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The borders might be closed but collaborative environmental science is buzzing in Western Australia. Find out how the west is leading the way in piloting new ways to assess ecosystem health, stress and function, starting with an exciting new biodiversity monitoring capability.
Congratulations to Professor Hugh Possingham on his appointment as Queensland’s Chief Scientist and to ICOS, the Integrated Carbon Observation System in Europe, on their 2020 science conference. Compliments should also go to the more than 30 dedicated TERN people who have just wrapped up a virtual strategic planning day, refreshing the prioritisation of TERN’s core data packages and signature products.
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.
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.
In this edition, we shine our spotlight on Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Ecosystem Management and its collaborative work with government, conservation groups, community, industry, consultants, and other research institutions to achieve effective ecosystem management, conservation and ecological research.
More than a decade of ecosystem measurements in Australia’s Red Centre are providing an unprecedented understanding of the health and function of Australia’s vast arid ecosystems. The data tell a tale of a tough life in the desert, with highly variable rainfall patterns and carbon dynamics, but of which, thanks to research infrastructure investments, Australia’s scientists are developing an intimate understanding.
TERN received some welcome news earlier this month with the announcement by The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, of $1.7 million to TERN to replace ecosystem monitoring equipment damaged by the recent bushfires and to look at making our sites more resilient in the face of extreme events such as bushfires.
The drought has loosened its grip across much of Australia, while millions of hectares burnt last summer have started recovering thanks to good autumn rain. These are the main conclusions from a mid-year update on the condition of Australia’s environment.
In August we showcase the University of Tasmania’s Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Forest Value and its work in capacity building for the forest industries and wood products through training and applied research.
This month, we’re in the Wombat State Forest located near Daylesford in Central Victoria, showcasing a decade of research infrastructure-enabled science on forest carbon cycles, soil, vegetation growth dynamics, and their responses to drought and other disturbances.