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33 Posts in ‘Land & Terrain” Found

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Australia’s Environment in 2020

Improved rainfall conditions have pulled our environment out of its worst state on record, but recovery is slow, partial and precarious. That’s the main conclusion from Australia’s Environment, the latest in an annual series of environmental condition reports, released on Tuesday 30 March 2021. The report, and its website, provide a summary of key environmental indicators and how they changed in 2020.

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Standards to assist conservation and decision-making

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and TERN are working on a project to standardise both environmental monitoring and data systems for improved decision-making. Standardised field survey protocols will assist land managers, development project operators and environmental consultants collect consistent and comparable monitoring data. In parallel, a standardised data exchange system will support better access and reuse of environmental monitoring and surveillance projects.

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Paddock to reef: Australia’s newest monitoring SuperSite

The TERN-Queensland Government project to introduce continuous environmental monitoring sensors into the Burdekin region is progressing well.
The new monitoring equipment will allow TERN to deliver essential measures on the ecosystem functioning of grazing landscapes and enable improved pasture modelling for Queensland and beyond. Join us as we check in on the site’s progress.

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Earth laid bare

Enhanced data on soil and exposed rock for the entire Australian continent are now openly available, with visualisations coming soon. Using innovative techniques to ‘see-through’ vegetation and analyse the land’s surface like never before, the new Barest Earth data are set to enable improved soil, lithological, geochemical and environmental modelling at home and abroad. Products tailored specifically for state-scale analyses are also downloadable at multiple resolutions.

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Monitoring Australia’s life-sustaining ‘Critical Zone’ resources

A consortium of Australian universities has secured $1.2M of Australian Government funding to help create a network of Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) across Australia. The funding will enable research into Australia’s outer skin—from treetop to bedrock, where water, atmosphere, ecosystems, soil and rock interact—to better understand and manage the availability of its life-sustaining resources.

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Centre Spotlight: Global Ecology Laboratory

This edition we’re at the Global Ecology Laboratory learning about their ecological research, that has a particular focus on palaeo-ecological systems and forecasting future ecosystems.

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Site of the Month: Calperum Mallee SuperSite

This month’s site feature has us travelling into red dirt country again – to TERN’s Calperum Mallee SuperSite in the Riverland of South Australia. Over its 10-year lifetime, the site’s infrastructure has monitored ecosystem processes that shed light on how Australia’s widespread vegetation called Mallee is able to survive in such hot, dry, fire-prone conditions.

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Kangaroo Island post-bushfire surveys to track ecosystem recovery

In early October, a team of TERN ecologists will return to Kangaroo Island to re-survey 12 permanent environmental monitoring plots established by TERN in 2018, half of which were burnt in the 2019/2020 bushfires. The new data collected by the TERN Field Team will add to key baseline information collected pre-fire and enable the tracking of post-fire recovery rates and ecosystem resilience.

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Digital soil assessment: an essential component of a national ecosystem observatory

National scale soils information is critical for informing decisions across domains in environment, agriculture, engineering, and climate response, and enables researchers to measure changes in Australia’s ecosystems over time from local to continental scales. We talk to outgoing TERN platform co-lead, Mike Grundy, about the immense value digital soil mapping and assessment adds to a national ecosystem observatory.

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The changing the availability of nutrients in global grasslands

A recently completed study conducted at 21 research sites around the world, including four of TERN’s, has analysed how nutrient addition affects the ability of soil organisms to process organic matter and how climate modulates this response. The results have significant implications for global land management and carbon budgeting.

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