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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

LTSER platforms as a place-based transdisciplinary research infrastructure: learning landscape approach through evaluation

Angelstam, Per; Manton, Michael; Elbakidze, Marine; Sijtsma, Frans; Adamescu, Mihai Cristian; Avni, Noa; Beja, Pedro; Bezak, Peter; Zyablikova, Iryna; Cruz, Fatima; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Diaz-Delgado, Ricardo; Ens, Bruno; Fedoriak, Mariia; Flaim, Giovanna; Gingrich, Simone; Lavi-Neeman, Miri; Medinets, Sergey; Melecis, Viesturs; Munoz-Rojas, Jose;
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Context Place-based transdisciplinary research involves multiple academic disciplines and non-academic actors. Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platform is one concept with similar to 80 initiatives globally.Objectives As an exercise in learning through evaluation we audited (1) the siting, construction and maintenance of individual LTSER platforms, and (2) them as a distributed infrastructure for place-based transdisciplinary research with focus on the European continent.MethodsFirst, we defined a normative model for ideal performance at both platform and network levels. Second, four surveys were sent out to the 67 self-reported LTSER platforms officially listed at the end of 2016. Third, with a focus on the network level, we analyzed the spatial distribution of both long-term ecological monitoring sites within LTSER platforms, and LTSER platforms across the European continent. Fourth, narrative biographies of 18 platforms in different stages of development were analyzed.ResultsWhile the siting of LTSER platforms represented biogeographical regions well, variations in land use history and democratic governance were not well represented. Platform construction was based on 2.1 ecological monitoring sites, with 72% ecosystem and 28% social system research. Maintenance of a platform required three to five staff members, focused mostly on ecosystem research, was based mainly on national funding, and had 1-2years of future funding secured. Networking with other landscape approach concepts was common.ConclusionsIndividually, and as a network, LTSER platforms have good potential for transdisciplinary knowledge production and learning about sustainability challenges. To improve the range of variation of Pan-European social-ecological systems we encourage interfacing with other landscape approach concepts.


Europe; Landscape approach; Learning through evaluation; Social-ecological system; Stakeholder engagement; Transdisciplinary research

Published in

Landscape Ecology
2019, volume: 34, number: 7, pages: 1461-1484
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Manton, Michael
Aleksandras Stulginskis University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Sijtsma, Frans
University of Groningen
Adamescu, Mihai Cristian
University of Bucharest
Avni, Noa
Dead Sea and Arava Sci Ctr Ramon
Beja, Pedro
Universidade de Lisboa
Bezak, Peter
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Zyablikova, Iryna
Ivan Franko National University Lviv
Cruz, Fatima
Univ Vallodolid
Diaz-Delgado, Ricardo
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)
Ens, Bruno
SOVON Dutch Ctr Field Ornithol
Fedoriak, Mariia
Yuri Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
Flaim, Giovanna
Fondazione Edmund Mach
Gingrich, Simone
University of Bodenkultur Wien
Lavi-Neeman, Miri
Arava Inst Environm Studies
Medinets, Sergey
Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University
Melecis, Viesturs
University of Latvia
Munoz-Rojas, Jose
University of Evora
Schackermann, Jessica
Dead Sea and Arava Sci Ctr
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UKÄ Subject classification

Human Geography

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