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Adaptation of Australia's Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change: Using Science to Inform Conservation Management

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posted on 2023-05-26, 08:16 authored by Johnson, JE, Neil HolbrookNeil Holbrook
The challenges that climate change poses for marine ecosystems are already manifesting in impacts at the species, population, and community levels in Australia, particularly in Tasmania and tropical northern Australia. Many species and habitats are already under threat as a result of human activities, and the additional pressure from climate change significantly increases the challenge for marine conservation and management. Climate change impacts are expected to magnify as sea surface temperatures, ocean chemistry, ocean circulation, sea level, rainfall, and storm patterns continue to change this century. In particular, keystone species that form the foundation of marine habitats, such as coral reefs, kelp beds, and temperate rocky reefs, are projected to pass thresholds with subsequent implications for communities and ecosystems. This review synthesises recent science in this field: the observed impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change, ecological thresholds of change, and strategies for marine conservation to promote adaptation. Increasing observations of climate-related impacts on Australia'smarine ecosystems‚ÄövÑvÆ both temperate and tropical‚ÄövÑvÆare making adaptive management more important than ever before. Our increased understanding of the impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change provides a focus for no-regrets‚ÄövÑvp adaptations that can be implemented now and refined as knowledge improves.

History

Publication title

International Journal of Ecology

Volume

2014

Article number

140354

Number

140354

Pagination

1-12

ISSN

1687-9708

Publication status

  • Published

Rights statement

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence(CC BY 3.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

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