Towards integration of research and monitoring at forest ecosystems in Europe
Aim of study: The main aim of the work was to summarize availability, quality and comparability of on-going European Research and Monitoring Networks (ERMN), based on the results of a COST FP0903 Action questionnaire carried out in September 2010 and May 2012. Area of study: The COST Action FP0903 involves 29 European countries and 4 non-COST institutions from USA, Morocco and Tunisia. In this study, the total of 22 replies to the questionnaire from 18 countries were included. Materials and methods: Based on the feedback from the Action FP0903 countries, the most popular European Networks were identified. Thereafter, the access to the network database, available quality assurance/quality control procedures and publication were described. Finally, the so-called "Supersites" concept, defined as a "highly instrumented research infrastructure, for both research and monitoring of soil-plant-atmosphere interactions" was discussed. Main results: The result of the survey indicate that the vast majority of the Action FP0903 countries participate in the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forest (ICP Forest). The multi-disciplinary International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems (ICPIM) is the second most widespread forest programme. Research highlights: To fully understand biochemical cycles in forest ecosystems, long-term monitoring is needed. Hence, a network of "Supersites", is proposed. The application of the above infrastructure can be an effective way to attain a better integration of research and monitoring networks at forest sites in Europe.