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Our capacity to tell and Australian Ecological Story

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A presentation delivered at Intecol (London, 2013) detailing an analysis we conducted to determine which ecosystems in Australia had very little long term ecological monitoring occurring in them.

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Our capacity to tell and Australian Ecological Story

  1. 1. Our capacity to tell an Australian Ecological Story. Ben Sparrow Ausplots Director Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network – The University of Adelaide Co-Authors: Eleanor Dormontt, Nicole Thurgate, Stuart Phinn and Andrew Lowe
  2. 2. Context •TERN – provides research infrastructure to Australia’s ecosystem science and management community •A range of facilities combining expertise – Remote Sensing, Soils, Biogeochemical flux, Ecological plots •TERN is developing a framework to combine information to inform on the ecology of Australian environments •The “Field Ecology” components of TERN undertook to synthesise key findings from long term ecological research for Australia ( > 10 years of sampling) •Resulted in a book:
  3. 3. Chapters investigate what is know about particular ecosystems based on long term ecological research Chapter 3 looks at which ecosystems we have reasonable sampling density, and which communities are under-represented (i.e. gaps)
  4. 4. Started by gathering information on long term studies covered in book Includes location and type of ecological data NB. The book incorporates data from a great many, but not all, ecological studies, and is not intended to be representative – rather what was easily available and synthesisable
  5. 5. Coverage of ecological data assessed against • Climate – Hutchinson’s Agroclimatic Zones • Vegetation – NVIS Major Vegetation Groups • Biomes • The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia • Natural Resource Management Regions
  6. 6. Hutchinson’s Agro-climatic Zones Temperate Alpine Mediteranean Tropical Semi- Arid – Summer rain Semi-Arid Winter Rain Arid
  7. 7. MVG Hummock grasslands Acacia Systems Chenopods
  8. 8. Animate Ecoregions/NRM/Ibra NRM Regions The Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia
  9. 9. GIS analysis Assessed all ecological sites against these ecosystem classification layers and summarised results in terms of depth of coverage
  10. 10. Results - Climate Hut Red – Poorly Sampled Yellow – Sampled Green – Well Sampled
  11. 11. Red – Poorly Sampled Yellow – Sampled Green – Well Sampled
  12. 12. Summary Environments closer to populated areas are better monitored Arid and Semi Arid areas poorly monitored Spinifex Hummock Grasslands, Acacia woodlands/Shrublands and Chenopod Shrublands are all particularly poorly monitored.
  13. 13. Hummock Grasslands – 26% Aust
  14. 14. Acacia Systems ~18% Aust
  15. 15. Chenopods - ~9% Aust
  16. 16. -More info in the book
  17. 17. - More info in the book -New TERN infrastructure helping to fill these gaps over time. -Ausplots sampling in Rangelands – 500 plots
  18. 18. - More info in the book -New TERN infrastructure helping to fill these gaps over time. -Ausplots sampling in Rangelands – 500 plots -Standardised nationally consistent method
  19. 19. - More info in the book -New TERN infrastructure helping to fill these gaps over time. -Ausplots sampling in Rangelands – 500 plots -Standardised nationally consistent method -Electronic data collection
  20. 20. - More info in the book -New TERN infrastructure helping to fill these gaps over time. -Ausplots sampling in Rangelands – 500 plots -Standardised nationally consistent method -Electronic data collection so data automatically uploaded to AEKOS and S2S
  21. 21. - More info in the book -New TERN infrastructure helping to fill these gaps over time. -Ausplots sampling in Rangelands – 500 plots -Standardised nationally consistent method -Electronic data collection so data automatically uploaded to AEKOS -Development of new methods - www.tern.org.au

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