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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

LTER, policy and society

LTER, policy and society

Long-term ecosystem research and monitoring is essential to formulate policies based on real data, and for determining the effectiveness, of policies and concrete measures. LTER provides indicators of change for this purpose. LTER also delivers real data for testing and refining models, for generating predictions and for scenario testing. Another important benefit of the LTER approach (especially LTSER) is the potential of involving the public and being used in education as a comprehensive example for the importance of well networked science. With respect to monitoring this involves e.g. the large-scale monitoring of birds, plants or water quality. Through participatory approaches society contributes to better research by identifying research gaps, needs for alternative methods, solutions and strategies. Continuous dialogue produces mutual benefits on the field of building awareness, knowledge (e.g. traditional land management), and implementation.

From a holistic point of view and especially bearing sustainability in mind there are many good scientific reasons for using an LTER approach to study ecosystems, and also tangible policy and social benefits. As a result there are successful LTER programmes in about 50 countries on all continents.


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