Koiliaris Critical Zone Observatory (KRB-CZO)
Hydrological Observatory of Athens (HOA)
Samothraki Nature Observatory (SNO)
Samaria National Park (SNP)
Finokalia Atmospheric Observatory (FAO)
Lesvos Biodiversity Observatory (LBO)
Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO)
Pinios Hydrologic Observatory (PHO)

The vision of LTER-Greece is to contribute to the improvement of all citizens’ quality of life via the long-term and large scale research that targets at the conservation, upgrading and sustainable use of ecosystems and their services.

Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) is an essential component of world-wide efforts to better understand ecosystems. Through research and monitoring, LTER seeks to improve our knowledge of the structure and functions of ecosystems and their long-term response to environmental, societal and economic drivers. 

The mission of LTER-Greece is to offer the scientific community, the decision makers, and overall the community, reliable scientific information and prognostic understanding of the environmental, ecological and socio-economic processes and procedures; and to compile and update solutions for current and forecasted environmental problems at local, national, European and global level.

The ambition of LTER-Greece is to offer services to the State, the interested Bodies and the society, to address the contemporary environmental challenges: mitigation of climate change impacts, preservation and security of natural resources, protection of biodiversity and confrontation of natural disasters.  The observatories are birthplaces to fresh research ideas, cradles to foster and establish young scientists, innovation hubs, spaces for deliberation-consultation and practicing the science of the citizen.

OUR NETWORK

Greek Long-term Ecosystem Research

The profile of the Hellenic long-term ecological research network (LTER-Greece) is that of a synergetic grid of scientists and stakeholders engaged in the long-term environmental, ecological, and socio-economic research in Greece. The observatories of the network focus on the holistic study of the environment-ecosystem-food-society-energy NEXUS in addressing challenges on…

  • climate change,
  • biodiversity loss,
  • pollution,
  • non-sustainable management of soil and water resources,

in our country, in Europe and globally.

The approach to tackle these challenges includes the development of scientific methodologies that emerge from the study and analysis of concerns/problems identified at varying environments (ecosystems), strengthening of scientific collaborations, shaping and raising environmental awareness, pursuing co-design of solutions and social consensus in hand with interested parties, promoting best practices through successful case studies.

LTER-Greece

Greek Long-term Ecosystem Research

About Us

Development of a region is based on the exploitation of its natural resources that derive from: the atmosphere, the soil, the water and the geological substratum.  Over-exploitation of these resources affect the environment and the ecosystems negatively and cause severe socio-economic impacts. For several decades neither the importance of the environment to our civilization, nor its vulnerability to imposed changes were realized. Monitoring the impact of manmade activities to the environment was neglected. In depth study of the factors that control the evolution of the biotic and abiotic parameters of the environment was not performed.

Land use and natural resources exploitation have been considerably altered and immensely intensified nowadays, compared to half a century ago, impacting severely the ecosystems and Man. Greece, lacks coordinated systematic operation of environmental monitoring networks, that are necessary for understanding natural processes and phenomena towards integrated environmental management.

Systematic monitoring of environmental variables at the field and holistic environmental management are key prerequisites to rational sustainable development. Design of appropriate measures against environmental degradation, natural resources and biodiversity restoration, as well as the efficient protection of infrastructure need to be based on deep understanding of the mechanisms that control the evolution of natural environment. Data on the natural resources and the biodiversity variables from reliable monitoring networks and wisely designed widely available databases, need to drive natural processes understanding, and the design of smart solutions that are successfully implemented. Due to the unprecedented environmental changes, mainly on land use and climate, that impact negatively on the available natural resources, this need becomes imperative.

  • Collaboration

    Promote the cooperation and coordinate scientists and scientific networks involved in long-term research of environmental, ecological, socio-economic, and critical zone systems.

  • Data

    Improve the comparability of long-term ecological, social and economic data originating from observatories across the globe and facilitate exchange and preservation of such data.

  • Science

    Provide scientific information to scientists, policy makers and the interested public to cover the needs of decision makers

  • Education

    Train the next generation of scientists

LTER-Greece Observatories and Ecosystems

Greek Long-term Ecosystem Research

LTER-Greece currently comprises 8 observatories, thus largely covering the climatic, geomorphological and biogeographical diversity of the country, along with various existing socio-economic development models (urban, peri-urban, rural, pristine-natural). Each one of the observatories is characterized by a specific thematic specialization, and in whole they cover representative aspects of the national ecosystemic profile:

  1. Mixed land use Mediterranean ecosystem (forest, grassland, rural, touristic) – Koiliaris, Crete [KCZO]
  2. Urban and peri-urban observatory – Athens, Attika [HOA]
  3. Coastal Mediterranean ecosystem (coastal zone, wetland-agricultural ecosystems) – Costa Navarino, Peloponnese [NEO]
  4. Biodiversity observatory – Lesvos, N. Aegean Sea [LES]
  5. Agro-ecosystem – Pinios, Thessaly [PHO]
  6. Atmosphere observatory- Finokalia, Crete [FIN]
  7. National Forest – Samaria National Park of White Mountains, Crete [SAM]
  8. Pristine island ecosystem – Samothraki, N. Aegean Sea [SNO]
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1

Mediterranean mixed land ecosystem (forest, grassland, rural, tourist) – Koiliaris, Crete

2

Urban and Environmental Observatory – Athens

3

Mediterranean coastal ecosystem (coastal zone, wetland-agricultural ecosystems) – NEO

4

Biodiversity Observatory – Lesvos

5

Rural ecosystem – Pinios

6

Atmospheric Observatory – Finokalia, Crete

7

National Park – Samaria (White Mountains National Park)

8

Nearly undisturbed island ecosystem – Samothrace (NATURA area)

Our Network forms the national chapter of the European network LTER Europe, with over 400 observatories, which is part of the global network family (ILTER), that counts over 700 members. The central management committee of LTER Greece coordinates its operation which is ruled by a memorandum of understanding duly signed by all participating bodies.

LTER-Greece develops and applies state-of-the-art technologies and multi-disciplinary methodologies to monitor and assess the environmental conditions and the impacts of development activities, to comprehend processes and compile targeted protection and management measures at local, regional and global scales, with the participation of the Citizen for the Citizen.

 

The network produces high-frequency and long-term biotic and abiotic measurements. It examines environmental challenges in a broad spectrum of climatic conditions, hydrogeomorphologic characteristics, land and natural resources use, accounting for the socio-ecologic and socio-economic dimensions.

It also endorses collaborative action and interlinkage of monitoring stations and data bases, thus actively supporting and promoting the efforts to develop and systematically operate a unified, open access national environmental data base that produces and provides reliable data to reach safe conclusions; This, shall resolve the issue of several fragmented and not coordinated attempts in the past to develop such data bases, that have often led to the production of discontinuous  data of questionable quality.

LTER-Greece interconnects to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) through participation to two emblematic Η2020 e-LTER projects that target at the foundation of the official European network of long-term ecological monitoring. The General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI), which is the official Research funding body of Greece, has signed the memorandum of understanding that offers political support to the foundation and operation of LTER Europe, and members of the LTER Greece central management committee are appointed as official representatives at the Interim Council of these projects. The network pursues and establishes synergistic activities between the observatories to contest for and implement awarded research projects funded by European or national funding initiatives. All member observatories are registered with the international data base DEIMS.

Consortium

Greek Long-term Ecosystem Research

 
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