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Mission

The objectives of AnaEE-ERIC

Keeping ecosystems healthy and productive is a key issue for the future of the planet, and more scientific knowledge is needed in order to better understand and safeguard the services they provide. Human-caused climate change and other environmental impact poses multiple threats and challenges, that can be better understood when studying them in a comprehensive way.

AnaEE-ERIC (Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems) is a distributed research infrastructure that offers a network of experimental facilities across Europe, equipped with advanced tools for conducting experiments and collecting data on how ecosystems respond to changes like climate change.

Two long-term experimental AnaEE-ERIC facilities, Bílý Kříž (left) is an enclosed, controlled environment that investigates trees future behavior in changing climate conditions. To the right, foulum in Demark, which is an open-air facility that evaluates long-term effects on biomass productivity with special focus on carbon and nitrogen balances.

Mission

AnaEE-ERIC's main mission is to operate a research infrastructure focused on studying and experimenting on terrestrial ecosystems. Its aim is to provide the necessary tools, services, and knowledge to address the complex environmental and climate challenges affecting society.

We also provide industry and agriculture with valuable resources, expertise, and collaboration opportunities to address environmental challenges, drive innovation, and promote sustainable development.

The uniqueness of our facilities is the experimental approach, where ecosystems can be manipulated and exposed to changes, such as pollution, biological invasions, greenhouse gas emissions and extreme events such as droughts and heatwaves.

The expermentational approach provides insights to the effectiveness of different climate-actions, allowing policymakers to assess the impact of regulations and management strategies before implementing them on a broader scale. This ultimately serves the society as a whole as well.

AnaEE-ERIC's experimental approach advances scientific methods and our understanding of the climate change impact.

Recognizing the gaps in knowledge highlighted by intergovernmental agencies and academics, AnaEE-ERIC focuses on complementing observational approaches with advanced experimental methods. These methods allow researchers to control various parameters and test hypotheses across different ecosystems.

AnaEE-ERIC stands out for its ability to provide diverse experimental settings across a wide range of ecosystems, serving as a crucial piece in addressing societal challenges. It offers a single point of access in Europe for comprehensive ecosystem research, involving relevant infrastructure and engaging stakeholders.

By offering access to long-term data, we can support studies over time and offer unique insights into environmental trends. By bringing together technology, data, and expertise, researchers can better address complex environmental challenges and test new ideas.

The uniqueness and value of AnaEE-ERIC lie in its emphasis on experimental methods as the foundation of its infrastructure. By effectively integrating experimentation and modeling activities, AnaEE-ERIC advances ecosystem science, particularly in expanding Earth system models. The approach revolves around manipulation, measurements, modeling, mitigation, and management of continental ecosystems.

The method

AnaEE-ERIC is organised as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) that brings together a series of state-of-the-art experimental and analytical facilities for ecosystem research throughout Europe. By linking these facilities with modelling approaches, AnaEE advances our understanding of the environmental impacts of ongoing global change and fosters adaptation and mitigation strategies for safeguarding ecosystem services and their economic and societal benefits.

In AnaEE, a series of Open-air and Enclosed experimental facilities covers major biomes and ecosystems of Europe. Compared to other continents and other European research infrastructures, we offer a greater density of highly instrumented research facilities for sophisticated experimental designs, high geographic resolution and state of the art instrumentation. National and transnational access (TNA) is used to facilitate global change studies across natural gradients of climate.

Coordinated experiments may include de novo manipulation of aquatic and/or terrestrial ecosystems, coupling of Enclosed and Open-air experimentation, and access to samples from long-term Open-air experimental facilities for assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as carbon regulation and sequestration, water quality, soil quality and associated abiotic parameters across multiple scales and in response to multiple drivers of change. 

As many of the facilities have already operated for decades we can also offer comprehensive background data for better long-term temporal resolution. The integrated set of AnaEE facilities, including Analytical and Modelling facilities, offer a unique chance to shape European research on how ecosystems respond to changes and will significantly increase our understanding of global environmental shifts. Alongside, AnaEE runs programs to train and build skills, and fosters scientific activities to support this mission.

Results

AnaEE’s output are not only expert reports, but also maps and graphical portals that are easily understandable. In addition to the scientific papers published by the facility users, and to the delivery of the scientific and technological data from the other Centres, AnaEE will prepare material to support the needs of various stakeholders, such as policy makers, education professionals and citizens.

Analytical facilities also contribute to the development of new analytical methods based on the needs of experimental and modelling facilities, and provide training to technical staff, PhD students, and early-stage researchers.

We will help society to understand how societies can adapt to and which actions are the most powerful in reducng the climate change impact and mitigating changes in ecosystem functioning.

AnaEE-ERIC explores and tests evidence-based adaptation and mitigation strategies that assure plant, soil, water, biodiversity and ecosystem health today and in the future.

To raise citizen awareness, AnaEE will produce educational films and organize workshops. We will also develop partnerships with schools, including field-days, to support environmental education initiatives among young students.

Submitted on June 24, 2020

Updated on June 3, 2024