The Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER or PELD) is conceived and funded by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific Research and Development (CNPq), and is part of the Ministry of Science and Technology's “Science, Technology and Innovation for Nature and Climate” program (MCT).
It represents a pioneering initiative with regard to obtaining information on fundamental aspects for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Brazilian ecosystems. It was created in 1996, under the Integrated Ecology Program (IPE), and focuses on the establishment of permanent research sites in several Brazilian biomes and ecosystems, integrated in a network for the development and monitoring of long-term ecological research.
PELD excels in the training of human resources and consolidating research in Ecology in Brazil, as it is one of the few programs that fund long-term research. It offers an investigation on themes such as composition, functioning and dynamics of ecosystems, and the effects of changes caused by natural and/or anthropogenic disturbances, dealing with key ecological processes for understanding the mechanisms and patterns that shape the planet's biodiversity and its services environmental issues.
No PELD Site 1: Amazon Forest - Manaus researchers and projects linked to the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA) work in partnership in the investigation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the humid tropical forest. At this moment, the PELD is in its second phase of implementation. The first phase corresponding to the period 1998 - 2008 and most of the results are available on our website.
Currently, the PELD site in Manaus encompasses three INPA Forest Reserves in the Central Amazon. These reserves include extensive areas of tropical rainforest (Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve and Tropical Forestry Experimental Station - Cuieiras Forest Reserve), forest fragments, pastures and secondary forests (Forest Fragments Reserves). These areas represent three levels of human impact in the region, including practically zero impact on primary forests; reduced impact on selective logging areas; and high impact on forest fragments concession for pastures.
Other similar programs are being developed in the remaining 26 Brazilian sites and in 48 other international sites. Soon, all these raised insects are electronically interconnected, in order to facilitate the exchange of information and field research results.