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An international team of scientists hoping to uncover global patterns in the relationship between a plant’s form and the environment and climate in which it lives, were only able to explain <10% of the variation found in key functional patterns of leaves, the primary organ for light and carbon capture. In this, the first of several popular science articles from TERN, Prof. Andy Lowe explores alternative ways of solving this global scientific dilemma.
The Australian government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) funding for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub finished in June this year, but the future of one of its achievements, the Threatened Species Index (TSX), has been secured with TERN becoming the new custodian of the index project.
From better weather forecasting and carbon budgeting to improved agricultural productivity forecasts, the on-ground data and research infrastructure TERN provides to space agencies, including NASA, are ensuring the accuracy of some of the planet’s most important ecosystem monitoring and prediction tools.
A new report by Deloitte Access Economics has found that for every AU$1 invested in discovering remaining Australian species, there will be a return of up to AU$35 in economic benefit to the nation. The method of using a cost-benefit analysis to determine the value of discovering new species is novel. The report comes as scientists implement a plan to discover and document all species in Australia.
This month we’re travelling to the wheatbelt region of Western Australia to visit TERN’s Boyagin Wandoo Woodland site and its paired Ridgefield Farm OzFlux site. Together, the sites’ automated monitoring infrastructure provide essential long-term continuous data to understand landscape dynamics in this biodiverse swath of Australia valued at almost AU$3 billion.
A unique citizen science project involving the local community to collect biodiversity data has kicked off in Brisbane’s outskirts. The Queensland Government’s RICF-funded TERN pilot will trial the collection of consistent data at TERN sites by community members, with the potential to expand to our national network of plots to collect more data more often. Grab your binoculars and read on…
Increases in the frequency and intensity of droughts and fires are predicted, and Australia needs to adapt. However, new research using TERN data suggests that some Australian forests are more vulnerable than others and change in water availability might put our rainforests at risk.
In this edition we visit La Trobe University’s Research Centre for Applied Alpine Ecology and shine our spotlight on their research into Australia’s relatively small but socio-economically and ecologically important alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems.
This month our site feature takes us to Australia’s most southerly flux monitoring site, located in one of the world’s tallest and most productive forests. For almost a decade, equipment at the Warra site has been measuring the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the atmosphere and the tall eucalypt forests that dominate this biodiverse and immensely valuable wilderness region.
60 photos of Australian vegetation captured at TERN monitoring sites have been added to the Global Vegetation Project’s open-access map. The new pics will enrich the experience of students and educators around the world. Find out more about this exciting project and take look at the images.