SEQ PU Supersite - Introduction

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What is the SEQ PU Supersite?

The South East Queensland Peri-Urban Supersite Network (SEQ PU Supersite) is a network of environmental monitoring infrastructure facilitating the collection of high-resolution data to ensure a whole-of-catchment understanding of the relationships between aquatic and terrestrial hydrology, land use and material flux (in both water and air).

The Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF)
The Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) which contains environmental monitoring equipment.


The South East Queensland Peri-Urban Supersite Network is a program under the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). TERN was established by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. The primary objective of TERN is to facilitate enhanced ecosystem research by systematic, coordinated national data collection.

For more information on TERN please go to

Rainforest and creek at SERF
Lush rainforest and creek area of SERF.

Nodes and location

The SEQ PU Supersite includes 2 geographically distinct, but complementary research sites (or nodes), north and south of Brisbane City:

  • Samford Node
  • Logan Node

Researcher setting up the Flux equipment.
Researcher setting up the Flux equipment.

Other TERN Supersites

Other TERN Supersites are located in ecologically distinct or significant biomes of Australia -- Far North Queensland Rainforest (coordinated by James Cook University and CSIRO), Warra (Forestry Tasmania), Chowilla (University of Adelaide), Great Western Woodlands (CSIRO) and Alice Springs ( University of Technology, Sydney). For more information on the supersites


Researcher reviewing GHG results
Researcher reviewing results from greenhouse gas testing equipment.


A critical issue facing the ecosystem research community is how to link scales from site-based species data and observations to regional an continental-scale levels of integration whilst recognizing the inter regional dependencies an connectivity. This is of prime importance to management at the scale of the landscape. Traditional approaches to monitoring and managing ecosystems have typically have been small field experimentation and, less often, catchment-based. The increased presence of regional catchment management bodies in Australia has place an emphasis on development of whole-of-catchment management strategies to improve water quality and ensure continued delivery of high quality ecosystem services.

Greenhouse gas chambers in SERF forest.
Greenhouse gas chambers in SERF forest.

Background and objectives

The SEQ PU Supersite Network has been developed to leverage off existing infrastructure and activities within south east Queensland examining the impact of urbanisation on natural resources in the region. Water quality as a function of urbanisation is a major integrating theme within the SEQ PU Supersite Network, and subsequent impacts on ecosystem health and biodiversity.

The development, transformation in land use and exploitation of resources associated with population growth within south east Queensland will intensify the pressure on catchment, aquatic and coastal environments, potentially leading to significant habitat fragmentation, and changes in biogeochemical cycles, water quality issues, biodiversity loss and loss of economic and amenity values.

The SEQ PU Supersite Network has been developed around existing observational infrastructure operated by Queensland States agencies, Universities and CSIRO. Operationally, the SEQ PU Supersite Network will integrate existing data and deploy infrastructure to both complement and automate acquisition of key data terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem information. It will facilitate data collection to examine carbon, nitrogen, water and energy balances and biodiversity monitoring in contrasting native and managed ecosystems typical of the landscape mosaic within peri-urban ecosystems.

The SEQ PU Supersite Network will also develop and test a range of new acoustic, biochemical, optical and eco-genomic methods as effective and accurate indicators of ecosystem health that can be implemented more broadly to support reporting of ecosystem health at local, regional and national scale.

Researchers reviewing soil and soil moisture data.
Two researchers reviewing soil and soil moisture data at SERF.

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