Distributed Research Infrastructure “Bulgarian Network for Long-Term Ecosystem Research”
Funding program: National Roadmap for Scientific Research, Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria
Project duration: 2020 - 2027
Keywords: European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network (eLTER), biodiversity, socio-ecological research, standard observations (SOs)

LTER-BG is a distributed scientific infrastructure for long-term ecosystem research, comprising seven research sites located in typical for Bulgaria ecosystems - forests, freshwater, coastal, and marine. The network is currently expanding, by establishing Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platforms exploring human-nature interactions.

Project objectives:

1. Development and upgrading of the research infrastructure of LTER-Bulgaria;

2. Creating facilities for enhancing the quality of scientific research;

3. Application and adaptation of the standard observations, and concepts developed by the European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network (eLTER);

4. Conducting applied research aimed at society and business, based on the Whole System Approach (WAILS).

Part of the research conducted within the network is focused on exploring biodiversity through the utilization of state-of-the-art approaches and methodologies. Three of the standard observations, related to the "Biosphere" section, will apply environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches for soil and water samples, and DNA metabarcoding for flying insects collected with Malaise traps. The LTER-Bulgaria has joined the soil biodiversity monitoring initiative though the Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (SoilBON). Furthermore, five Bulgarian sites were involved in a large-scale European study on biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems through application of eDNA analysis. 

By employing the eDNA approaches, and the eLTER SOs and concepts, the LTER-BG has undertaken a thorough and long-term biodiversity monitoring of soil, water and flying insects in the Bulgarian research sites.

  • Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - coordinator
  • University of Forestry
  • Institute of Oceanology "Fridtjof Nansen", Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Institute of Forestry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


Contact people:  

Svetla Doncheva,

Radka Fikova,

Project website