LINERs are found in ~30% of all bright galaxies, including luminous infrared galaxies. They form a heterogeneous class powered by a variety of ionizing mechanisms such as low-luminosity AGNs, starbursts, shocks, or any combination of these.
In early-type spirals, LINERs are powered by a low-luminosity AGN, or by an AGN surrounded by circumnuclear star-forming regions. In luminous infrared galaxies, LINERs are powered by starbursts with associated wind-related extended shocks, and an AGN may play a minor role, if any. LINERs in some FR I radio galaxies show a strong evidence for the presence of a massive central black hole, and there are indications for the existence of shocks in the nuclear disks of these galaxies. Yet, the dominant ionizing mechanism for LINERs in radio-quiet ellipticals and FR I host galaxies is still unclear.
Multifrequency high spatial resolution imaging and spectroscopy are essential to discriminate among the different ionizing mechanisms present in LINERs.