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Ecosystem Surveillance

TERN's Ecosystem Surveillance platform provides relevant, useful and informative data, tools and services for monitoring of Australian ecosystems. The platform helps scientists and land managers nationwide to better monitor and detect biodiversity change across the Australian continent.

Ecosystem Surveillance provides the data, methods, samples, networks, and advice needed for improved monitoring and assessment of Australia's major ecosystems. All outputs are freely accessible, so researchers and land managers nationwide can build upon our work to produce high-value products and outcomes for the wider community. 

Ecosystem Surveillance occurs at a regional scale and requires field sampling across a network of hundreds of plots at different scales from the TERN facilities formerly known as AusPlots and Australian Transect Network. Standard methodologies for collecting core attributes are used across time and space to detect and quantify change over large areas in vegetation structure and composition, land cover and soil characteristics.


TERN Ecosystem Surveillance uses a spatially extensive network of monitoring plots—currently over 700—distributed through the country along environmental gradients and in key biomes

Data and Tools

TERN Ecosystem Surveillance delivers a wide range of 'hard' and 'soft' infrastructure that is valuable for researchers and land managers. This infrastructure includes the AusPlots program and associated data, field samples, accepted methodologies, training opportunities, and field survey apps. All outputs are freely available to anyone who would like to use them, including:

  • Data
  • Soil and Vegetation Samples
  • Accepted Field Methods
  • Photopoints Methods and Digital Applications
  • Field Survey App
  • Training
  • Fieldwork and Volunteering
  • Research projects for students
  • Stratification
  • Advice

Our Ecosystem Surveillance infrastructure >


Find Out More

To find out more about our Ecosystem Surveillance infrastructure and services for the ecosystem science community, you can

Visit the interim TERN Ecosystem Surveillance website >



TERN Ecosystem Surveillance main office

Davies Building, Paratoo Road
The University of Adelaide
Waite Campus, Urrbrae SA 5064

T +61 8 8313 1201
F +61 8 8313 1191



TERN Ecosystem Surveillance Program Leader

Ben Sparrow

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