Get access

A survey of long-term terrestrial ecology studies in Australia



Long-term ecological studies (LTES) are critical for understanding and managing landscapes. To identify important research gaps, facilitate collaborations and communicate results, several countries have established long-term ecological research networks. A few initiatives to create such a network in Australia have been undertaken, but relatively few published data exist on the current state of LTES in Australia. In this paper, we present the results of an online survey of terrestrial LTES projects sent to academic, government and non-governmental organization-based researchers across Australia. We asked questions pertaining to the focus, scope, support and outcomes of LTES spanning 7 years or longer. Based on the information reported from 85 Australian LTES, we: (i) identify the biomes, processes and species that are under-represented in the current body of research; (ii) discuss important contributing factors to the successful development and survival of these projects; and (iii) make recommendations to help increase the productivity and influence of LTES across research, management and policy sectors.