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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

Sites and platforms of LTER Latvia

The LTER Latvia network includes two terrestrial sites, two freshwater sites and one LT(S)ER platform. Terrestrial sites cover pine forest ecosystems (Mazsalaca LTER site) and coastal meadows (Randu meadows LTER site). One freshwater sites is a water reservoir of the Riga Hydropower station (RHPS), and the other is the Salaca River, a small salmon river. The LT(S)ER platform (644 sq km) represents a drainage area of the coastal Lake Engure, and includes the Lake Engure Nature Park – a Ramsar site.

Three LTER sites (Mazsalaca site, Randu meadows and Salaca River) are situated in the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve.

  • Mazsalaca site: Mazsalaca LTER site consists of three Scots pine forest stands of different age (30-40, 50-70, and 200 year-old pine stands). There the effects of climate warming on the main components of forest ecosystems have been studied since 1992.
  • Randu Meadows: Long-term changes in meadow vegetation and grass-dwelling invertebrate communities on the background of climate fluctuations and different management practices have been studied in the Randu meadows since 1996.
  • Salaca River: Regular sudies of the Salaca river ecosystem have been performed since 1982. Changes in land use patterns predetermined by social and economical changes in Latvia have been reflected in aquatic communities of the Salaca River.
  • Riga Hydropower station (RHPS): In 1976 a study of the process of stabilization of aquatic communities after construction of the dam was started in the water reservoir of RHPS.
  • Engure Ramsar site/platform: The longest data series (since 1950s) are on the ornithofauna and water bird populations in the Engure Ramsar site. In 1995 these studies were extended to a landscape level including other components of the wetlands and terrestrial part of the region. Ecological and socio-economic studies of the territory will be integrated within the LT(S)ER platform research program aimed at working out scenarios of the region's development.



Location of Latvia LTER sites