To enable consistent ecological monitoring and assessment across plots, standardised data collection methods were specifically developed for TERN's Ecosystem Surveillance Monitoring program. Collectively these set of data collection methods are referred to as the 'AusPlots' methods. AusPlots methods were developed in collaboration with all ecosystem jurisdictions. Field data collection is aided by an Android app developed by the AusPlots team.
The AusPlots methods are described in the next sections. Further detais about the AusPlots Methods can be found in the AusPlots Rangelands Survey Protocols Manual.
Names are assigned to each plot to simultaneously identify them and describe their locations. Plot names have the following structure:
2 Letters for State, 1 Letter for Plot Type – 3 Letters for Bioregion – 4 Numbers for Plot ID
The letters for State, Plot Type and Bioregion codes are:
For example, the plot name 'SAS-MDD-0001' corresponds to the South Australia Supersites – Murray Darling Depression – Plot #1.
The size of all plots is 100m x 100m (= 1 ha.). Each plot contains 10 transects, 5 oriented North to South and 5 oriented East to West. Within each plot there are 9 sampling locations, situated at the intersections of the outermost and central transects (Figure 1).
Figure 1. TERN's Ecosystem Surveillance Monitoring plots layout.
Measurements & Sampling
The following measurements and samples are collected at the plots:
- Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook, 3rd edition. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.