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How does TERN work?

TERN provides the infrastructure and networks that are enabling Australia’s ecosystem science community to:

  • collect and integrate ecosystem data across broad spatial and temporal scales
  • safely store, access, share and manage data
  • establish collaborative working relationships to address key questions in ecosystem science
  • make multidisciplinary, national-scale contributions to addressing key problems in Australian ecosystem science and environmental management, now and in the future.


TERN facilities

TERN operates as a network of facilities that each contribute to achieving TERN’s greater goals. The facilities are run in partnership with a range of research institutions and government agencies (see our full list of partners).

  • TERN Central – providing overall coordination of TERN and management of the TERN Data Discovery Portal, which provides access to all TERN data and data contributed by other researchers.
  • AusCover – producing nationally consistent, long time series of satellite images, satellite-based biophysical map products, next generation remote sensing research data, and product validation for Australian conditions.
  • AusPlots - establishing and maintaining a national network of plots undertaking baseline assessments of ecosystems across the country.
  • Australian Supersite Network (ASN) - a national network of multidisciplinary ecosystem observatories collecting detailed data on flora, fauna and biophysical processes to improve understanding of how key ecosystems respond to environmental change.
  • Australian Transect Network - informing predictions about possible future ecosystem changes by studying ecological and genetic structure and processes, patterns and trends, along four sub-continental transects.
  • Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS) – enabling multidisciplinary analysis and synthesis among ecosystem scientists and ecosystem managers, essential for planning sustainable management of Australia’s environment into the future.
  • Australian Coastal Ecosystem Facility (ACEF) – producing an accessible time series of research data on field surveys, spatial data, and satellite/airborne image data sets, covering flora, fauna and biophysical properties of Australia’s coastal ecosystems.
  • Eco-Informatics – enabling storage, sharing, integration and visualisation of ecological plot data through the Australian Ecological Knowledge and Observation System (ÆKOS) and other products.
  • Ecosystem Modelling and Scaling Infrastructure (eMAST) – enabling the collection, integration and scaling of site/plot, flux tower, remote sensing and eco-informatics data for use in developing, benchmarking and applying ecosystem models.
  • Long-Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) - linking twelve existing long-term ecological plot-based monitoring programs across a range of Australian ecosystems, collecting detailed information about vegetation, soils, fauna, genetics and phenology to better understand environmental change.
  • OzFlux – measuring key energy, water and carbon dioxide fluxes and making the data available for multiple ecosystem science and modelling applications.
  • Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia – producing a high-spatial resolution soils grid for Australia and a network for collaboration and sharing of field and spatial data sets, models, and analytic approaches on soil landscapes and dynamics.

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