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Cocciufa C.,CFS | Cerretti P.,Centro Nazionale per lo Studio e la Conservazione della Biodiversita Forestale Bosco della Fontana | Matteucci G.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean | Matteucci G.,CNR Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology | Carpaneto G.M.,Third University of Rome
IForest | Year: 2011

Italy entered the International Long Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) in 2006, contributing a group of research sites in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems to the global network. Five forest sites are included in the Italian Network. They are representative of the main forest ecosystems in Italy and integrate 15 research stations managed by different institutes. Starting from LTER rationale and basic concepts, the first part of the paper reviews the status of LTER Italy forest sites, the strengths resulting from multidisciplinary expertise and site management, current activities and available datasets. Long term data series on key environmental parameters show the high scientific value of these sites, where monitoring and/or research is still ongoing. But two main LTER issues are currently arising in the international context: (1) overall consistency of datasets; (2) harmonization of sampling methods. For this reason, the second part of the paper investigates the suitability of Italian forest sites to address recommended long term research topics and ecological issues of global concern and to investigate the shift from in-site monitoring to crosssite cooperation and inter-site research. © iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry. Source

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