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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

Science in LTER Hungary

The scientific basis of LTER Hungary is formed by different research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and from departments of different universities.

There is a history in Hungary of long-term ecological research motivated either by environmental problems or by scientific purposes. Eutrophication of Lake Balaton, the maintenance of good water quality of the River Danube and the need for insect pest prediction in agriculture and forestry have all initiated mainly long-term biodiversity studies. International scientific programmes such as IBP and MAB were a stimulus for ecosystem studies from the seventies. The demand for developing a nationwide network to integrate the results of formerly separated long-term studies arose in the nineties.

The major impetus came from the cooperation with US LTER scientists A project (Development of Hungarian-American collaborative research efforts: Biodiversity and Long-Term Ecosystem Research) was begun in 1994, supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and HAS (the Hungarian Academy of Sciences). In 1997 the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, after longer negotiations, confirmed the development of a national ecological research network to increase the effectiveness of the research work.

Site-based long-term ecological monitoring and research has a central role in the scientific programme of the network. In Hungary there are three research sites which are representative of the zonal biomes of the country, and have a history of scientific research activity. Their scientists want to fulfill the requirements of the standards of LTER sites and to take part in regional and global networking activities.