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The TERN Observatory

TERN infrastructure observes, records and measures critical terrestrial ecosystem parameters and conditions for Australia over time from continental scale to field sites at hundreds of representative locations.



NB: The locations of sites may not be exactly represented in this stylysed map. It also shows eddy covariance towers in Australia and New Zealand that are not solely funded by TERN but contribute to the international FLUXNET dataset. TERN, via its Australian Government NCRIS funding, is an Australia-only observatory and sites in New Zealand are funded via other initiatives.


Based on Eyre et al., 2011

The TERN ecosystem field observatory is structured around three key scales of observation:


TERN Landscapes conducts environmental monitoring using remote sensing techniques to characterise and monitor Australian ecosystems at a landscape and continental scale.

The platform also undertakes modelling and synthesis activities to extrapolate and interpolate from observational data to produce modelled data products.

TERN Ecosystem Surveillance uses an extensive network of monitoring plots distributed strategically through the country to provide relevant, useful and informative data, tools and services.

The platform helps scientists and land managers nationwide to better monitor and detect biodiversity change across the Australian continent.


TERN Ecosystem Processes monitors the environment at a high level of detail at a small number of sites.

This is done through intensive field stations or ‘SuperSites’ which combine instrumented or sensor measurements with classical field surveys and remote sensing activities at the sites located in significant Australian biomes, spanning a wide range of environmental conditions.


TERN’s Data Services and Analytics platform manages datasets derived from its terrestrial ecosystem field observatory. TERN data infrastructure also enables the Australian community of ecosystem researchers to collect, contribute, store and share data.



More information


A brief introduction to the TERN Platforms   TERN Attribute Measures



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