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Finnish Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research network FinLTSER


FinLTSER (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. 

The FinLTSER network was established in 2006 and consists presently of nine highly instrumented sites/research platforms, representing the main ecosystems (marine, terrestrial, lake, sub-arctic, urban) in Finland. The core infrastructure of the FinLTSER infrastructure is formed of:  

The University of Helsinki acts as coordination body of FinLTSER. 

National and international research infrastructure

FinLTSER is a part of international LTER-networks i.e. being a formal member both in the LTER-Europe  and International LTER -networks.

FinLTSER was formally accepted as key national-level Research Infrastructure (RI) and included into national RI-roadmap in December 2008.

FinLTSER 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. FinLTSER 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 FinLTSER 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. FinLTSER aims to actively promote the RM process and participate the preparations. The FinLTSER coordinates the Finnish participation to European process.

Research themes  

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  

Aims of FinLTSER 

  • 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). FinLTSER 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  


A high level coordination group for Finnish environmental research, appointed 25.1.2006 by the Ministry of the Environment, endorsed the network in their meeting in 12.12.2006.  The initial composition of the network (9 sites/research platforms) was also confirmed.  The decision was based on an international evaluation of the proposed sites.  According to the decision of the Coordination Group, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) acts presently as the coordination body of the network.  

FinLTSER was formally accepted as a member network in ILTER and LTER-Europe at the ILTER meeting in Beijing 20-23 August 2007. 

FinLTSER was formally accepted as key national researchInfrastructure (RI) and included into national RI-roadmap in December 2008.

FinLTSER is represented in the Finnish Research Infrastructure Roadmap as part of INAR RI in 2017.


Key national contacts

Finnish Environment Institute

Martin Forsius, main coordinator (martin.forsius(at)ymparisto.fi)
Eeva Furman (eeva.furman(at)ymparisto.fi)
Jussi Vuorenmaa (jussi.vuorenmaa(at)ymparisto.fi)

FinLTSER sites and platforms


Western Gulf of Finland LTER-site WelFin

Coordinator: Marko Reinikainen (marko.j.reinikainen(at)helsinki.fi)
University of Helsinki, Tvärminne Zoological Station

Helsinki Metropolitan Area, HMA-LTSER

Coordinator: Maija Taka (maija.taka(at)aalto.fi)
Aalto University, Department of Built Environment

Coordinator: Heikki Setälä (heikki.setala(at)helsinki.fi)
University of Helsinki, Department of Environmental Sciences

Lepsämänjoki Agricultural Watershed Area LAWA LTSER

Coordinator: Laura Alakukku (laura.alakukku(at)helsinki.fi)
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences

Lammi LTER, Southern Boreal Aquatic and Terrestrial Long Term Ecological Research Area

Coordinator: Lauri Arvola (lauri.arvola(at)helsinki.fi)
University of Helsinki, Lammi Biological Station

Päijänne LTER site

Coordinator: Juha Karjalainen (juha.s.karjalainen(at)jyu.fi)
University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science


Coordinator: Jaana Bäck (jaana.back(at)helsinki.fi)
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences

Bothnian Bay LTSER platform

Coordinator: Jouni Aspi (jouni.aspi(at)oulu.fi)
University of Oulu, Department of Genetics and Physiology

Pallas-Sodankylä LTER observatory

Coordinator: Jussi Paatero (jussi.paatero(at)fmi.fi)
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Research

Northern LTSER platform

Coordinator: Riku Paavola (riku.paavola(at)oulu.fi)
University of Oulu, Oulanka Research Station

Published 2013-05-06 at 13:56, updated 2018-09-10 at 11:21