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Transect for Environmental Monitoring and Decision-Making  


Climate change threatens plant biodiversity, exacerbating existing impacts such as habitat fragmentation. Species assemblages are changing in response, resulting in poleward and uphill shifts in terrestrial ecosystems that are important to understand for appropriate conservation planning. South Australia has experienced a warming trend of 0.5–1.5°C since 1950 and continuing warming and drying trends have been forecast. The Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges region of South Australia is a biodiversity hotspot that conserves range-edge species and is climate sensitive. Systematic monitoring enables us to predict and track ecosystem change by observing and determining the drivers of species distributions.

Research Infrastructure

The Transect for Environmental Monitoring and Decision-Making (TREND) is a long-term research infrastructure and monitoring program dedicated to understanding how species and ecosystems change over space and time. Plots are located along a north-south 1000 km transect running along the Mount Lofty Ranges and Flinders Ranges, from Deep Creek on the coast to north of Arkaroola. The TREND provides a system of data collection across South Australia’s native ecosystems. By assessing the impacts of various potential climatic and environmental shifts, the TREND is providing an early warning system for changes in the environment and a legacy of long-term monitoring, informed policy and proactive response to climate change. 


General location

Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges in South Australia from Deep Creek on the coast to north of Arkaroola

Research infrastructure themes

Ecosystem turnover along rainfall and temperature gradient.

Benchmarking the habitat specificity, phenotypic plasticity and variability in stress response genes for key species across environmental gradients within the major biomes of the south Mediterranean/arid transition.

Year Established


Transect Length

1000 km

No. of plots


Rainfall Gradient (mean annual)

1100 mm on the coast to 140 mm in the northern arid region

Data type

Plant and ant species composition and diversity; vegetation cover and structure; soils

Temporal revisit (ideal)

3 to 5 years

TERN Facilities on the TREND




  • University of Adelaide
  • Flinders University
  • University of South Australia
  • South Australia Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • South Australian Research and Development Institute

Transect leader

Dr Greg Guerin




Papers and reports

Australian Transect Network data are published in the TERN AEKOS Portal where it is freely available to the research community:

  • TREND vegetation and soils data (including soil physical & chemical properties): http://www.aekos.org.au/collection/adelaide.edu.au/trend
  • TERN Ausplots data on TREND: http://www.aekos.org.au/collection/adelaide.edu.au/ausplotsrangelands
  • Search in AEKOS by the following site IDs for AusPlots co-located on the TREND  - SATEYB0001, SATEYB0002, SATFLB0001, SATFLB0002, SATFLB0003, SATFLB0004, SATFLB0005, SATFLB0006, SATFLB0007, SATFLB0008, SATFLB0009, SATFLB0010, SATFLB0011, SATFLB0012, SATFLB0013, SATFLB0014, SATFLB0015, SATFLB0016, SATFLB0017, SATFLB0018, SATFLB0019, SATFLB0020, SATFLB0021, SATFLB0022, SATFLB0023, SATFLB0024, SATFLB0025, SATFLB0026, SATFLB0027, SATFLB0028, SATKAN0001, SATKAN0002, SATKAN0003, SATKAN0004, SATSTP0001, SATSTP0002, SATSTP0003, SATSTP0004, SATSTP0005, SATSTP0006, SATSTP0007, SATSTP0008
  • TREND vegetation plot data 2011: doi:10.4227/05/54AB6B443D1D3



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