Taking Europe's pulse - Research for our continent's future

Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) is an essential component of world-wide efforts to better understand ecosystems and the environment we depend on. Through research and long-term observation of representative sites around the globe, LTER enhances our understanding of the structure and functions of ecosystems, which provide essential services to people. LTER contributes to the knowledge base informing policy and to the development of management options in response to the Grand Challenges under Global Change.

LTER capitalizes on research infrastructures such as the in-situ network of sites and information technology. Thousands of research projects have been carried out taking advantage of this infrastructure. The increasing complexity of ecosystem research led to the networking and global organization of LTER.

LTER in Europe comprises three components, well embedded in the European Research Area:



LTER-Europe: The European Long-term Ecosystem Research Network. The international LTER network (ILTER) consists of formal national networks and regional groups, including the 25-member LTER-Europe. The governance structures of LTER-Europe secure permanent representation of LTER at the European scale and enable strategic activities.


LTER-Europe logo


Research & Development


eLTER H2020 project: The Horizon 2020 flagship cooperation project of the European LTER and critical zone research, developing network level Research Infrastructure services alongside exemplary research questions and analyses of data from ~160 sites across Europe.



eLTER H2020 project logo




 eLTER RI: Developing the eLTER Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) via the ESFRI process. When fully operational, eLTER RI will provide a wide range of services to different end users. eLTER RI is now on the 2018 ESFRI roadmap.



W200px eLTER RI logo