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Action 4 - Network Design

Action Responsible


The Action has been developed with the support of External Assistance, based on an agreement between University of Rome “La Sapienza” - Department of Biology and Biotecnology “Charles Darwin” and the National Centre for the Study and Conservation of Forest Biodiversity “Bosco della Fontana” (Verona). Reference persons: Alessandro Campanaro, Paolo Colangelo (see “Partners” section).



The Action 4 (“Network Design”) is involved in the EnvEurope project for all those aspects concerning an improved LTER network design. Action 4 will consider and elaborate all the relevant EnvEurope outcomes (from all the other Actions) in order to produce a know-how on the organization (or re-structuring, if necessary) of the  network to improve the information flow and high value research and monitoring.

The harmonized network designed by the A4 should:

  1. Reflect the environmental and economic stratification of Europe and key ecosystem types
  2. Be connected to other site-based environmental networks
  3. Interact with the European initiative GMES and its specific projects
  4. Contribute to the implementation of SEIS and the Inspire Directive in LTER

In a first phase, the network design will mainly deal with the issue of “site gaps filling” in order to provide solutions to ensure the best site coverage for long-term ecological research and monitoring in Europe. Successively, A4 through a thorough evaluation of the weaknesses and strengths of the present LTER-Europe network, based on the analysis of an updated set of site metadata, will contribute to organize the monitoring component at different scales of observation, with respect to standardized baseline monitoring for multiple use. Particularly A4 will take into account a cost-effective network design and the potential connections with other site-based environmental networks.


Activities and results

A4 will combine updated metadata at the site level from the whole LTER network with information provided by the other actions of the EnvEurope project, in particular A1, A2, A3 and A5. A special attention will be also directed to the cooperation with other intensive monitoring and conservation networks (e.g. UNECE, ICPs, Natura2000) in order to provide a proposal for the increasing efficiency of ecological monitoring in Europe.

A survey of LTER Europe and Enveurope participating sites was performed through a metadata collection developed in cooperation with Action 1. On this basis, a final report with recommendations will be delivered. The Action has now achieved its IV sub-action regarding the relevance of the LTER European Network to the development of SEIS and GMES initiatives, in collaboration with Action 6. Within this sub-action formal contacts have been taken with national GMES representatives and dissemination activities have been carried out.


Future planning

During next 6 months an evaluation of the LTER network as data provider for remote sensing product validation and calibration will be evaluated; evaluation of the GMES service useful for the network improvement will be also investigated. Furthermore metadata at site level will be reviewed and appropriate analyses will be start.

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