The northern central European lowlands, extending mainly from northeastern Germany to northern Poland, provide an ideal 'large scale natural laboratory' for the proposed study because of several reasons. It is a homogeneous landscape shaped by glacier advances during the maximum of the last glaciation.
The main difference is in land-use, spanning from quasi-natural national park areas to intensively used agriculture land. This provides an ideal setting to decipher possible influences of land-use on the landscape evolution. In addition, the existing gradient of increasing climatic continentality towards the eastern part in Poland enables to investigate effects of regional climatic variability. Therefore, we have defined a transect between the recently established TERENO observatory 'Northeastern Lowland Observatory' in the west and the Kashubian Lakeland in the east along which we plan to concentrate the studies in the early phase of ICLEA. The TERENO Observatory offers the best available monitoring infrastructure and the entire study region is rich in excellent geo-archives (natural data loggers).
The National Park and Biosphere reserve service authorities contribute to ICLEA as associated partner and will provide all available documentary and existing monitoring data obtained at the study sites.
ICLEA - A Virtual Institute within the Helmholtz Association