A conversation with Michiel van der Molen
Principle investigator of Loobos
At Loobos we measure how the forest grows and responds to climate variations

Loobos is located in a Pine forest the Veluwe natural park, one of the largest European natural areas. Pine are the dominant species in the Veluwe. Hence Loobos is representative for a much larger acreage. The site was first established in 1995 and was home to one of the 3 first ecosystem flux sites globally. In 2021 a new tower was built and equipped.

The research at Loobos aims at understanding the role of the ecosystem in the carbon and water cycle. As the forest, planted in the 1910’s, grows, it takes up CO2 from the atmosphere. This is an important feedback to climate change. But the amount of uptake depends on availability of water, temperature, radiation and air quality. Hence it is a very dynamic system, which we try to understand and predict.

The research is done by MAQ at Wageningen University with Utrecht and Delft University as partners via the Ruisdael Observatory. Forest research is done by other groups in Wageningen as well, e.g. the GIS and Remote Sensing group collects LIDAR measurements of ecosystem geometry. We welcome other experimental groups and campaigns.

A 36 m tall tower is built at the site in 2021, hosting eddy covariance instruments (CO2, heat, evaporation, Volatile Organic Compounds), radiation instruments, profiles of temperature, water vapour, CO2, wind speed. Soil temperature, moisture and heat flux and water table depth measurements are collected around the tower.


The Loobos site and its data is operational and available from January 2022 onwards. Note that this may vary for specific data streams. Data from the original Loobos site (1995 – 2020) is not available in the database and is available upon request via observations.maq@wur.nl.

“The Loobos was founded in 1995. It was one of the first 3 ecosystem observations sites globally and still operational.”




“Today, in the European ICOS network, Loobos is one of the 96 sites.”




“Individually and together, we provide independent evidence of the ecosystems’ capacity to store Carbon.”