CORDIS - EU research results

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

Project description

Strengthening community for holistic European long-term ecosystem research

Long-term ecosystem research is essential to improve our knowledge of the structure and functions of ecosystems and their long-term responses to environmental, societal and economic drivers. Networking, joint research activities, and transnational, remote and virtual access are the three main pillars of the EU-funded eLTER PLUS project that will address biodiversity loss, biogeochemical controls of ecosystem functions, the climate-water-food nexus and socio-ecological systems. By engaging current and new users and developing the operations of cross- and transdisciplinary research, as well as strengthening community and service building, the project will expand on the research capacities.


Progress in understanding, managing and securing current and future ecosystem functions and services is challenged by fragmented and dispersed ecosystem research, operated using narrow disciplinary perspectives that prevent a holistic understanding of complex eco- and socio-ecological systems. The emerging European Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI) was evaluated by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) as having high potential for closing this gap in the European RI landscape.
The primary objective of eLTER PLUS is to open and expand the research capacities and impact of eLTER by engaging current and new users and developing the operations of cross- and transdisciplinary research, exemplified in eLTER Site and Platform design and the RI’s Standard Observation framework. eLTER PLUS will execute a performance test of the emerging RI and assess and strengthen its operations in real time. It will further advance community building and provisioning of services as pursued by the H2020-funded eLTER INFRAIA Starting Community project and related projects. Its focus is on making intensive use of 35 selected sites and platforms in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, combined with observational data from an additional 50 sites, for studying ecosystem and socio-ecological responses to globally-relevant environmental challenges in terms of ecosystem integrity and ecosystem services. Its Whole-Systems approach will derive meaningful scientific and policy-relevant information via co-designed, transdisciplinary research in collaboration with diverse stakeholders at local, regional and EU-scales. Concerted actions also focus on collaboration with peer RIs to maximize synergies, increase efficiencies and catalyze holistic understanding of ecosystem function, and on development of virtual laboratories where in-situ site data are linked with other data sources, e.g. Copernicus.


Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 150 638,50
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto

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Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 150 638,50

Participants (38)