ILTER - The International Long-Term Ecological Research Network as a Platform for Global Coastal and Ocean Observation

Type Article
Date 2019-08
Language English
Author(s) Muelbert Jose H.1, 2, Nidzieko Nicholas J.3, 4, Acosta Alicia T. R.5, Beaulieu Stace E.6, Bernardino Angelo F.7, Boikova Elmira8, Bornman Thomas G.9, 10, Cataletto Bruno11, Deneudt Klaas12, Eliason Erika3, 4, Kraberg Alexandra13, Nakaoka MasahiroORCID14, Pugnetti Alessandra15, Ragueneau Olivier16, Scharfe Mirco17, Soltwedel ThomasORCID13, Sosik Heidi M.6, Stanisci Angela18, Stefanova Kremena19, Stephan Pierre20, Stier Adrian3, 4, Wikner Johan21, Zingone Adriana22
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Fed Rio Grande, Inst Oceanog, Rio Grande, Brazil.
2 : Univ Tasmania, Inst Marine Sci & Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tas, Australia.
3 : Univ Calif Santa Barbara, Dept Geog, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA.
4 : Univ Calif Santa Barbara, Inst Marine Sci, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA.
5 : Roma Tre Univ, Dept Sci, Rome, Italy.
6 : Woods Hole Oceanog Inst, Dept Biol, Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA.
7 : Univ Fed Espirito Santo, Dept Oceanog, Grp Ecol Bentica, Vitoria, ES, Brazil.
8 : Univ Latvia, Inst Biol, Marine Ecol Lab, Riga, Latvia.
9 : South African Environm Observat Network, Elwandle Coastal Node, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
10 : Nelson Mandela Univ, Coastal & Marine Res Inst, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
11 : Ist Nazl Oceanog & Geofis Sperimentale, Trieste, Italy.
12 : Flanders Marine Inst, Oostende, Belgium.
13 : Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, Bremerhaven, Germany.
14 : Hokkaido Univ, Field Sci Ctr Northern Biosphere, Akkeshi Marine Stn, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.
15 : CNR, Inst Marine Sci, Venice, Italy.
16 : Inst Univ Europ Mer, Lab Sci Environm Marin, LTSER Zone Atelier Brest Iroise, Plouzane, France.
17 : Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res, Alfred Wegener Inst, Biol Anstalt Helgoland, Bremerhaven, Germany.
18 : Univ Molise, Dipartimento Biosci & Territorio, Termoli, Italy.
19 : Bulgarian Acad Sci, Inst Oceanol, Varna, Bulgaria.
20 : Inst Univ Europ Mer, CNRS, Lab LETG, LTSER Zone Atelier Brest Iroise, Plouzane, France.
21 : Umea Univ, Umea Marine Sci Ctr, Umea, Sweden.
22 : Staz Zool Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy.
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (Frontiers Media Sa), 2019-08 , Vol. 6 , N. 527 , P. 14p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00527
WOS© Times Cited 30
Keyword(s) climate change, marine ecosystems, ecology, EOVs, SWOT, DEIMS

Understanding the threats to global biodiversity and ecosystem services posed by human impacts on coastal and marine environments requires the establishment and maintenance of ecological observatories that integrate the biological, physical, geological, and biogeochemical aspects of ecosystems. This is crucial to provide scientists and stakeholders with the support and knowledge necessary to quantify environmental change and its impact on the sustainable use of the seas and coasts. In this paper, we explore the potential for the coastal and marine components of the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) to fill this need for integrated global observation, and highlight how ecological observations are necessary to address the challenges posed by climate change and evolving human needs and stressors within the coastal zone. The ILTER is a global network encompassing 44 countries and 700 research sites in a variety of ecosystems across the planet, more than 100 of which are located in coastal and marine environments (ILTER-CMS). While most of the ILTER-CMS were established after the year 2000, in some cases they date back to the early 1900s. At ILTER sites, a broad variety of abiotic and biotic variables are measured, which may feed into other global initiatives. The ILTER community has produced tools to harmonize and compare measurements and methods, allowing for data integration workflows and analyses between and within individual ILTER sites. After a brief historical overview of ILTER, with emphasis on the marine component, we analyze the potential contribution of the ILTER-CMS to global coastal and ocean observation, adopting the "Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT)" approach. We also identify ways in which the in situ parameters collected at ILTER sites currently fit within the Essential Ocean Variables framework (as proposed by the Framework for Ocean Observation recommendations) and provide insights on the use of new technology in long-term studies. Final recommendations point at the need to further develop observational activities at LTER sites and improve coordination among them and with external related initiatives in order to maximize their exploitation and address present and future challenges in ocean observations.

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Muelbert Jose H., Nidzieko Nicholas J., Acosta Alicia T. R., Beaulieu Stace E., Bernardino Angelo F., Boikova Elmira, Bornman Thomas G., Cataletto Bruno, Deneudt Klaas, Eliason Erika, Kraberg Alexandra, Nakaoka Masahiro, Pugnetti Alessandra, Ragueneau Olivier, Scharfe Mirco, Soltwedel Thomas, Sosik Heidi M., Stanisci Angela, Stefanova Kremena, Stephan Pierre, Stier Adrian, Wikner Johan, Zingone Adriana (2019). ILTER - The International Long-Term Ecological Research Network as a Platform for Global Coastal and Ocean Observation. Frontiers In Marine Science, 6(527), 14p. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :