News

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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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Centre Spotlight: Centre for Ecosystem Management

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.

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Site of the Month: Alice Mulga SuperSite

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.

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Increasing temperatures and drought frequency may diminish the benefits of fertilisation in managed 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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Director’s Update – August 2020

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.

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Australia’s Environment 2020 mid-year update

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.

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Centre Spotlight: Training Centre for Forest Value

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.

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Site of the Month: Wombat Stringybark Eucalypt SuperSite

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.

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Aussie plants used to study eco-evolutionary dynamics

Research drawing upon TERN’s collection of more than 100,000 environmental samples provides new understanding on the adaptation of plants to climate change. Read on to find out which set of factors combine to create predictable relationships between plant traits and the changing environment.

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Director’s Update – July 2020

Earlier this month, the TERN Advisory Board met and discussed the outcomes of June’s independent audit of TERN’s governance model—part of a periodic evaluation of TERN’s present and future needs.  The Advisory Board compared several business structures, including the current ‘Lead Agent’ model in which the University of Queensland is signatory to the funding agreement with the federal government.

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