In Nederland zijn veel belangrijke grootschalige onderzoeksfaciliteiten voor ecologisch onderzoek: van experimentele mini-meren tot onderzoeksboten, en van living labs tot collecties.
Vlieland is one of four areas in NIOO-AnE's long-term monitoring research on great tits and other bird species that started in 1955. It consists of several smaller forest areas, which together cover about 250 ha of mainly conifers and oak on poor sandy soil. As Vlieland is an island in the Wadden Sea, the area stands completely on its own. Important population questions in NIOO's long term research are/were studied here.