European long-term ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems research infrastructure (eLTER PLUS)

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The EU/Horizon2020 project eLTER PLUS is developing a European Research Infrastructure (RI) for site-based ecosystem research. Progress in understanding, managing and securing ecosystem functions and services and their adaptation to global change is hampered by dispersed environmental and ecosystem research operated within single disciplines and communities in Europe. This is also inhibiting the investigation of ecosystems in a whole system approach. The emerging eLTER RI was rated by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) as having a high potential for closing this gap in the European RI landscape.

eLTER PLUS will execute a performance test of the eLTER RI and challenge, assess and strengthen its real-time operations. It will further advance efficient community building and provisioning of services as addressed by the H2020-funded eLTER Starting Community project and other related projects. The focus is on making intensive use of the selected sites and platforms in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, for studying ecosystem responses to globally identified challenges related to ecosystem integrity, impact of climate change, and endangered ecosystem services at a pan-European scale. The main aim of eLTER PLUS is to further open and expand the network, engage current and new users from both academia and industry, offer an excellent training site for students to enhance their international contacts, and further integrate the operations of advanced cross-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research as reflected by the eLTER sites and eLTSER platforms experimental design and standard observation framework.

SYKE participates in several work packages of the project on Earth Observation service provision development and ecosystem modelling. SYKE also co-leads a work package on optimisation of the eLTER network design at the pan-European scale.

The related INAR RI Ecosystems project, funded by the Academy of Finland, is advancing the national integration of ecosystem research RIs in Finland.

More information

Martin Forsius, first name.last

Recent scientific publications on eLTER research with SYKE involvement:

Bäck, J., Forsius, M., Heiskanen, J., Inkeroinen, J., Juurola, E., Karjalainen, J., Kaukolehto, M., Kolström, T., Latola, K., Lohila, A., Mäkipää, R., Paavola, R., Parland-von Essen, J., Pumpanen, J., Pursula, A., Rasilo, T., Suominen, O., and Tuittila. E. (2019). White paper on Terrestrial Ecological and Environmental Research Infrastructures in Finland - Analysis of the current landscape and proposal for future steps. Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 41/2019, Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, ISBN 978-952-11-5086-9 (PDF). 48 pp.

Dirnböck, T., Pröll, G., Austnes, K., Beloica, J., Beudert, B., Canullo, R., De Marco, A., Fornasier, M.A., Futter, M., Goergen, K., Grandin, U., Holmberg, M., Lindroos, A.J., Mirtl, M., Neirynck, J., Pecka, T., Nieminen, T.M., Nordbakken, J.F., Posch, M., Reinds, G.J., Rowe, E., Salemaa, M., Scheuschner, T., Starlinger, F., Uziębło, A.K., Valinia, S., Weldon, J. Wamelink, W., and Forsius, M. (2018). Currently legislated decreases in nitrogen deposition will yield only limited plant species recovery in European forests. Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018) 125010. DOI:

Forsius M., Räike A., Huttunen I., Poutanen H., Mattsson T., Kankaanpää S., Kortelainen P. and Vuorilehto V.-P. (2017). Observed and predicted future changes of total organic carbon in the lake Päijänne catchment (southern Finland): Implications for water treatment of the Helsinki metropolitan area. Boreal Environment Research 22: 317–336.

Holmberg, M., Aherne , J., Austnes, K., Beloica, J., DeMarco, A., Dirnböck, T., Fornasier, M.F, Goergen, K., Futter, M.J. , Lindroos, A-J.,, Krám, P., Neirynck, J., Nieminen, T.M., Pecka, T., Posch, M., Pröll, G., Rowe, E.C., Scheuschner, T. Schlutow, A., Valinia, S. and Forsius, M. (2018). Modelling study of soil C, N and pH response to air pollution and climate change using European LTER site observations. Science of the Total Environment 640–641: 387–399. DOI:

Mirtl. M., Borer, E.T., Djukic. I., Forsius, M., Haubold, H., Hugo, W., Jourdan, J., Lindenmayer, D., McDowell, W.H. , Muraoka, H, Orenstein. D.E., Pauw, J.C., Peterseil, J., Shibata, H., Wohner, C., Yu, X. and Haase, P. (2018). Genesis, goals and achievements of Long-Term Ecological Research at the global scale: A critical review of ILTER and future directions. Science of the Total Environment 626: 1439–1462. DOI:

Vuorenmaa, J., Augustaitis, A., Beudert, B., Bochenek, W., Clarke, N., de Wit, H., Dirnböck, T., Frey, J., Hakola, H.., Indriksone, I., Kleemola, S., Kobler, J., Krám, P., Lindroos, A.-J., Lundin, L., Löfgren, S., Marchetto, A., Pecka, T., Schulte-Bisping, H., Skotak, K., Srybny, A., Szpikowski, J., Ukonmaanaho, L., Váˇna, M., Åkerblom, S. and Forsius, M. (2018). Long-term changes (1990–2015) in the atmospheric deposition and runoff water chemistry of sulphate, inorganic nitrogen and acidity for forested catchments in Europe in relation to changes in emissions and hydrometeorological conditions. Science of the Total Environment 625: 1129–1145. DOI:

Published 2020-02-19 at 15:40, updated 2020-02-19 at 15:37