eLTER RI (Research Infrastructure)

eLTER webpage

  • ....is a European infrastructure for which Germany (BMBF) has assumed the leading role with the coordinating Head Office at the UFZ
  • ...is a pan-European network that has grown over the years with several hundred field sites
  • ...integrates various research disciplines from the fields of long-term ecosystem research, critical zone research and socio-ecological research
  • ...aims to take environmental research in Europe to a new level through integration, harmonization and cost-effective funding
  • ...has its finger on the pulse of nature in order to identify trends in ecosystems that may be important for politics and society.
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The planned eLTER Research Infrastructure (RI) consists of national research infrastructures, the eLTER Head Office and central services that, among other things, regulate access to the research sites, take care of the standardization / harmonization of data and products, organize training courses, etc. The research infrastructures of the partner countries form the national building blocks of eLTER RI: these are eLTER sites for the long-term monitoring and research of ecosystems and the critical zone, and eLTSER platforms for socio-ecological research (see map). The equipment of these sites and platforms and the data collection on site are coordinated with each other. In addition, eLTER sites and eLTSER platforms will be accessible for research and educational activities.

Since 2018, eLTER has been on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), which reflects the strategic priorities of the European Commission. ESFRI forms the political framework for the formalization of European research infrastructures. By 2022, approximately 165 institutions from 28 countries have signed the eLTER Memorandum of Understanding, signaling strong support for the scientific goals of eLTER RI. In addition, the ministries of currently 21 countries politically support eLTER RI (see map).

Karte eLTER


  • Access to standard observation data (Standard Observations)
  • Access to historical long-term data
  • Access to eLTER data products
  • Mobilization of long-term historical data
  • Data integration and data quality assurance

  • Registration and management of long-term observation sites and platforms
  • Establishment and continuous updating of eLTER standard observations with associated methods and protocols
  • Technical advice on the maintenance of measuring instruments and field calibration
  • Sites and platform forum
  • Catalog for searching and accessing tools and models
  • Creation of and access to synthesized and seamless data products from site to network, to ecosystem and the European scale based on ecosystem reanalysis (integration of models and data) and using the eLTER RI site dataset
  • Support in the development of stakeholder-specific analyses, data products and tools based on eLTER data at different spatio-temporal scales and in different ecological domains
  • Support in the simulation of scenarios and storylines to assess the impact of environmental and anthropogenic changes on ecosystem functions and services
  • Scientific conferences
  • Summer schools
  • Communication
  • Access to long-term observation sites and platforms
  • Training for users
  • Project development and support
  • Screening of organic micropollutants in surface water samples
  • DNA Laboratory
  • Mobile River Lab technology: characterization of concentration-discharge relationships
  • Site-specific characterization of the critical zone (CZ) using geophysics and direct push method
  • Terrestrial 3D remote sensing
  • Collection of information from national networks
  • Policy Briefs
  • Boundary Objects
  • Policy Forum
  • Advice and interface between scientific results (research, researchers, data) and users
Coordination: UFZ, Germany
Consortium: 27 participating institutions of 24 European countries
Budget: 4 Mio €
Runtime: 60 months (Feb 2020 - Jan 2025)

Project overview
Coordination: Univ. Helsinki, Finland
Consortium: 33 participating institutions of 23 European countries
Budget: 10 Mio €
Runtime: 60 months (Feb 2020 - Jan 2025)

Project overview
eLTER EnRich
Coordination: UFZ, Germany
Consortium: 11 participating institutions of 8 European countries
Budget: 1,5 Mio €
Runtime: 36 months (Mar 2024 - Feb 2027)

Project overview

eLTER (UFZ) impressions...

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