A Blueprint for a Distributed Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Infrastructure

Authored by: Heye Bogena , Harrie-Jan Hendricks Franssen , Carsten Montzka , Harry Vereecken

Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Infrastructures

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498751315
eBook ISBN: 9781315368252
Adobe ISBN:


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Although there is growing awareness that continuous observation of the various terrestrial subsystems (i.e., atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere, biosphere) is essential in improving our understanding of the complex influences of global change on terrestrial ecosystems, existing networks of long-term research infrastructures tend to address only specific issues (e.g., carbon balance). In this chapter, we advocate the need for long-term, distributed terrestrial ecosystem research infrastructures (TERIs) for a new level of fully integrated, multidisciplinary global change research. TERI networks would offer significant potential to address a wide range of challenging environmental problems. Knowledge gained through these networks will be critical in understanding, detecting, and forecasting changes in terrestrial ecosystems that affect important ecological services upon which society depends. Such a network of integrated observation platforms will provide information necessary for societies to adapt to broad-scale changes such as those associated with land use, demographic, and climate change. In this chapter, we discuss the blueprint for a network of TERIs. Based on the example of the TERENO infrastructure, we present the complexities and challenges confronting the design and implementation of ecological monitoring networks.

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