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Long Term Ecological Research Network


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The presentation provides overview and significance of the TERN long term ecological research network. The presentation was part of the Workshop on Approaches to Terrestrial Ecosystem Data Management : from collection to synthesis and beyond which was held on 9th of March 2016 in University of Queensland.

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Long Term Ecological Research Network

  1. 1. Presentation by Emma Burns, Executive Director
  2. 2. Integrated purpose LTERN’s objective: To integrate key established plot networks across Australia to tackle critical questions associated with the impacts of disturbance on Australian ecosystems Australian Government Investment Goal: A sustainable set of long term data collection procedures and archives from plots across Australian ecosystems measuring selected flora, fauna and biophysical processes, suitable for key ecosystem science questions and for developing and testing ecosystem models
  3. 3. A research enabler Infrastructure to allow the research community to: – Develop a detailed understanding of the behaviour and regulation of key ecosystem functions and processes, including influence of interacting abiotic and biotic factors on landscape function. – Quantify critical relationships between vegetation condition and/or biodiversity and major disturbance regimes such as those associated with fire, logging, livestock grazing, invasive species and climate change. 3
  4. 4. Spatial distribution of the plot networks • 12 Plot Networks • 1,119 sites • 9 Principle Investigators/Network Leaders • 8 Institutions
  5. 5. 33 19 14 33 14 22 12 45 26 22 53 70 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 VICTORIAN TALL EUCALYPT FOREST NANANGROE PLANTATION JERVIS BAY BOODEREE NATIONAL PARK UPLAND HEATH SWAMPS WOODLAND RESTORATION MALLEE DESERT UPLANDS TROPICAL RAINFOREST DESERT ECOLOGY THREE PARKS SAVANNA FIRE-EFFECTS CONNELL RAINFOREST VICTORIAN ALPINE LTERN Plot Network Monitoring Periods (yrs) 7% 9% 23% 19% 11% 42% 23% 36% 15% 36% 26% 15% % = proportion of time within LTERN (not representative of cost or sampling intensity/complexity within years)
  6. 6. LTERN’s Management Committee Chair Executive Director, Dr Emma Burns, Australian National University. Standing Members Professor David Lindenmayer, Australian National University. Science Director, LTERN and Plot Leader of three plot networks Professor David Keith, University of New South Wales. Plot Leader of three plot networks Dr Dan Metcalfe, CSIRO. Plot Leader of two plot networks Dr Peter Green, LaTrobe University. Plot Leader of the Connell Rainforest Plot Network Professor Ary Hoffmann, University of Melbourne. Plot Leader of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network Professor Glenda Wardle, University of Sydney. Co-Plot Leader of the Desert Ecology Plot Network Professor Chris Dickman, University of Sydney. Co-Plot Leader of the Desert Ecology Plot Network Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith, Charles Darwin University. Co-Plot Leader of the Three Parks Savanna Fire-Effects Plot Network (Fire and Vegetation lead) Dr Graeme Gillespie, Northern Territory Government, Department of Land Resource Management. Co-Plot Leader of the Three Parks Savanna Fire-Effects Plot Network (lead) Governance, planning, transparency and internal communication FIRST= healthy and productive culture
  7. 7. LTERN’s Priority Areas Data collection Field trips Surveys Data Publication and Archiving Project data Historic data Book data Science output data Science Communication and Education Publications and engagement
  8. 8. 25 Monitoring Themes
  9. 9. The objectives of LTERN, the research-questions being examined, and the field methodologies being employed have been published collectively in The Long Term Ecological Research Network: Objectives, design and methods at Desert storm (Aaron Greenville) Question-driven research underpins every plot network
  10. 10. Data Collection: Plot network locations relative to Eco-Regions
  11. 11. Data Collection: Sites within Plot Networks relative to Eco-Regions 165 449 19 278 64 144
  12. 12. Data Collection: Plot Networks relative to Land-use categories 49 53 55 200 1 581 180
  13. 13. • Established in September 2013 • Using software and standards used by the international LTER community, DataONE and the Australian SuperSite Network • High quality data delivery to permit re-use • Systems, procedures, priorities and work flows well tested and documented • Monitoring statistics on usage established • No known third-party re-use resulting in a scientific output yet Data Publication: describing data so appropriate for re-use
  14. 14. Data Publication: volume and download metrics 0 50 100 150 200 project data background data science output data book data (i) LTERN Data Publications by Year LTERN Data Publications by Year 2016 LTERN Data Publications by Year 2015 LTERN Data Publications by Year 2014 LTERN Data Publications by Year 2013 • 280 data publications available • 230 registered users, and increasing annually • 33,000+ site visits LTERNDataPublicationsLTERNDataDownloads 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Number of individual data files downloaded Total downloads (some files downloaded by multiple people) Number of registered users (ii) LTERN data Publication Downloads (Google Analytics) 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14
  15. 15. Data Publication: data-user profileLTERNDataPublicationsLTERNDataPortaluserprofile 0 20 40 60 80 Australia South-east Asia Europe Canada China India (i) LTERN User by Country or Region 2016 2015 2014 0 5 10 15 20 25 Australian Capital Territory New South Wales Northern Territory Queensland South Australia Victoria Western Australia (iii) LTERN Australian Users by State 2016 2015 2014 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Academic Natural resource management Industry or Consultant Researcher - University Professional staff UoA Student Research Support Software Engineer Other (iv) LTERN User Occupation by Year 2016 2015 2014 (i) Data-user profile showing country or region of LTERN user. (iv) User profile showing occupation of LTERN user.(iii) Data-user profile showing state for all Australian users. • Registered users from all states and territories • Limited international use • Primarily university sector
  16. 16. Science Communication and Education Webpage: Data Portal: Brochure Publications
  17. 17. LTERN Publications Fit-for-purpose, consistent, long-term monitoring is crucial to measure and understand key attributes of ecosystems— and the human and natural process that affect them. This need, its challenges, and their potential solutions have been written about by members of LTERN in a range of publications. Publications
  18. 18. Publications Catalogue 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 NumberofPublications LTERN Publications per Plot Network as of September 2015 • 1,049 publications generated to date • Since September 2014, 143 new publications To provide a central and comprehensive list of all relevant LTERN publications; and to demonstrate the research productivity of this infrastructure through one type of metric (i.e. written outputs).
  19. 19. Biodiversity and Environmental Change book data project
  20. 20. The value of time-series data Reference: Dickman, C. R., et al. (2014). Desert Complex Environments. In Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction. E. B. David Lindenmayer, Nicole Thurgate, Andrew Lowe., CSIRO Publishing: 379–438. The data and stories from the book, and the subset available through the data portal, demonstrate the value of time-series data and the potential misinterpretations that could result from short-term monitoring
  21. 21. From collection to science to policy change 30+ years of data collection from the Tall Eucalypt Forest Plot Network, and hundreds of research papers IUCN Assessment process and a result. The legacy of past logging practices, as well as current clearfelling, is driving the system towards collapse. Modelling suggests that even if logging ceased today, and there were no bushfires, there is still a 92% chance of ecosystem collapse Up listing of the threat status of leadbeater’s possum from endangered to critically endangered
  22. 22. Mapping linkages – Desert Ecology Plot Network Example Data collection Data Publication and Archiving Science Communication and Education TERN National International AEKOSSupersites TDDPAusCover AusPlots Droughtnet ANDS NESP NuNet Biodesert
  23. 23. Where to from here? Primary Priority: Continued repeated data collection from across LTERN. Secondary Priority: Continued publication of data collected and then, as feasible, publication of the background data. Based on current funding levels it is estimated that it will take at least 5 years to curate and publish all our data. Secondary Priority: A new challenge…..What can the data from within plot networks tell us collectively? Can multiple datasets collected from different studies for different purposes be used collectively to test a relevant and important continental scale science question? Proof of concept project: under a unifying lens of long-term climate data and climate projections—examine variation and patterns in long-term datasets, and model/predict future and past variations and patterns. And of course increased integration with international observatory networks and initiatives.
  24. 24. Questions and Acknowledgements The creation of LTERN and the products it has delivered to date are the result of the dedication and drive of a number of people over the last four years. The LTERN Management Committee acknowledges significant contributions from: From the office: Claire deLacey, Alvin Sebastien, Christy Geromboux, Ivan Hanigan, Phil Tennant, John Stein, Wade Blanchard, Kathryn Allard, Janet McDougal, Karl Bossard, Karen Anderson, Ian Szarka, Natasha Purvis, Wendy Park, Tabitha Boyer, Claire Shepherd, and Clive Hilliker. From the field: David Blair, Matt Bradford, Mason Crane, Alaric Fisher, Aaron Greenville, Heather Keith, Alan Kwok, Dominique Lynch, Lachlan McBurney, Chris MacGregor, Tanya Mason, Damien Michael, John Morgan, David Nelson, Sachiko Okada, Thea O’Loughlin, Warwick Papst, Chris Pavey, Bobby Tamayo, Eric Vanderduys, Henrik Wahren, Richard William, Renee Woodward, and Cameron Yates. LTERNs viability and productivity has also been possible thanks to sustained inputs and contributions from many others from across TERN, and from LTERN’s External Reference Group.