KISKUN LTER was established in 1995, together with the Hungarian LTER Network. Its study area is the Kiskunság Sand Ridge and its periphery, 14000 km2 altogether, 17% of the area of Hungary. The primarily sandy area is extremely heterogeneous. It consists of arable lands, planted forests, meadows, abandoned fields, settlements, alkaline lakes, wetlands, and species rich remnants of forest steppe. It is also very varying in time: ploughing and setting aside, extensive plantation of alien trees, drainage, wild fires, biological invasions, and fast demographic movements have been happening in the last 100 years, and beyond all those, the area is particularly sensitive to the climate change.
KISKUN LTER aims to study the living environment, to detect and monitor its changes, to understand and model the underlying causes and mechanisms, and to use the knowledge acquired to help preserving the biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The major actor behind the changes is the human being, the the quality of the changed living environment impact the quality of the human life. We study the living environment and its ecological processes embedded into the social and economical environment. Thus complex social-economical-ecological approach is recognised by the LTER Europe designated KISKUN as a "LTSER", which stands for Long-Term Socio-Ecological Reseach platform.
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