Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

River Ecology and Conservation

The lter-site "Rhine-Main-Observatory"

Ongoing Projects

eLTER H2020

The eLTER H2020 (European Long-Term Ecosystem and Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure) project aims to build and improve the development of European Long-Term Ecosystem Research infrastructures. Important aims are to incorporate societal challenges to delineate user needs for the research infrastructure as well as to create a cost-efficient pan-European network which can be used to tackle a large variety of research objectives. The conceptual realization of the envisaged infrastructure and the integration of data for virtual access are among of the most important tasks. The eLTER project is in close collaboration with the LTER-Europe network and the European Critical Zone Observatories (CZO). Altogether, 162 Long-Term Ecosystem sites spanning 22 countries from all over Europe including the respective datasets are available for the scientific evaluation of long-term trends.


Project duration: June 2015 to May 2019 


In general, biodiversity observation systems and environmental data are not evenly distributed and the collation and provisioning of high-quality environmental data to stakeholders is considered of critical importance. Against this background, the EU BON project (Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network) proposes a new framework to integrate biodiversity information covering environmental data ranging from on-ground to remote sensing data, in order to address policy and information needs in a more efficient and customized way. The project is an integral part of the GEO BON (Group on Earth Observation’s Biodiversity Observation Network) project and intends to improve its technological/informatics infrastructures for a better delivery and access of near real-time environmental data.

EU BON logo

Project duration: December 2012 - May 2017


completed projects


"EnvEurope was conceived synergistically dealing with several key targets and in response to challenges of research within the Long-Term Ecosystem Research in Europe site network (LTER-Europe). The project has been structured to play a role in the conceptual and operative context of the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) promoted by the European Commission and in the development of some components of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a joint initiative of the European Commission and European Space Agency. Within this context the project intends to lay the foundations for a more integrated system for successful long-term ecosystem research and monitoring at the European level, focused on understanding status, trends and changes of environmental quality and on the elaboration of relevant detection systems and methods.” (

The RMO is part of the LTER Europe network and subject matter of the EnvEurope approach in order to define “environmental quality indicators with an integrated long-term, broad scale, cross-domain (terrestrial, continental, wetlands and marine ecosystems) approach.”

ENVeurope logo

Project duration: January 2010 to December 2013

Initial conception and establishment of the Rhine-Main-Obvervatory (RMO)

In 2007, the RMO was established as a unique longterm-research site. The project was funded by the Stiftung Flughafen Frankfurt/Main and aimed at the following objectives:

  • Establishing of a state-of-the-art scientific long-term-research site within one of Germany`s most densely populated areas. The site is comparable to other long-term research sites located in North-America and Germany, hence analyses conducted within the RMO enable evaluations on a national and international level.
  • The processes and relationships between biodiversity and changes in land-use and/or other environmental variables are tracked and analyzed
  • Based on the obtained knowledge, future scenarios focusing on the establishment and development of numerous species of fauna and flora can be applied (i.e. global change).
  • Science-based reference can be used to support any future design and implementation of measures for regional planning, including the conservation of endangered animals and habitats

Flughafenstiftung logo

Project duration: May 2007 to April 2010