Global warming in the Wet Tropics: issues in tropical forest landscapes

Rainforest CRC, (2003) Global warming in the Wet Tropics: issues in tropical forest landscapes. Working Paper. Rainforest CRC, James Cook University, Cairns, Qld, Australia.

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Abstract

Humans are rapidly changing the nature of our planet in profound ways. Global changes include alterations to the vegetation cover of the land, the chemical composition of the earth’s atmosphere, global climate and climate variability, and the rapid and extensive introduction of exotic species.

Australia’s Wet Tropics are dominated by mountain ranges giving extremes of altitude from sea level to around 1600 metres. Most remaining rainforest in the Wet Tropics is above 300m and almost all species unique to this region are adapted to these cooler uplands. Temperature rises due to global warming would mean massive changes to these cool uplands, leading to loss of habitat. Consequently, the biological diversity and endemic species that are the keystone of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area are under severe threat.

Ecosystem processes and the provision of ecosystem services could also be severely affected by climate change, indicating how imperative it is to understand the processes that shape large scale regional ecological patterns over time. Only then can predictive tools be developed to enable realistic conservation planning for the unique ecosystems of the Wet Tropics and other rainforests in Queensland.

Item ID: 1683
Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
Keywords: global warming, Wet Tropics, Queensland, Australia, rainforest, conservation
Additional Information:

Issue 2.

This Issues Paper is based on work by Dr David Hilbert (CSIRO) and Dr Steve Williams (JCU) Special thanks to Dr Andrew Krockenberger (JCU) for review and editing.

Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2007
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 0%
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