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National LTER Network of Latvia
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ILTER is a global ‘network of networks’ of research sites located in a wide array of ecosystems worldwide that can help understand long term environmental changes across globe. Latvia is a member of International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network and Europe Long Term Ecological Research member network (EUROPE LTER).  

National LTER network of Latvia is supported by the Council of Sciences of Latvia. It consists of two terrestrial sites (Mazsalaca pine forest ecosystems, Randu meadows), two freshwater sites (Salaca river, Riga HPS reservoir), one marine site  and one LT(S)ER (Long Term Socioecological Research) platform (Drainage basin of the Lake Engure).

Objectives of studies:

·        Effects of climate warming on species diversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

·        Long term effects of human influence and ecosystem management practice on  communities and ecosystems of Latvia

·        Providing data on the state of ecosystems of Latvia for governmental environment protection institutions

·        Support to environmental education at universities, schools and whole society level

History of  long term ecological research in Latvia

  • 1950  - beginning of long term population studies of water birds of Lake Engure, a  Ramsar site
  • 1976 – beginning of long term hydroecological studies of water reservoir after building of Riga Hydropower station.
  • 1982 - regular hydroecological  observations were started on the Salaca River, a medium salmon river of Northern Latvia
  • 1992  - beginning of long term studies of Scots pine forest ecosystems  of North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve near the town Mazsalaca  
  • 1995  -  beginning of long term studies of Lake Engure aquatic ecosystems,  surrounding wetlands and terrestrial ecosystems
  • 1996 – beginning  of long-term studies of biodiversity of coastal meadow reserve  ‘Randu meadows’   of the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve
  •  2003 - representatives of  ILTER and Robert Wide  visited Latvia and examined long term research performed in the country. Latvia receives financial support from US NSF for implementation of National LTER network. Support from the Council of Sciences of Latvia, long term research project grants.
  • 2004 – on the annual ILTER Coordinating Committee  meeting in Manaus (Brazil) Latvia was officially accepted as a member  of ILTER network
  • 2007 - in Balatonfured (Hungary) Latvia was among founders of the European regional LTER network .

Research projects

*    Changes in species diversity on the background of fluctuations of climatic and     anthropogenic factors (2009-2013)

*    Development of conceptual integrated model of socioeconomic biodiversity pressures, drivers and impacts for the long-term socioecological research platform of Latvia (2010-2014)

*   Variability of climate in Latvia and its impact on hydroecosystems (2005-2009)

*   Biota migration in the hemiboreal zone: current state, control and prognoses (2005-2009).

*    The impact of environmental changes on the development of freshwater communities and quality of hydroecosystems (2005-2009)

*    Dynamics of Latvian avifauna (2005-2009)

*    Biodiversity of the coastal zone of the Gulf of Riga under anthropogenic impact (2005-2009)

*    Effects of Climate Change on the Nature of Latvia (2005-2009)

Research sites of the Latvia LTER network:

       * Mazsalaca pine forest ecosystems

       * Randu meadows

       * Salaca River

       * Reservoir of Riga Hydropower station

       * Engure LT(S)ER site

       * Engure marine site

LTER Project