Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online December 21, 2023

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2023) 47:26

Long-term ecological monitoring in South Korea: progress and perspectives

Jeong Soo Park1* , Seung Jin Joo2 , Jaseok Lee3 , Dongmin Seo3 , Hyun Seok Kim4 , Jihyeon Jeon4 , Chung Weon Yun5 , Jeong Eun Lee5 , Sei-Woong Choi6 and Jae-Young Lee1

1Division of Climate Change Research, National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon 33657, Republic of Korea
2Center for Atmospheric and Environmental Modeling (CAEM), Seoul 08375, Republic of Korea
3Department of Biological Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea
4Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Bioresources, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
5Department of Forest Science, Kongju National University, Gongju 32588, Republic of Korea
6Department of Environmental Education, Mokpo National University, Muan 58554, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Jeong Soo Park

Received: October 27, 2023; Revised: November 17, 2023; Accepted: November 17, 2023

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The publisher of this article is The Ecological Society of Korea in collaboration with The Korean Society of Limnology


Environmental crises caused by climate change and human-induced disturbances have become urgent challenges to the sustainability of human beings. These issues can be addressed based on a data-driven understanding and forecasting of ecosystem responses to environmental changes. In this study, we introduce a long-term ecological monitoring system in Korean Long-Term Ecological Research (KLTER), and a plan for the Korean Ecological Observatory Network (KEON). KLTER has been conducted since 2004 and has yielded valuable scientific results. However, the KLTER approach has limitations in data integration and coordinated observations. To overcome these limitations, we developed a KEON plan focused on multidisciplinary monitoring of the physiochemical, meteorological, and biological components of ecosystems to deepen process-based understanding of ecosystem functions and detect changes. KEON aims to answer nationwide and long-term ecological questions by using a standardized monitoring approach. We are preparing three types of observatories: two supersites depending on the climate-vegetation zones, three local sites depending on the ecosystem types, and two mobile deployment platforms to act on urgent ecological issues. The main observation topics were species diversity, population dynamics, biogeochemistry (carbon, methane, and water cycles), phenology, and remote sensing. We believe that KEON can address environmental challenges and play an important role in ecological observations through partnerships with international observatories.

Keywords: carbon cycle, climate change, ecological observatory, long-term monitoring, population dynamics

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220