European LTER: An overview

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eLTER Overview buttonEuropean LTER (eLTER) currently comprises three main components:






LTER-Europe network

The pan-European network comprising 26 national site networks, ~450 LTER sites and ~35 LTSER platforms


LTER-Europe logo

Research & Development


eLTER H2020 project

An EC-funded Starting Communities project running 2015-2019, with 28 partners from 21 LTER countries and >100 sites providing open access data


eLTER H2020 project logo




Developing the formal eLTER Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI), open for researchers and other users. eLTER RI development is supported by 19 country-level political Expressions of Support (EoS), ~80 Expressions of Financial Commitment (EoC) from 18 countries and ~160 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) from research organisations in 27 Countries


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The updated eLTER RI logo.


eLTER components - pink maps

The three components are linked as shown

More about each eLTER component

  • LTER-Europe network of national networks: LTER-Europe is the formal European regional group of the global ILTER network and comprises 26 countries with a pool of around 450 LTER Sites and 35 LTSER Platforms. This overall pool of in situ facilities is referred to as “LTER infrastructure”. It provides multiple networking activities with permanent governance structures for a huge scientific community. Projects such as eLTER H2020 and Advance_eLTER, and the emerging eLTER RI, build on the LTER community and recruit sites from the well-documented and categorized site pool.
  • eLTER H2020 project: A flagship project for the further development of the Long-term Ecosystem Research infrastructure and science support in Europe. eLTER H2020 closely interacts with the two other major elements in this effort. It focuses on services and technical aspects (Transnational Access, Data Integration Platform etc.) with the objective of delivering those services for multiple scientific user groups, including LTER, LTSER and Critical Zone research. 162 sites of the LTER infrastructure were selected for Virtual Access and Transnational Access in this project (these are the eLTER H2020 sites). Many of the project activities support the development of a formal eLTER Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI).
  • eLTER ESFRI process towards the eLTER RI: a formalization process in the framework of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. In 2018, eLTER RI was accepted as an “ESFRI RI” on the 2018 ESFRI Roadmap). The eLTER RI draws from the extensive pool of the in situ LTER infrastructure of the LTER-Europe network.


In addition:

  • The Advance_eLTER project was a 12 month project dedicated to developing the eLTER RI design and planning to the level of maturity required for the ESFRI Roadmap. The resulting eLTER ESFRI proposal was a success.
  • The eLTER RI PPP, will be the Preparatory Phase Project of the eLTER RI. A proposal for this project was submitted in March 2019.



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