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Whole Ecosystems

TREND, Transects for Environmental Monitoring and Decision Making, provides a system of data collection across bushland, farmland and marine environments to create evidence-based recommendations, guidelines and tools for monitoring change.

By assessing the impacts of various potential climate and environmental shifts, TREND aims provide an early warning system for changes in Australia's diverse environments. It sets up our knowledge - based on long-term monitoring - for informed policy and proactive response to change.


The TREND program focuses on transects of bushland, farmland, social and marine environments. For example, in South Australia these transects follow specific environmental gradients - from the relatively high rainfall region of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges to the hotter and drier northern Flinders Ranges, from coastal Wallaroo across to regional Renmark, some sites across the Eyre Peninsula, and marine sites within the Spencer Gulf and the Gulf of St Vincent (see transect map).

Within the transects, species are being monitored in terms of their distribution, structure, life-cycle, overall health, appearance and genetic variation and social environments are monitored for changes in environment, economy, population and social landscape.

By benchmarking new data against data collected 20-30 years ago in the Biological Survey of South Australia, and by comparing current ecosystem variation, TREND will detect indicators of change, thus identifying early warning signals for the future. These early warning signals will then inform government policies about environmental protection, agriculture and adapting to our changing climate.

TREND is part of the national TERN initiative (see Monitoring ecosystems in the biodiversity section). In South Australia it is supported by the South Australian Premier's Science and Research Fund.

For more details visit


Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide

Level 1, 112 Darling Building North Terrace

Adelaide SA 5000 AUSTRALIA


T: +61 8 8313 0543