LTER-LIFE is a Large-Scale Research Infrastructure in the making. It will provide a state-of-the-art e-infrastructure to study and predict how changes in climate and other human-induced pressures affect ecosystems and biodiversity. We have successfully applied for funding in the Call for proposals for Large-scale Research Infrastructure – National Roadmap Consortia 2021 of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The programme has started this summer.
In addition to fostering crucial scientific breakthroughs, the LTER LIFE infrastructure will also enable research on societal questions, such as how biodiversity will benefit from specific interventions to reduce nitrogen deposition in the Veluwe area, or how mitigation measures will impact the species composition, and thereby ecosystem functioning, in the Wadden Sea. Hence, LTER LIFE will fit seamlessly into the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and its new EU Nature Restoration Plan, and into national initiatives such as the Deltaplan Biodiversiteitsherstel. By extending the instrument to other ecosystems and their services, LTER-LIFE will also contribute to the European initiative "Destination Earth", demonstrating technological capabilities in simulation, modelling, data science, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing in the context of biodiversity and ecosystems. Thus, the benefits of LTER-LIFE will be widely felt by scientists in the field of biodiversity, ecology and environmental sciences, as well as a broad range of societal organisations.
What is LTER-LIFE built on?
LTER-LIFE is built on three GWIs which are on the Dutch Roadmap for Large Infrastructure: Long-Term Ecosystem Research Netherlands (LTER-NL) carries out and connects time series on long-term ecosystem monitoring within so called LTER sites, and makes these data available for research. LTER-NL is part of LTER-Europe, which is on the European ESFRI road map for large infrastructure. National Environmental Monitoring Network (NemNet) runs a national scheme of abiotic monitoring of soils, water and air. Lastly, LifeWatch develops virtual laboratories to answer fundamental questions on the functioning and resilience of ecosystems. It is part of the European LifeWatch ERIC. LTER-LIFE will lead to, and capitalize on, synergy between these three GWIs.
Who is running LTER-LIFE?
LTER-LIFE is a consortium that consists of five main applicants: Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), University of Amsterdam (UvA), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). In addition, LTER-LIFE is strengthened by a large number of scientific and societal cooperating partners, an educational partner, and data partners, and it is linked with various other large-scale scientific research infrastructures.