SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science) is a national infrastructure for terrestrial and limnological field research. SITES aims to promote high-quality research through long-term field measurements and field experiments, and by making data available.

The core of SITES is nine field research stations that represent a variety of Swedish climate zones and ecosystems, including agricultural land, forests, wetlands, lakes and streams. The purpose of SITES is to offer researchers, regardless of institution, well-functioning and infrastructures for field research. SITES also runs several long-term data collection programmes that provide researchers with contextual data.

SITES is funded by the Swedish Research Council, together with the principals of the research stations. The coordinator of SITES is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), where also the secretariat is located.
The collaboration is regulated by a consortium agreement between the principals. SITES is governed by an independent steering group and the daily work is led by a scientifically well merited director.

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SITES Background and Formation

The Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) at the Swedish Research Council published a report on the current state of research stations and other field-based infrastructure for ecological and environmental research in terrestrial and freshwater environments in 2012.
The report showed that there was a large number of stations with the potential to serve as a national resource for research. Based on the report RFI decided to allocate funds for a national infrastructure of field-based research facilities and research stations for terrestrial and freshwater ecology and environmental research. A call was made in 2012 in which universities and other research organizations were to nominate stations to be included in the infrastructure. The nominations were reviewed by a panel of international experts, who gave recommendations on which stations qualified to be part of the collaboration and how the infrastructure should be developed.

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SITES contributes to long-term, field-based ecosystem research at world-class level by offering a unique infrastructure and competence in a way that attracts Swedish as well as international researchers.

Principals of SITES

University of Gothenburg
Swedish Polar Research Secretariat
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Uppsala University

Steering group (2021-03-01 – 2024-02-29)

  • Anna Gårdmark, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, chair
  • Anders Hedenström, Lund University, vice-chair
  • Jan Bengtsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Johan Bergh, Linneaus University
  • Inger Kappel Schmidt, University of Copenhagen
  • Jan Karlsson, Umeå University
  • Hanna Silvennoinen, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Scientific Advisory Board (2021-02-01 – 2024-02-01)

  • Mari Kallersjö, chair
  • Göran Ståhl, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, vice-chair
  • Klaus Steenberg Larsen, University of Copenhagen
  • Gerlinde de Deyn, Wageningen University & Research
  • Kathleen Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies