Data publication from TERN repositories continues to grow and so too do the number of researchers utilising TERN’s resources and services.
This month we feature ecophysiology and plant trait data collected by researchers using TERN’s open-access network of ecosystem process monitoring SuperSites and subsequently reused in new scientific research.
“TERN has open-access sites in almost all the major biomes of the globe.”
Our first four featured datasets come from a team of researchers who took advantage of TERN’s open-access nation-wide research sites to conduct their fieldwork. Professor Owen Atkin, of the Australian National University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology, was one of the researchers.
“Back in 2009 we wanted to compare the metabolisms of warm and cold wet forests and we came across the research sites that TERN has just established,” said Owen. “What started with field campaigns using TERN sites in Queensland and Tasmania, soon turned into research at seven TERN sites in multiple biomes all around Australia.”
“I can’t overstate the value of TERN’s sites for researchers wanting to study a diverse range of ecosystems,” said Owen. “TERN has open-access sites in almost all the major biomes of the globe.”
“When you compare this to the situation overseas, for example in Europe, being able to study multiple ecosystem types under the same governance system, and language, is so advantageous for Australian researchers.”
“Plus, working at TERN sites means you have logistical help and a team of on-ground experts to collaborate with. TERN’s Australia-wide infrastructure is extraordinarily useful.”
Since collection and publication via TERN, Owen and his colleagues’ leaf trait and physiology data have been used in a host of new analyses. The data have facilitated a number of recent peer-reviewed papers including a continental‐scale assessment of variability in leaf traits; an analysis of global variability in leaf respiration; and a comparison of leaf respiration between the tropical forests of French Guiana, Peru and Australia.
Moreover, the samples collected by Owen and others at the TERN sites have even been used to better understand why plant water-use efficiency varies around Australia.
Dawn parade at TERN’s Robson Creek Rainforest SuperSite in QLD (above) and Great Western Woodlands SuperSite in WA (below), LiCor gas analysers at the ready (images courtesy Owen Atkin)
Adaption of plants to arid conditions
Our final two plant trait datasets this month also come from researchers using TERN’s open-access research sites. Zdravko Baruch and his colleagues from the University of Adelaide collected the data on Narrow-leaf Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima) from TERN’s Ecosystem Surveillance monitoring plots in South Australia.
Since publication with TERN these data have been used in multiple analyses that investigate the adaptation of plants to arid conditions and their ability to cope with climate change.
Data collection name & description
|Leaf trait associations with environmental variation in the wide-ranging shrub Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Sapindaceae) Part 1: Latitude
Leaf traits for 101 populations of Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Sapindaceae) opportunistically collected across a ~1,000 km latitudinal north-south sequence with climates grading from the arid zone to the mesic Mediterranean zone. Additionally, we present leaf traits for 266 individuals on an altitudinal gradient in the Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia. Traits measured include leaf area and specific leaf area, as well as climatic variables associated with the collection sites. Temporal coverage: 2013 – 2015
|Leaf trait associations with environmental variation in the wide-ranging shrub Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Sapindaceae) Part 2: Elevation
Leaf traits for 11 populations of Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima (Sapindaceae) opportunistically collected across an elevational gradient (300 to 800 m above sea level) in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. We present leaf traits for 266 individuals. Traits measured include leaf area and specific leaf area, and elevation. Temporal coverage: 2013 – 2015