Ecosystem collapse from the tropics to the Antarctic: an assessment and response framework

Bergstrom, Dana M., Wienecke, Barbara C., van der Hoff, John, Hughes, Lesley, Lindenmayer, David, Ainsworth, Tracy, Baker, Christopher M., Bland, Lucie, Bowman, David, Brooks, Shaun T., Canadell, Josep G., Constable, Andrew J., Dafforn, Katherine A., Depledge, Michael H., Dickson, Catherine R., Duke, Norman, Helmstedt, Kate J., Holz, Andres, Johnson, Craig, Mcgeoch, Melodie, Melbourne-thomas, Jessica, Morgain, Rachel, Nicholson, Emily, Prober, Suzanne, Raymond, Ben, Ritchie, Euan, Robinson, Sharon, Ruthrof, Katinka X., Setterfield, Samantha A., Sgro, Carla M., Stark, Jonathan S., Travers, Toby, Trebilco, Rowan, Ward, Delphi F.L., Wardle, Glenda, Williams, Kristen, Zylstra, Phillip J., and Shaw, Justine D. (2021) Ecosystem collapse from the tropics to the Antarctic: an assessment and response framework. Global Change Biology, 27. pp. 1692-1703.

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Abstract

Globally, collapse of ecosystems—potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function—imperils biodiversity, human health and well-being. We examine the current state and recent trajectories of 19 ecosystems, spanning 58° of latitude across 7.7 M km2, from Australia's coral reefs to terrestrial Antarctica. Pressures from global climate change and regional human impacts, occurring as chronic ‘presses’ and/or acute ‘pulses’, drive ecosystem collapse. Ecosystem responses to 5–17 pressures were categorised as four collapse profiles—abrupt, smooth, stepped and fluctuating. The manifestation of widespread ecosystem collapse is a stark warning of the necessity to take action. We present a three-step assessment and management framework (3As Pathway Awareness, Anticipation and Action) to aid strategic and effective mitigation to alleviate further degradation to help secure our future.

Item ID: 69086
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1354-1013
Copyright Information: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Additional Information:

This article is currently freely available via the publisher's website.

Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP)
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 05:39
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 40%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190401 Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires) @ 40%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1804 Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments > 180403 Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems @ 30%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 30%
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