LTER-Bulgaria is currently composed of 7 sites. These sites widely represent the main ecosystems in Bulgaria – Forest sites – 2 (Petrohan – mainly beech and mixed forests and Yundola – coniferous forests); Wetland – 1 (Srebarna lake); Marine macro-site – 1 (Black sea); Coastal zone – 1 (Sozopol Bay); Freshwater body – 1 (Mesta river). They cover the major biogeographical regions. Two more places are considered to be potential LTER sites. At present there is some opportunity to develop one of them as LTSER Platform – site Belasitza Mountain.
Bulgarian Antarctic Research station – Island Livingston, is outside Bulgarian national boundaries but it is fully managed by Bulgarian research staff. This site has a particular strategic and political importance and its scientific program strongly supports research on climate change effects on ecosystems.
Each site has a responsible contact person – site coordinator.
LTER-Bulgaria was developed according to ILTER criteria:
The Bulgarian Network is open and will be further developed by including new sites in the near future. The basic criteria will be employed for evaluation of future candidates, but also:
- Long-term ecological data series (at least 5-10 years)
- Ongoing ecological research activities
- Research activities of global importance – ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, climate change
- Ongoing funding at least 3-5 years
- Principal agreement on data exchange.
Proposed sites and hosting institutions are evaluated by The National Coordination Committee.
- Basic commitment of hosting institutions
- Availability of information in English
- Response time to requests – 10 days
There are 2 potential sites ready to be admitted: “Plana” – a site near big urban area and Belasitza Mountain – as LTSER Platform.
LTER-Bulgaria also agreed on minimum common ecological parameters to be measured at every LTER site of the network, as they are required by LTER-Europe.
LTER Bulgaria - Forest sites
LTER Bulgaria - Wetland
LTER Bulgaria - Marine sites
LTER Bulgaria - Costal zone
LTER Bulgaria - Freshwater body
LTER Bulgaria - Antarctica