LTER Finland (Finnish Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research network) brings together the Finnish research sites and scientists that have conducted world-class research on long-term socio-ecological processes and problems into a coordinated Finnish research infrastructure, where the expertise and resources of both universities and main governmental research institutes are combined. These ecosystem research sites/platforms support, enhance and promote the inter-disciplinary investigation of long-term biodiversity and ecosystem processes at varying spatial and temporal scales. The long-term perspective helps to determine the impacts of drivers and pressures of environmental change and to investigate ecosystem processes and their response to environmental pressures. Finland is also intentionally stressing socioecological and socioeconomic research components in the national and international LT(S)ER networks.
- To provide a national infrastructure for long-term site-based ecosystem and biodiversity research in Finland, including climate change impacts, as a part of INAR RI Ecosystems
- To provide the Finnish contribution to the European LTER-network (LTER-Europe). LTER Finland is also a part of the global international LTER-network (ILTER)
- To collaborate with the international ESFRI-initiative ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observing system)
- To become an attractive alternative for cooperation and visits by talented researchers from abroad
- To facilitate stakeholder learning and education in all levels in the area of conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services
Research and monitoring themes within national and international LTER networks cover a wide spectrum of ecosystem studies:
- Research and monitoring related to the LTER-Europe and ILTER core areas (global water circulation, biogeochemical processes, changes in biodiversity)
- Other ecosystem processes and disturbances
- Ecosystem services (e.g. photosynthesis, regulation of climate, soil health and soil fertility, insect pest control, forest and agricultural production, carbon assimilation, water resources, regeneration of habitats, recreation)
- Societal and other socio-economic pressures on the functioning of the ecosystems (e.g. political decisions, land use)
- Effects on the local communities of nature conservation and resource exploitation
- Local environmental conflicts
LTER Finland (formerly called FinLTSER) was formally accepted as key national-level Research Infrastructure (RI) and included into national RI-roadmap in December 2008.
LTER Finland is closely related to INAR RI Ecosystems, research infrastructure (RI) project (2017–2021) funded by the Academy of Finland aiming to strengthen the Finnish ecosystem research and its linkages to atmospheric sciences. LTER Finland is also represented in the current Finnish Research Infrastructure Roadmap as part of INAR RI, a large consortium for Integrated Atmospheric and Earth System Science Research. The LTER Finland sites Hyytiälä and Pallas also belong to the international ICOS RI (Integrated Carbon Observation System, see also ICOS-Finland).
The environmental RIs are currently developing towards improved European scale coordination. LTER-Europe network is participating in this development through aiming for the European RI roadmap (RM) with eLTER RI. The eLTER RI proposal to the RM was submitted in August 2017. If eLTER RI is accepted to the European RM, the implementation of an operative research infrastructure will start. LTER Finland aims to actively promote the RM process and participate the preparations. The LTER Finland coordinates the Finnish participation to European process.