ALTER-Net - Europe’s ecosystem research network

A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network

ALTER-Net is a network of partner institutes from 18 European countries. ALTER-Net integrates research capacities across Europe: assessing changes in biodiversity, analysing the effect of those changes on ecosystem services and informing policymakers and the public about this at a European scale.

Originally funded by the European Union’s Framework VI program to stimulate a collaborative approach, ALTER-Net is now operating independently, contributing to the lasting integration of Europe’s research capacity on biodiversity.

ALTER-Net is...

  • developing approaches to assess and forecast changes in biodiversity and its effects on ecosystems and their services
  • analyzing socio-ecological interlinkages and identifying bottlenecks for nurturing biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • assessing the socio-economic implications and public attitudes to biodiversity loss
  • finding more effective ways to communicate biodiversity issues to a wider range of audiences including politicians as well as EU and intergovernmental decision making bodies

To do this, ALTER-Net...

  • organizes science-policy interface meetings about biodiversity, ecosystem services and society issues
  • organizes an annual Summer School on biodiversity and ecosystem services to train the next generation of biodiversity scientists
  • Establish expert teams within the ALTER-Net network to work on emerging topics such as citizen science, Nature Based Solutions, green infrastructure and N2000
  • Cooperates closely with EPBRS (the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy), the EU commission and relevant networks such as MarBEF (Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning) to work towards the establishment of the Network of Knowledge to support decision making on biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe
  • Collaboration between partner institutions for establishing consortia for H2020 proposals
  • operates the Nature and Biodiversity News and Views public outreach website (
  • established and continues to support the LTER-Europe network of long-term ecosystem research sites and promotes research using this infrastructure (
  • supports the European Lifewatch initiative to increase access to biodiversity data, models and analytical tools (