The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) has created a data integration platform to search and access site-based survey data called EcoPlots. TERN EcoPlots maps all site-survey datasets and opportunistic observations to TERN Ontology, a common information model to represent data.
Data sources in EcoPlots include TERN Surveillance monitoring, TERN Ecosystem Processes, TERN AusPlots Forest and Queensland Biodiversity and Ecology Information System (QBEIS), and it keeps growing.
This “getting started” guide will help you to access the EcoPlots data portal and give you an overview of its functionality.
EcoPlots harmonises plot-based ecology data from different sources to enable integrated search and access to data based on different jurisdictions, data sources, feature types, parameters and temporal extent. Data from EcoPlots can be accessed using user interface and via API.
To obtain summary statistics on each dataset housed within EcoPlots, users can click on the “Resources” and “Data Sources” menus on the EcoPlots homepage: https://ecoplots.tern.org.au/.
EcoPlots provides a dashboard view of each individual dataset. Descriptions of each data source are provided below.
Summary information about each dataset is available in chart or table form by toggling the Chart/Table button in the top right corner of each statistics panel.
Summary of available Datasets
BDBSA – Biological Databases of South Australia is a central access point for South Australian biological data including records from Biological Survey of South Australia, Birdlife Australia, and the South Australian Museum.
QBEIS – Queensland Biodiversity and Ecology Information System contains data from surveys conducted throughout Queensland. Data collection has been taking place in 1982 on various physical and vegetation features, landscape, soil, and geologic features.
TERN AusPlots Forest – Australia-wide data collected within Eucalypt dominated forests using the standardised AusPlots Survey Protocols. Data collected includes, but not limited to: tree mortality, stem diameter and height, collection of voucher specimens, fuel load, litterfall and soil metagenomics.
TERN Ecosystem Processes – a broad range of data monitoring samples collected from 16 Ecosystem Processes (EP) Sites using TERN EP and OzFlux protocols. Data sources include time-series micrometeorological, phenocam, and acoustic monitoring sensors; cal/val; and vegetation, soil, and select fauna observations.
TERN Surveillance Monitoring – vegetation and soil data collected from a national network of one hectare plots collecting baseline environmental monitoring data using the AusPlots Survey Protocols.
Three Parks Savanna – data collected from three Northern Territory National Parks (Kakadu, Litchfield, and Nitmiluk) in relation to fire-effects. Sampling for fire occurrence is bi-annual on-ground and satellite derived, fire mapping is tri-annual, and vegetation surveys every five years.
Tropical Rainforest – Permanent rainforest data for 20 x 0.5 hectare plots between 1971 and 2013 from north Queensland. Dataset used for the Ecology paper Long-term stem inventory data from tropical rain forest plots in Australia by Bradford et al. (2014).
(Bradford, M.G., Murphy, H.T., Ford, A.J., Hogan, D.L. and Metcalfe, D.J. (2014), Long-term stem inventory data from tropical rain forest plots in Australia. Ecology, 95: 2362-2362. https://doi.org/10.1890/14-0458R.1 )
Williams Wet Tropics Vertebrate Database - Species occurrence data collected and curated for over 600 terrestrial vertebrate species in the Australian Wet Tropics.