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Soil microbiome and biodiversity implications – are we ignoring cost-effective proxies of biodiversity measures?

Environmental DNA (or eDNA) profiling is being used increasingly to analyse a range of substrates and historical samples, apparently even thin air, but what about soil? Join Prof. Andy Lowe as he investigates an important and cost-effective method of environmental DNA profiling.

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The pillars of Australia’s research system

Australia is on the verge of making further substantial investments in the assets, facilities and services that support the nation’s health, STEM and agricultural research sectors, but what are they, what do they do and how do they remain relevant to emerging technologies and priorities?

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Reedy pool within Sphagnum Bog on Mt Buffalo, Victoria, Australia

Australians collaborate to provide an index of threatened species

This National Threatened Species Day, we highlight and celebrate the dedication of those individuals and organisations who contribute to monitoring the status of threatened plants and animals in Australia.

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Sydney weather and air quality data now available from TERN

Detailed time-series weather and air-quality data collected at Sydney schools are now available for download via TERN. The data collected by the Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) citizen science project includes the Black Summer bushfires and multiple COVID-19 lockdown periods. This presents a valuable dataset for urban ecology, air pollution, and climate research, and future urban planning. It also provides an opportunity for international collaborations and global-scale science.

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Directors Update – August 2021

In August, the TERN Science Advisory Committee met online under its new Chair, Distinguished Professor Belinda Medlyn and welcomed new members Professor Andy Pitman AO FAA, from UNSW, and Professor Megan Lewis, from University of Adelaide. We are delighted to see the renewal of five members and thank two outgoing members at the end of their three-year terms.

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Students visualise Perth’s water data

Since 2011, TERN’s research infrastructure in southwest Western Australia has been helping us understand how climate, water and vegetation are interacting at the Gnangara groundwater mound. The Gnangara Mound is a crucial water resource for Perth—and its dependent ecosystems. Rainfall is declining, the banksia woodlands still need water, so what does this mean for the sustainability of Perth’s water supply? TERN’s Research Infrastructure and data are helping to investigate some of these questions and a new interactive website, built by uni students, tells this story, and visualises the data behind it.

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TERN data assist government and industry-led sustainable grazing practices in Great Barrier Reef catchments

Queensland Government scientists are using all scales of TERN data to help monitor and manage grazing pressure in the state’s two largest river catchments, Burdekin and Fitzroy, which flow to the coast, where they impact the Great Barrier Reef.

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How do we quantify Australia’s ecosystem services?

In this, our second popular science articles from TERN, Prof. Andy Lowe discusses the measures and metrics used to track the state, condition and trajectory of our ecosystem services. Read on to find out how TERN data streams can provide accurate estimates or supporting information to monitor the stocks and changes in critical ecosystem services now and into the future.

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Actual evapotranspiration data for the entire Australian continent now available from TERN

High-resolution (30m), high-frequency (monthly), continuous (no gaps due to clouds) actual evapotranspiration data are now freely available for download from TERN. These world-leading satellite-derived data promote accurate water balance modelling for any catchment or groundwater system in Australia. The dynamics of water use from all vegetation communities, including ‘biodiversity hotspots’ such as groundwater dependent ecosystems, can be monitored through droughts and floods.

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Centre Spotlight: University of the Sunshine Coast Forest Research Institute

This month’s spotlight is aimed at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Forest Research Institute. This group undertakes work in the broad spectrum of forestry research areas that make direct and meaningful contributions to the sustainability of our wooded landscapes, including important areas of studies such as smallholder and forest conservation-based research, along with work to ensure industries profitable while meeting regulatory requirements and public expectations.

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