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Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe

LTER-Europe conference gets underway in Mallorca

Delegates from around Europe have come together for the LTER-Europe conference, which is taking place in Palma de Mallorca from 1-5 December 2008.

Around 60 people have convened for the opening day of the conference. There are representatives from: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, The Netherlands, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Some participants are representing their national networks, others are managers of individual research and monitoring sites, and there are also experts on key areas such as information management, monitoring & research technology and communication. Representatives of some other networks and projects - such as ALTER-NetEDIT and LifeWatch - who have, or are forming, links with LTER-Europe are also present.

Most of these countries have existing national LTER networks, however some (such as Bulgaria, Jordan and Serbia) are in the early stages of developing their national LTER capability.

One of the key aims of this conference is to begin to develop collaborative projects that truly utilise the potential of LTER-Europe's network of sites, data and expertise. In the morning of the opening day of the conference, delegates discussed a range of existing projects, and exchanged ideas for possible joint activities. These included using common approaches for assessing ecosystem services provided by LTER sites, initiating a joint project on biodiversity and bioenergy production and extending a land use change 'expert system' that is being developed in Hungary.

In the afternoon, the conference discussed the development of an LTER-Europe science strategy, a framework for guiding common scientific research using the LTER-Europe site infrastructure, its data resources and network of experts.