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Using long-term ecosystem service and biodiversity data to study the impacts and adaptation options in response to climate change: insights from the global ILTER sites network

Long-term research forms the basis for detecting global ecosystem trends. The International LTER network (ILTER) has access to unique global-scale datasets and results. Through an analysis of LTER publications and case studies of research, this paper considers the importance of the ILTER network in the study and monitoring of environmental changes at a global level.
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Vihervaara, P., D'Amato, D., Forsius, M., et al. (2013). Using long-term ecosystem service and biodiversity data to study the impacts and adaptation options in response to climate change: insights from the global ILTER sites network. Curr Opin Environ Sustain. 5(1), 53-66.

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The International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network can coordinate ecological research to provide observations of the ecosystem changes, and their socio-economic impacts on human societies at different scales. In this paper we demonstrate the importance of the ILTER network in the study and monitoring of environmental changes at a global level. We give examples of how biodiversity and ecosystem service data can be used to study impacts and adaptation options in response to climate change. Analysis of the 107 recent publications from LTER networks representing 21 countries show that LTER studies are often local and heterogeneous. There are some ecosystem types, such as agricultural or coastal ecosystems that are not covered with current ILTER network. Standardized monitoring schemes and techniques should be considered for future steering of ILTER collaboration. Integrating and synthesizing the collected data should be prioritized for future cooperation, and integrated in decision-making.