About the Australian Transect Network

Ecological observations providing a window into our environmental future

Large-scale transects are powerful tools for addressing key ecological knowledge needs. The TERN Australian Transect Network
(ATN) facilitates the study of ecological structure and processes over major biophysical gradients to document ecological change
and adaptation in relation to climate variation across Australia’s major terrestrial biomes. The ATN’s primary focus is observations
and monitoring of natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystem gradients, generating data and products to enable researchers
to predict how species and ecosystems will change in the future. Through the network, research outcomes are linked with and
inform management, policy settings, planning and monitoring programs.

Engaging with the Australian Transect Network

The ATN actively supports and encourages:

  • Access to transect data via the TERN Data Portal
  • Access to an extensive network of transect field plots
  • Awareness of the range of transect core attributes
  • The use of plant vouchers, plant genetic samples and soil samples
  • Network membership for large-scale transect projects
  • Participation in annual workshops for transect leaders and other leading Australian and international transect scientists

Key research areas

The ATN provides data to help answer the following ecological questions of national significance:

  • How do species, communities and ecosystem processes change in space and time, and what are the key processes driving change?
  • What is the relative importance of climate as a driver of ecological change?
  • Is there predictable variation in ecosystem resilience across bioclimatic gradients, and can environmental thresholds be identified where there are abrupt changes in ecological composition, structure and function?
  • What is the potential of species and communities to adapt to a changing climate?

Where are the Australian Transect Network transects?

The ATN maintains a national network of subcontential transects which travers major biomes, land tenures (including agricultural landscapes and bioclimatic gradients:

  • Biodiversity Adaptation Transect Sydney (BATS)
  • North Australian Tropical Transect (NATT)
  • South-Western Australian Transitional Transect (SWATT)
  • Transect for Environmental Monitoring and Decision Making (TREND, also download this overview document)
  • Australian east coast Drosphilia Transect (EADrosT)
  • Box gum east-west transect (BoxEW)
  • Wet tropics altitudinal transect (WTAT)