Biodiversity and Environmental Change

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Demonstrates the value and integration of existing national long-term ecological research in Australia for monitoring environmental change and biodiversity.

This data-rich book demonstrates the value of existing national long-term ecological research in Australia for monitoring environmental change and biodiversity. + Full description

Long-term ecological data are critical for informing trends in biodiversity and environmental change. The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) is a major initiative of the Australian Government and one of its key areas of investment is to provide funding for a network of long-term ecological research plots around Australia (LTERN).

LTERN researchers and other authors in this book have maintained monitoring sites, often for one or more decades, in an array of different ecosystems across the Australian continent – ranging from tropical rainforests, wet eucalypt forests and alpine regions through to rangelands and deserts. This book highlights some of the temporal changes in the environment that have occurred in the various systems in which dedicated field-based ecologists have worked. Many important trends and changes are documented and they often provide new insights that were previously poorly understood or unknown. These data are precisely the kinds of data so desperately needed to better quantify the temporal trajectories in the environment in Australia.

By presenting trend patterns (and often also the associated data) the authors aim to catalyse governments and other organisations to better recognise the importance of long-term data collection and monitoring as a fundamental part of ecologically-effective and cost-effective management of the environment and biodiversity.

- Short description


This title is no longer available in print format, but can still be purchased as an eBook.


"This exceptional book shows how the scientific and environmental management community needs to respond. In revealing the magnificence of Australia’s natural heritage, in quantifying how it is changing, and by untangling the complex of anthropogenic and natural drivers, it shows what is at risk, and provides the understanding necessary for effective action."
Matt McGlone, Frontiers of Biogeography, 2014, vol.6, no.3

"This book is arguably the most significant, up-to-date and comprehensive review ever undertaken on the state of the environment"
Bruce Lindenmayer, Canberra Bird Notes, 39 (3), December 2014, pp. 208-209


ePDF | February 2014
ISBN: 9780643108578
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | February 2014
ISBN: 9780643108585
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • High-quality empirical data
  • Gathers together time series trends for responses of biodiversity and environmental change
  • Written by eminent members of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)


1 General overview
2 The value of long-term research and how to design effective ecological research and monitoring
3 Our capacity to tell an Australian ecological story
4 The cultural imperative: broadening the vision of longterm ecological monitoring to enhance environmental policy and management outcomes
5 Tropical rainforests of Eastern Australia
6 Alpine ecosystems
7 Heathlands
8 Temperate eucalypt woodlands
9 North Australian tropical savannas: the Three Parks Savanna Fire-Effects Plot Network
10 Desert complex environments
11 Chenopod and acacia shrublands
12 Tussock grasslands
13 Tall eucalypt forests
14 Synopsis


David Lindenmayer is Professor of Conservation Science in the Fenner School of Environment and Society and Science Director of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) sub-facility within TERN. He has been working on long-term ecological research projects since 1983. He has published 35 other books as well as over 800 scientific publications, which have covered issues associated with ecological and biodiversity monitoring. David is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and an ARC Laureate Fellow.

Emma Burns is a conservation biologist in the Fenner School of Environment and Society and Executive Director of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) within TERN. Since completing her doctoral research on conservation genetics and phylogeography, she has worked in various roles in consulting, research and government (both state and Commonwealth). She has published on diverse topics in ecological research, conservation management and environmental policy.

Nicole Thurgate is an Associate Professor of Research at the University of Adelaide and the director of the Multi-Scale Plot Network within TERN. She has worked in the field of conservation biology for 20 years and published on a range of taxa and a variety of scales (from single species to landscape ecology). Nicole has also held positions within state and Commonwealth government and is committed to bridging the divide between science and policy.

Andrew Lowe is Professor of Plant Conservation Biology and Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Adelaide, Head of Science for the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and Associate Science Director of TERN. His predominant research interest is: ‘How do plants survive and adapt to anthropomorphised landscapes?’ Andrew is passionate about communicating science, particularly the threats and solutions to biodiversity pressures, and in addition to a broad range of popular articles has published over 150 journal articles and book chapters.

Contributors: Sam Banks, Sarah Barrett, Gary Bastin, Andrew Bennett, David Bowman, Matt Bradford, James Camac, Guy Castley, Tim Clancy, Michael Clarke, Mark Cowan, Mason Crane, Beth Crase, Nicki de Preu, Christopher Dickman, Eleanor Dormontt, Andrew Edwards, Glenn Edwards, Neal Enright, Emilie Ens, Alaric Fisher, Jeff Foulkes, Barry Fox, Peter Green, Pauline Grierson, Greg Guerin, Sam Harburg, Dean Heinze, Jean-Marc Hero, David Hilbert, Ary Hoffmann, Joanne Isaac, Geoff Kay, David Keith, Mike Lawes, Michael Liddell, Greg Lollback, Fran MacGillivray, Adrian Manning, Ian Mansergh, Keith McDougall, Daniel Metcalfe, Damian Michael, Rebecca Montague-Drake, John Morgan, Katherine Moseby, Brett Murphy, Helen Murphy, Michael Nash, Paul Novelly, Sachiko Okada, David Orr, Warwick Papst, Scott Parsons, David Paton, Stuart Phinn, Kylie Piper, Lynda Prior, Suzanne Prober, John Read, Richard Robinson, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Suzanne Shearer, Jon Shuker, Russell Sinclair, Ben Sparrow, Alison Specht, Mark Tozer, Stephen Van Leeuwen, Tim Wardlaw, Glenda Wardle, Justin Welbergen, David Westcott, Andrew White, Richard Williams, Stephen Williams, John Woinarski, Sam Wood, Colin Yates.