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Bosque (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0717-9200


MAASS, Manuel  and  EQUIHUA, Miguel. The International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network after 20 years since its creation: advances and challenges. Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.3, pp.415-419. ISSN 0717-9200.

Twenty years after being established, the ILTER network embraces more than 600 groups from 37 countries. The ecological research at the ILTER network has moved from a merely ecological focus toward a more socio-ecological approach. The network is now more committed to social needs and with higher international presence. An important challenge in the next years will be to encourage a more socioecosystem and trans-disciplinary research. Its wide and flexible research agenda, along with its particular commitment from its groups to work on specific sites for a long time (know as "site based research"), makes ILTER particularly useful and relevant in dealing with the current environmental crisis. The network has incorporated tools and protocols to improve collaboration, such as common metadata management protocols and a multilingual information research system. It is still necessary to improve the efficiency of information delivery to the general public, promoting a more integrated, useful, comprehensive and local context information. The network should also keep promoting "bottom up" initiatives as well as the participation of students and early career scientists. We cannot expect the same level of participation between networks. However, we do expect the same level of commitment and should promote the evaluation of the national networks; not as an exclusion process, but as a mechanism to stimulate collaboration, as well as for an early detection of problems of integration. The ILTER network should keep increasing its geographic presence promoting the integration of single affiliated sites as seeds for the development of future national networks.

Keywords : LTER; ILTER; socioecosystem; socio-ecological systems; transdiscipline; Mex-LTER.

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