Building a Global Ecosystem Research Infrastructure to Address Global Grand Challenges for Macrosystem Ecology

Henry W. Loescher, Rodrigo Vargas, Michael Mirtl, Beryl Morris, Johan Pauw, Xiubo Yu, Werner Kutsch, Paula Mabee, Jianwu Tang, Benjamin L. Ruddell, Peter Pulsifer, Jaana Bäck, Steffen Zacharias, Mark Grant, Gregor Feig, Leiming Zhang, Christoph Waldmann, Melissa A. Genazzio

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The development of several large-, “continental”-scale ecosystem research infrastructures over recent decades has provided a unique opportunity in the history of ecological science. The Global Ecosystem Research Infrastructure (GERI) is an integrated network of analogous, but independent, site-based ecosystem research infrastructures (ERI) dedicated to better understand the function and change of indicator ecosystems across global biomes. Bringing together these ERIs, harmonizing their respective data and reducing uncertainties enables broader cross-continental ecological research. It will also enhance the research community capabilities to address current and anticipate future global scale ecological challenges. Moreover, increasing the international capabilities of these ERIs goes beyond their original design intent, and is an unexpected added value of these large national investments. Here, we identify specific global grand challenge areas and research trends to advance the ecological frontiers across continents that can be addressed through the federation of these cross-continental-scale ERIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020EF001696
JournalEarth's Future
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • environmental research infrastructure
  • federating infrastructure
  • interoperability
  • macrosystem science
  • new capabilities
  • societal benefit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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