What are LTEs?

Long-term ecological experiments are experiments that have been undertaken at an ecosystem level for more than six years. These are controlled, replicated, manipulative experiments that are being undertaken in the field. 

Why are LTEs important?

Changes in ecosystems do not always occur quickly, some may take decades to take place. LTEs therefore provide us with the vital opportunity to study real-world systems on time scales appropriate to ecosystems. 

Ecosystem level experiments help us understand the changes we see around us. By manipulating ecosystems experimentally, simulating different management regimes or adjusting climatic variables, we can begin to identify and isolate the key drivers of change.

Key variables on experimental sites are monitored over many years, by comparing results from treated plots to those of controls - plots of the same size which have not been treated - it is possible to identify the effects of the experimental treatments on the natural environment.

Do you work on an LTE?

If you work on a long term experiment and feel that it should be included on the ECT register and website, please complete our LTE assessment form and e-mail it to Ben Sykes. View our LTE scoring criteria to ensure that you include the necessary information in your form before submitting.

Applications will be assessed by the ECT Trustees. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within one month of receipt of all required information.