With the present rate of biodiversity loss and the profound effects of global changes, population and conservation ecologists face new questions. Many of these are related to how fast individuals can adapt to the strength and pace of environmental variability and can only be answered using individual data collected over long-term (Long Terms Individual Based Studies). Beside this undoubted scientific value, a 20 – 30 years study is likely to have trained several generations of scientists, fostered collaborations between a large number of research institutes and promoted public awareness on scientific themes and wildlife conservation problems. With current public systems providing funds for 3 to 4 years, it is increasingly difficult to initiate and maintain a long-term individual based study. As a consequence, many field studies end before time, without reaching the number of years or the amount of data needed to meet current scientific challenges and to demonstrate their educational value.Here, we argue that the value of LTIBS is multidimensional and it grows steadily with time. How and when does a long-term field study become important? [..] continue reading here
This text is in honor of Dr. Alan Roy Johnson (1941-2014, Photo), Dr. Heinz Hafner (1940-2003) and other pioneers of LTIBS. By focusing the attention on the multidimensional value of LTIBS we aimed to pay a tribute to them and to those people who, thanks to their passion, personal sacrifices and tenacity are keeping these projects alive.