(Re)introducing TERN PDF Print E-mail

Revisiting Priorities for use of Ecosystem Research Infrastructure

On March 24 and 25, 2010, the first community meeting of the newly-established Australian Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), was held in Brisbane. This was attended by 65 representatives of research organisations, state and federal government agencies, non-government organisations, and industry groups, all involved in ecosystem research and management in Australia. Attendees heard about the structure of TERN, its current activity and plans for access, and participated in lively and constructive discussion.

The major outcomes of the meeting were:

(i)    a better knowledge of TERN,

(ii)    new insights into the role of TERN in the ecosystem science and management community,

(iii)   the forging of new partnerships, and

(iv)   pathways for better communication.

TERN, through its network of Facilities, was recognised as providing an important new basis for ecosystem science and management in the country. The contribution TERN makes will depend on the quality of linkages between Facilities within TERN but also between TERN and the wider community.

One of the major potential contributions of TERN was thought to be in data sharing and standardisation and in the incorporation of innovative data and its treatment. Of the emerging issues identified for TERN’s future role, the scope of its operation was highlighted: TERN does not, at present, seek to cover modified landscapes such as agricultural ecosystems, nor specifically the coastal zone. Fundamental to its operation was the utility of TERN’s Australian Centre for Ecosystem Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS). ACEAS will provide an important locale for concurrent analysis and synthesis of the data produced by TERN and elsewhere and a venue for future planning.




This workshop focussed on ACEAS principles (iv), (v) and (vi) which are to:

(iv)     promote integrative research and the principles of ecosystem science to facilitate linkages between all ecosystem disciplines and the natural resource management community;

(v)    serve as a conduit between the ecosystem and natural resource management communities in the development of innovative management strategies for sustainable management of Australia’s natural resources and the maintenance of biodiversity; and

(vi)   assist in planning the evolution of TERN into the future. In particular, to determine the types of data and new infrastructure required to address remaining major applied and pure questions in ecosystem science.