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Land and Terrain


Tracking key processes such as fre, clearing, land use, & climate change. Monitoring soils & vegetaton to build a beter natonal picture of our major ecosystems.
 

Truly sustainable management and use of Australia’s unique ecosystems requires:

  • a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem composition and function, and how these are changing over time (eg in response to altered fire regimes, climate variability, species extinctions or invasions);
  • appropriately resourced long-term monitoring programs that report on meaningful indicators at relevant temporal and spatial scales to build a better national picture of our major ecosystems;
  • adaptive management processes that can evaluate and respond to changes reported by the monitoring programs; and
  • world leading predictive modelling capability that can integrate data from a range of disciplines and scales to evaluate management options and their impacts.

While these goals may have been occasionally achieved in the past at local and regional scales or for particular ecosystem types or landuses, TERN enables Australia to progress towards sustainability on a continental scale. Our nationally networked infrastructure and multidisciplinary approach is already enabling pastoralists, government agencies and the ecosystem science community to work across administrative boundaries and increase understanding, measure and monitor change, and more sustainably manage our ecosystem assets.


On this page you will find regularly updated links describing some of the ways in which TERN and its many partners are working to help improve the sustainability of management and use of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems.

 
TERN-ANU Landscape Data Visualiser

December 2018

Discover, map and analyse the variety of landscape and ecosystem data provided by TERN and ANU’s Centre for Water and Landscape Dynamics, including satellite observations, national-scale predictions, airborne measurements, and sensor network and survey data. Read on for easy online access to over 50 datasets and useful visualisations.

 

 

Dust storm forecasting

December 2018

TERN data are being used to develop new tools to model and predict the occurrence of dust storms so that we can manage associated risks better in future. Explore the data and predictive tools that will let us know if we're in for a long, dusty summer…​

 

 

 
World's first global vegetation database

December 2018

An international research team has produced the world's first global vegetation database. Containing over 1.1 million complete lists of plant species for all terrestrial ecosystems, including over 90,000 Australian sites provided by TERN, the ‘sPlot’ database will assist in the development of climate change prediction tools and adaptation strategies.

 

 

Harvesting virtual forests

November 2018

Forests store more carbon than any other above-ground ecosystem on the planet. Just how much, though, is hard to know without cutting them down.  Enter ‘virtual harvesting’, a non-destructive remote sensing technique for accurately measuring biomass that has just been undertaken at TERN’s tropical forest observing sites.

 

 

Winds of change: next-gen pollen mapping and forecasting

October 2018

An innovative project is using TERN satellite data together with on-ground time-lapse cameras and pollen monitors to track grass pollen sources, their evolution, and impact areas. The forecasts generated will help alleviate Australia’s $30B medical and socioeconomic allergy burden and change the lives of millions of Australians for the better.

 

 

Drought’s impact on the environment

October 2018

Researchers are using TERN infrastructure in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to take part in a landmark global experiment that investigates ecosystem response to drought. The experiment’s findings will help to predict and mitigate the impacts of drought in Australia and around the world

 

 

Sensitive sensors survive savanna scorching

September 2018

When collecting data on fire it’s to be expected that things are going to get a bit hot sometimes. The annual clash between sensitive science infrastructure and seasonal bushfires unfolded yet again this year at TERN’s tropical savanna ecosystem observing site.  Read on to find out how the site burnt but added to TERN’s long-term dataset—essential for Top End fire understanding and management.

 

 

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna survey Cape York

September 2018

TERN has added 24 more permanent plots to its national network of over 600 ecosystem surveillance sites.  The new sites just added in Far North Queensland mean that TERN now provides open-access to environmental data and samples from 85% of Australia’s major terrestrial vegetation groups and over 50% of the nation’s bioregions.

 

 

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