Director’s Update – October 2021

Welcome to the October eNewsletter of TERN. This month we welcome two new faces to TERN’s governance structure—Professor Michael Goodsite as the University of Adelaide’s representative to the Advisory Board and Mr Jim Walker of The University of Queensland, who is joining TERN’s independent Science Advisory Committee.

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Monitoring the impacts of bushfires on soils

Analyses of soil and vegetation samples collected by TERN on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, before and after the catastrophic 2019/20 bushfire are enabling scientists to track post-fire environmental recovery and ecosystem resilience. Here we highlight new research that is using TERN’s open-access soil samples to investigate the impacts of fire on soil and its ability to store and cycle carbon and nutrients.

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Catch up with TERN at the Ecological Society of Australia conference

The Ecological Society of Australia conference is rapidly approaching, and TERN is proud to be both a major sponsor and a participant. Read on to find out about our workshop on publishing your research data via TERN and where else you are likely to find TERN, including at the long-term ecological research workshop and presenting on topics like the Threatened Species Index.

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Getting the measure of soil moisture in Australia

TERN’s new world-leading soil moisture information system provides nation-wide daily estimates of volumetric soil moisture at a 1km resolution and an index of how full (or wet) the top 90cm of soil is at a particular location and time. The system will help land managers better monitor drought, predict bushfires and floods and make highly informed management choices to improve agricultural productivity.

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Reviewing post-fire recovery and ecological management effectiveness

TERN, CSIRO and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment are developing Australia’s first Monitoring, Evaluation and Research network. The new network is being piloted within the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships program to understand the effectiveness of ecological management activities, such as weed management, and to promote national-scale learning about the recovery of ecosystems after fire.

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TERN at COP26 Earth Information Day

NCRIS-enabled TERN will be represented on a virtual poster at the upcoming UNFCCC COP26 meeting in Scotland and will be on display for two weeks from 3 November. Earth Information Day provides an exchange of information on the state of the global climate system and developments in systematic observation.

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Site of the Month: French Island

This month we’re showcasing one of the newest sites in the TERN OzFlux network—French Island—and its measurement of methane and the dynamic coastal wetlands that protect our natural and managed landscapes.

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Centre Spotlight: Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management

This month’s Spotlight focuses on University of Western Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management (CENRM) and projects on how to maximise success in conserving endangered species in refuges and the soil beneath the world’s richest, most endemic ecosystems.

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Directors Update – September 2021

We understand that an ‘exposure draft’ of the all-important 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap will be released in early to mid-October for comment. Let’s do our best to coordinate the responses we make as the terrestrial ecosystem community!

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Top 3 things that control ecosystem behaviour revealed

The prestigious journal Nature has just published a substantial international study involving TERN Australia personnel and use of TERN data. The study identified three main factors controlling the function of terrestrial ecosystems and their predicted responses to climate change. The findings reveal that >70% of the variability within ecosystems is described by these three key characteristics.

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