University Of Tasmania

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Biological responses to the press and pulse of climate trends and extreme events

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 19:09 authored by Harris, RMB, Beaumont, LJ, Tessa VanceTessa Vance, Tozer, CR, Tomas Remenyi, Perkins-Kirkpatrick, SE, Mitchell, PJ, Nicotra, AB, McGregor, S, Andrew, NR, Letnic, M, Kearney, MR, Wernberg, T, Hutley, LB, Chambers, LE, Fletcher, M-S, Keatley, MR, Woodward, CA, Grant WilliamsonGrant Williamson, Duke, NC, David BowmanDavid Bowman
The interaction of gradual climate trends and extreme weather events since the turn of the century has triggered complex and, in some cases, catastrophic ecological responses around the world. We illustrate this using Australian examples within a press–pulse framework. Despite the Australian biota being adapted to high natural climate variability, recent combinations of climatic presses and pulses have led to population collapses, loss of relictual communities and shifts into novel ecosystems. These changes have been sudden and unpredictable, and may represent permanent transitions to new ecosystem states without adaptive management interventions. The press–pulse framework helps illuminate biological responses to climate change, grounds debate about suitable management interventions and highlights possible consequences of (non-) intervention.


Publication title

Nature Climate Change








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Nature Publishing Group

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2018 Macmillan Publishers

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Ecosystem adaptation to climate change