Rangelands AusPlots are surveillance surveys using a standardised methodology of 1ha plots to collect baseline ecological data. The methodology is Commonwealth supported and managed nationally by the Terrestrial Ecological Research Network (TERN). The data collected by AusPlots includes site measurements, samples of vegetation and soils, and photo points, Over 400 Ausplots are established throughout the rangelands nationally with one noticeable gap being the Pilbara bioregion. The establishment of sites in the Pilbara will provide a long term benefit to the region to assist with flora biodiversity management and provide data for use by the broader ecosystem science and management community.
The aim of this project is to:
- Increase the understanding of the dynamics of plant species and soils;
- Progress knowledge on distribution, abundance and threats to ecosystems;
- Increase the knowledge of carbon and nutrient budgets of soils and vegetation;
- Input into DNA barcoding of Pilbara bioregion vegetation and soil communities;
- Determine the genetic and phylogenetic diversity;
- Assist in the field validation of remote sensing products;
- Assist state and federal agencies to meet monitoring and reporting obligations; and to
- Create a photographic reference of the Pilbara bioregion, to enhance existing State photo reference libraries.