The complexity of interactions and the many drivers (e.g. climatic conditions, site characteristics, human interventions) involved in bio-chemical ecosystem processes and cycles have so far prevented a clear understanding of the ecosystem responses to climate change. Only through interdisciplinary, holistic approaches based on long-term and cross-site investigations, covering varying environmental conditions along extended gradients in socio-ecological contexts across Europe we will be able to understand and predict the consequences of climate change on the European ecosystems (Eugster et al., 2021; ESFRI 2018). In this context, eLTER Switzerland, through its extensive network of highly instrumented sites, long-term ecological monitoring information and a large set of targeted manipulative studies embedded in the long-term monitoring sites, provides a promising platform for addressing the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.
eLTER Switzerland, comprising 20 long-term forest monitoring sites as part of the Swiss Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF), TreeNet, UNECE/ICP Forests and ICOS Switzerland, is an attractive partner in the European research landscape, and the Swiss research system greatly benefits from the eLTER–ESFRI network in terms of the following main aspects: (1) Facilitated transnational access for ETHs, Swiss Universities to audited categories of ca. 200 in situ facilities and to harmonized data from long-term observations (incl. remote sensing data) of key ecological and socio-economic parameters. (2) The eLTER network offers great potential for standardization, common protocols, established standards, and basic interfaces to related infrastructures and data at the local, national and European levels. (3) Facilitated access to future ESFRI related calls, applying “ecosystem” or “whole-systems” approaches. (4) Participation in eLTER enables the Swiss research system to apply a comprehensive and integrated view of interactions in natural and human-influenced systems. (5) LTER Switzerland's participation in eLTER further increases the visibility of the Swiss research system, fostering national collaboration with the ETHs and Swiss universities, international networking and globally competitive research frameworks for cutting-edge research, and expanding opportunities to promote Switzerland's excellent forest and ecosystem research expertise and unrivaled research facilities to stakeholders in public administration and industry.
The Swiss Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) programme
Körner C, Berninger U-G, Daim A, Eberl T, Mendoza FF, Füreder L, Grube M, Hainzer E, Kaiser R, Meyer E, Newesely C, Niedrist G, Niedrist GH, Petermann JS, Seeber J, Tappeiner U, Wickham S (2023) Long-term monitoring of high-elevation terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the Alps – a five-year synthesis. eco.mont – Volume 14, Number 2, July 2022, ISSN 2073-106X print version – ISSN 2073-1558 online version: http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/eco.mont https://dx.doi.org/10.1553/eco.mont-14-2s48