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Austrian Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network

The Austrian Society for Long-Term Ecological Research - LTER-Austria - was founded in 2002. Since then, Austria has made a significant contribution to the international LTER process. LTER-Austria sees itself as representing the interests of long-term ecological und socio-ecological research. To some extent it also covers the research focus of the Critical Zone concept. All the key relevant institutions and infrastructure organisations are represented in LTER-Austria.

LTER-Austria is a non-profit association according to Austrian law aiming at the advancement of science and infrastructure in the domain of ecological long-term research with special regard to the framework of the European Research Area and the global LTER network.

With reference to the international concept, the LTER-Austria network sees itself as:

  • A network of in-situ components (LTER Sites, LTSER Platforms)

  • A community of scientists and scientific institutions, sharing an underlying consensus in content terms (LTER-Austria White Paper)

  • A “transmission belt” to stakeholders (decision makers and practitioners) to ensure the development of infrastructure and competitive ecosystem research in Austria.

The status and orientation of LTER in Austria are delineated in the “LTER-Austria White Paper 2015

The LTER Process in Austria

  • Austria is involved in the global LTER network (ILTER) since 2001.

  • In 2002, the Austrian Society for Long-Term Ecological Research was founded.

  • The experts of LTER-Austria participated in the FP6 Network of Excellence ALTER-Net. A key result of ALTER-Net was LTER-Europe, founded in 2007.

  • In accordance with LTER-Europe standards, Austrian Sites were selected and LTSER Platforms were/are developed.

  • Since 2014, the Austrian LTER Sites and their opterating institutions officially support the development of a European Research Infrastructure in the domain of LTER.

  • Since 2018, the „Integrated European Long-Term ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological systems Research Infrastructure" - eLTER RI - is on the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

LTER-Austria’s Contributions to the international LTER Network

LTER-Austria is official member of the global LTER network (ILTER) and also of LTER-Europe, one of ILTERs regional groups. The LTER sites and LTSER platforms of LTER-Austria form the Austrian contribution to the European and the global network. As national network, LTER-Austria is involved in the strategic and conceptual framework on international level. It participates in concerted initiatives and activities. Duplication of Work is avoided as far as possible; synergies are used at the best.

LTER-Austria was and is substantially contributing to the conceptual development of LTER and the progression of the LTER network on international level. Scientist from LTER-Austria not only were involved in the development of the LTSER concept. Austria also takes a leading position in the implementation of LTSER platforms. At the moment, the former head of LTER-Austria, Michael Mirtl (Environment Agency Austria), chairs LTER-Europe as well as the International Relations Committee of the global LTER network. One of his intentions on European level is to strengthen the position of LTER on its way to a European Research Infrastructure (eLTER RI). Austria was involved in the application of LTER for the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

LTER-Austria also participates actively in initiatives of LTER-Europe and international projects (e.g. EUDAT, ENVRIplus) concerning data management and the development of required IT tools. The “Expert Panel on Information Management” of LTER-Europe is chaired by Johannes Peterseil (Environment Agency Austria). He is fostering the progression of the international platform DEIMS-SDR (Dynamic Ecological Information Management System - Site and dataset registry), which was implemented for the systematic documentation of LTER sites (meta-data) in 2013.


LTER-Austria - Austrian Society for Long-term Ecological Research
c/o Institute of Social Ecology
Schottenfeldgasse 29
1070 Vienna

Chairwoman: Veronika Gaube (BOKU University)
Deputy Chairman: Michael Bahn (University of Innsbruck)
Secretariat: Andrea Stocker-Kiss (Environment Agency Austria)