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ECN collaborating to strengthen European LTER research infrastructure

ECN is participating in eLTER, an EU H2020-funded project involving many LTER-Europe partners and sites in collaboration with the European Critical Zone Observatory community

Update: The related Advance_eLTER project is aiming to submit a proposal to ESFRI for a the eLTER Research Infrastructure

eLTER H2020 (European Long-Term Ecosystem and Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure) is a major project that will help advance the development of European long-term ecosystem research infrastructures.

The overall aim of the project is to advance the European network of Long-Term Ecosystem Research sites and socio-ecological research platforms to provide highest quality services for multiple use of a distributed research infrastructure. Major objectives are to:

  • ​identify user needs for the research infrastructure in relation to major societal challenges
  • streamline the design of a cost-efficient pan-European network, able to address multiple ecosystem research issues
  • develop the organisational framework for data integration and enable virtual access to the LTER data
  • foster the societal relevance, usability and multiple use of information, data and services through partnerships with providers of remotely sensed data, analytical services and scenario testing models, and via the adoption of new measurement technologies.

The LTER-Europe network and the European Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) community will collaborate in eLTER. 162 sites in 22 countries will provide data on long-term trends in environmental change. Test cases using these data will address issues such as climate and pollution impacts, and will  to push innovation in network level services and steer conceptual developments.

Transnational Access: Where will your research take you?

The eLTER Transnational Access (TA) scheme - expected to be launched in early 2016 - will offer in-person (physical) access to 18 well-equipped, long-term ecosystem research sites across major European socioeconomic and environmental gradients in 17 countries. Among these sites is Burnsmuir & Cairngorms LTSER platform, the umbrella term for three sites in Scotland operated by NERC CEH: Whim Bog, Auchencorth Moss (together forming Burnsmuir, near Edinburgh) and the Cairngorms National Park LTSER platform, which includes The Cairngorms and Allt a'Mharcaidh ECN sites.

Update: Cairngorms hosted Jen, a researcher from Israel. You can read about Jen's visit in her blog post.


Further information

  • eLTER will run for 48 months from 01 June 2015 to 31 May 2019
  • More details at:
  • The project is coordinated by the current chair of LTER-Europe, Michael Mirtl, of the Environment Agency Austria
  • ECN is represented in the project by the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. ECN is coordinated by the Central Coordination Unit (CCU), a small team of CEH staff in Lancaster. Several CCU staff will contribute to the project, as will CEH IT and data management experts, site managers and researchers
  • Data from many ECN sites will be made available via a new portal to be developed in eLTER. Our data will also be used in the test case research studies.