Long-term Ecosystem Dynamics

The systematic recording of the primarily anthropogenically caused, rapid changes in biodiversity and ecosystems during the past decades is often insufficiently documented or has been restricted to a few charismatic species groups. This is particularly true for the connections between biotic and abiotic trends. In the Research Activity “Long-term Ecosystem Dynamics,” Senckenberg operates three observatories with international ties to the “Long-Term Ecological Research” (LTER) network in marine, limnic, and terrestrial ecosystems (North Sea Benthos Observatory, Biodiversity Mapping in Frankfurt, Rhein-Main Observatory). In these observatories, systematic long-term data about biodiversity and the environment (over a period of about 10 to 100 years) are generated and analyzed. Senckenberg is an important player in the LTER Network on a national as well as international level, and it is also actively involved in GEO BON (Group on Earth Observation Biodiversity Observation Network). In addition, eLTER (the European LTER consortium) was included in the European Infrastructure Roadmap (ESFRI), so that the SGN LTER areas now also form part of the European infrastructure. We further utilize our extensive expertise in analyzing long-term data in numerous national and international co-operations, which far exceed the data generated by our own observatories and also include the changes on a functional level.