The Calperum Ecosystem Research Site is highly networked. It contributes to, and draws upon, a wide array of like-minded research initiatives in Australia and internationally.
National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) was established in 2004-2005 to develop and fund national research infrastructure projects. The aim is to produce a strategic, collaborative approach to investment in world-class research facilities, networks and infrastructure that are accessible to researchers and meet their long-term needs.
The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)
The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) was created in 2009, as part of NCRIS, to improve the understanding and management of Australia’s ecosystems. It provides critical research infrastructure, it stores, integrates and shares data, and it supports national and international networks of scientists and environmental managers.
TERN operates through national networks of facilities that are run in partnership with research institutions and government agencies. Key networks are:
- TERN Central and the TERN Data Discovery Portal - which provides access to all TERN data.
- AusCover – producing satellite images, satellite-based maps, remote sensing research data, and product validation for Australian conditions.
- AusPlots - plots undertaking baseline assessments of ecosystems.
- Australian Supersite Network (ASN) - multidisciplinary ecosystem observatories.
- Australian Transect Network - studying ecological and genetic structure and processes, patterns and trends, along four sub-continental transects.
- Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS) – multidisciplinary analysis and synthesis, essential for planning sustainable management of Australia’s environment.
- Australian Coastal Ecosystem Facility (ACEF) – field surveys, spatial data, and satellite/airborne image data sets of Australia’s coastal ecosystems.
- Eco-Informatics – storage, sharing, integration and visualisation of ecological plot data.
- Ecosystem Modelling and Scaling Infrastructure (eMAST) – collection, integration and scaling of site/plot, flux tower, remote sensing and eco-informatics data for ecosystem models.
- Long-Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) - linking twelve existing long-term ecological plot-based monitoring programs across a range of Australian ecosystems.
- OzFlux – measuring key energy, water and carbon dioxide fluxes and making the data available for multiple ecosystem science and modelling applications.
- Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia – a high-spatial resolution soils grid for Australia and a network for sharing data sets, models, and analytic approaches.
The Calperum Ecosystem Research Site (the Calperum Site) is a TERN SuperSite and OzFlux site. It is the only site in South Australia for either network.
The TERN OzFlux Facility is a network of monitoring towers around Australia to continuously measure the exchanges (flux) of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy between the terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere. The network is coordinated by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research based in Canberra and is also part of a global network of over 500 flux towers (FluxNet), most of which are located in the northern hemisphere.
OzFlux data are being used to improve our understanding of the response of carbon and water cycles in Australian ecosystems to climate variability (e.g. drought), disturbance (e.g. fire), land management (e.g. grazing) and future changes in climate and carbon dioxide levels.
OzFlux is providing data to improve the land surface modules in Global Circulation Models, and to validate remote sensing estimates of parameters such as surface temperature, energy flow and evapotranspiration – and to answer the following questions, which are central to informing land management and climate adaptation and mitigation policies:
- What are the key constraints to ecosystem productivity?
- How resilient is ecosystem productivity in the face of climate change and variability?
- What is the current water balance of the ecosystem and how will it change in future?
The OzFlux purpose is to:
- Understand mechanisms controlling exchanges of carbon, water vapour and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere over a range of time and space scales.
- Provide data on carbon and water balances of key ecosystems for model testing.
- Provide information to validate estimates of net primary productivity, evaporation, and energy absorption using remotely sensed radiance data.
- Provide data to validate new developments in micrometeorological theory for fluxes and air flows in complex terrain.
- Provide high precision CO2 concentrations measurements (at Cape Grim) for use in regional, continental and global atmospheric inverse studies of the carbon cycle.
Australian SuperSite Network
The Australian SuperSite Network (ASN) is a national network of multidisciplinary ecosystem observatories. There are ten SuperSites that each represent a significant Australian biome. Each SuperSite hosts an OzFlux tower, and researchers also undertake intensive collection of various ecosystem measurements including detailed data sets on soils, flora, fauna, climate and biophysical processes.
Through this work, the ASN aims to improve our understanding of ecosystem response to environmental change. Work underway throughout the ASN also complements the capabilities of the Long-Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN).