean countries in Europe, analyzed and presented in the LTER Europe meeting in Avila (September 2011). The questionnaires were intended to help characterize the sites and the research conducted at them, including threats to ecosystem and main parameters monitored on a routine basis.

Drought, invasive species and urbanization/isolation were indicated by most responders as the main threats. Most sites (n=10) monitor these variables: basic meteorology; population dynamics of selected/key species; plant species composition; plant phenology; plant species richness; vegetation structure/formation; leaf nutrient content. None of the sites monitor bacteria, pollinators, reptiles, runoff, litter decomposition & quality, evapotranspiration or respiration.

 

Lead and contact

The Mediterranean Task Force is currently headed by:

Liat Hadar Liat Hadar, Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park (Israel), liat@ramathanadiv.org.il