The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points

William Laurance, Bernard Dell, Stephen Turton, Michael Lawes, Lindsay Hutley, Hamish McCallum, Patricia Dale, Michael Bird, Giles Hardy, Gavin Prideaux, Ben Gawne, Clive McMahon, Richard Yu, Jean-Marc Hero, Lin Schwarzkopf, Andrew Krockenberger, Samantha Setterfield, Michael Douglas, Ewen Silvester, Mark Mahony & 6 others Karen Vella, Udoy Saikia, Carl-Henrik Wahren, Zhihong Xu, Bradley Smith, Chris Cocklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    We identify the 10 major terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Australia most vulnerable to tipping points, in which modest environmental changes can cause disproportionately large changes in ecosystem properties. To accomplish this we independently surveyed the coauthors of this paper to produce a list of candidate ecosystems, and then refined this list during a 2-day workshop. The list includes (1) elevationally restricted mountain ecosystems, (2) tropical savannas, (3) coastal floodplains and wetlands, (4) coral reefs, (5) drier rainforests, (6) wetlands and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin, (7) the Mediterranean ecosystems of southwestern Australia, (8) offshore islands, (9) temperate eucalypt forests, and (10) salt marshes and mangroves. Some of these ecosystems are vulnerable to widespread phase-changes that could fundamentally alter ecosystem properties such as habitat structure, species composition, fire regimes, or carbon storage. Others appear susceptible to major changes across only part of their geographic range, whereas yet others are susceptible to a large-scale decline of key biotic components, such as small mammals or stream-dwelling amphibians. For each ecosystem we consider the intrinsic features and external drivers that render it susceptible to tipping points, and identify subtypes of the ecosystem that we deem to be especially vulnerable. � 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1472-1480
    Number of pages9
    JournalBiological Conservation
    Volume144
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    floodplain
    floodplains
    wetland
    wetlands
    habitat structure
    small mammal
    temperate forest
    fire regime
    terrestrial ecosystem
    marine ecosystem
    saltmarsh
    rainforest
    savanna
    carbon sequestration
    amphibian
    mangrove
    phase transition
    coral reef

    Cite this

    Laurance, W., Dell, B., Turton, S., Lawes, M., Hutley, L., McCallum, H., ... Cocklin, C. (2011). The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points. Biological Conservation, 144(5), 1472-1480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.01.016
    Laurance, William ; Dell, Bernard ; Turton, Stephen ; Lawes, Michael ; Hutley, Lindsay ; McCallum, Hamish ; Dale, Patricia ; Bird, Michael ; Hardy, Giles ; Prideaux, Gavin ; Gawne, Ben ; McMahon, Clive ; Yu, Richard ; Hero, Jean-Marc ; Schwarzkopf, Lin ; Krockenberger, Andrew ; Setterfield, Samantha ; Douglas, Michael ; Silvester, Ewen ; Mahony, Mark ; Vella, Karen ; Saikia, Udoy ; Wahren, Carl-Henrik ; Xu, Zhihong ; Smith, Bradley ; Cocklin, Chris. / The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points. In: Biological Conservation. 2011 ; Vol. 144, No. 5. pp. 1472-1480.
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    abstract = "We identify the 10 major terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Australia most vulnerable to tipping points, in which modest environmental changes can cause disproportionately large changes in ecosystem properties. To accomplish this we independently surveyed the coauthors of this paper to produce a list of candidate ecosystems, and then refined this list during a 2-day workshop. The list includes (1) elevationally restricted mountain ecosystems, (2) tropical savannas, (3) coastal floodplains and wetlands, (4) coral reefs, (5) drier rainforests, (6) wetlands and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin, (7) the Mediterranean ecosystems of southwestern Australia, (8) offshore islands, (9) temperate eucalypt forests, and (10) salt marshes and mangroves. Some of these ecosystems are vulnerable to widespread phase-changes that could fundamentally alter ecosystem properties such as habitat structure, species composition, fire regimes, or carbon storage. Others appear susceptible to major changes across only part of their geographic range, whereas yet others are susceptible to a large-scale decline of key biotic components, such as small mammals or stream-dwelling amphibians. For each ecosystem we consider the intrinsic features and external drivers that render it susceptible to tipping points, and identify subtypes of the ecosystem that we deem to be especially vulnerable. � 2011 Elsevier Ltd.",
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    author = "William Laurance and Bernard Dell and Stephen Turton and Michael Lawes and Lindsay Hutley and Hamish McCallum and Patricia Dale and Michael Bird and Giles Hardy and Gavin Prideaux and Ben Gawne and Clive McMahon and Richard Yu and Jean-Marc Hero and Lin Schwarzkopf and Andrew Krockenberger and Samantha Setterfield and Michael Douglas and Ewen Silvester and Mark Mahony and Karen Vella and Udoy Saikia and Carl-Henrik Wahren and Zhihong Xu and Bradley Smith and Chris Cocklin",
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    Laurance, W, Dell, B, Turton, S, Lawes, M, Hutley, L, McCallum, H, Dale, P, Bird, M, Hardy, G, Prideaux, G, Gawne, B, McMahon, C, Yu, R, Hero, J-M, Schwarzkopf, L, Krockenberger, A, Setterfield, S, Douglas, M, Silvester, E, Mahony, M, Vella, K, Saikia, U, Wahren, C-H, Xu, Z, Smith, B & Cocklin, C 2011, 'The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points', Biological Conservation, vol. 144, no. 5, pp. 1472-1480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.01.016

    The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points. / Laurance, William; Dell, Bernard; Turton, Stephen; Lawes, Michael; Hutley, Lindsay; McCallum, Hamish; Dale, Patricia; Bird, Michael; Hardy, Giles; Prideaux, Gavin; Gawne, Ben; McMahon, Clive; Yu, Richard; Hero, Jean-Marc; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Krockenberger, Andrew; Setterfield, Samantha; Douglas, Michael; Silvester, Ewen; Mahony, Mark; Vella, Karen; Saikia, Udoy; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Xu, Zhihong; Smith, Bradley; Cocklin, Chris.

    In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 144, No. 5, 2011, p. 1472-1480.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The 10 Australian ecosystems most vulnerable to tipping points

    AU - Laurance, William

    AU - Dell, Bernard

    AU - Turton, Stephen

    AU - Lawes, Michael

    AU - Hutley, Lindsay

    AU - McCallum, Hamish

    AU - Dale, Patricia

    AU - Bird, Michael

    AU - Hardy, Giles

    AU - Prideaux, Gavin

    AU - Gawne, Ben

    AU - McMahon, Clive

    AU - Yu, Richard

    AU - Hero, Jean-Marc

    AU - Schwarzkopf, Lin

    AU - Krockenberger, Andrew

    AU - Setterfield, Samantha

    AU - Douglas, Michael

    AU - Silvester, Ewen

    AU - Mahony, Mark

    AU - Vella, Karen

    AU - Saikia, Udoy

    AU - Wahren, Carl-Henrik

    AU - Xu, Zhihong

    AU - Smith, Bradley

    AU - Cocklin, Chris

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    N2 - We identify the 10 major terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Australia most vulnerable to tipping points, in which modest environmental changes can cause disproportionately large changes in ecosystem properties. To accomplish this we independently surveyed the coauthors of this paper to produce a list of candidate ecosystems, and then refined this list during a 2-day workshop. The list includes (1) elevationally restricted mountain ecosystems, (2) tropical savannas, (3) coastal floodplains and wetlands, (4) coral reefs, (5) drier rainforests, (6) wetlands and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin, (7) the Mediterranean ecosystems of southwestern Australia, (8) offshore islands, (9) temperate eucalypt forests, and (10) salt marshes and mangroves. Some of these ecosystems are vulnerable to widespread phase-changes that could fundamentally alter ecosystem properties such as habitat structure, species composition, fire regimes, or carbon storage. Others appear susceptible to major changes across only part of their geographic range, whereas yet others are susceptible to a large-scale decline of key biotic components, such as small mammals or stream-dwelling amphibians. For each ecosystem we consider the intrinsic features and external drivers that render it susceptible to tipping points, and identify subtypes of the ecosystem that we deem to be especially vulnerable. � 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

    AB - We identify the 10 major terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Australia most vulnerable to tipping points, in which modest environmental changes can cause disproportionately large changes in ecosystem properties. To accomplish this we independently surveyed the coauthors of this paper to produce a list of candidate ecosystems, and then refined this list during a 2-day workshop. The list includes (1) elevationally restricted mountain ecosystems, (2) tropical savannas, (3) coastal floodplains and wetlands, (4) coral reefs, (5) drier rainforests, (6) wetlands and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin, (7) the Mediterranean ecosystems of southwestern Australia, (8) offshore islands, (9) temperate eucalypt forests, and (10) salt marshes and mangroves. Some of these ecosystems are vulnerable to widespread phase-changes that could fundamentally alter ecosystem properties such as habitat structure, species composition, fire regimes, or carbon storage. Others appear susceptible to major changes across only part of their geographic range, whereas yet others are susceptible to a large-scale decline of key biotic components, such as small mammals or stream-dwelling amphibians. For each ecosystem we consider the intrinsic features and external drivers that render it susceptible to tipping points, and identify subtypes of the ecosystem that we deem to be especially vulnerable. � 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

    KW - catastrophic event

    KW - climate change

    KW - community composition

    KW - coral reef

    KW - ecosystem health

    KW - ecosystem resilience

    KW - environmental degradation

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    KW - extinction risk

    KW - feral organism

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    KW - habitat fragmentation

    KW - habitat structure

    KW - invasive species

    KW - mangrove

    KW - Mediterranean environment

    KW - mountain environment

    KW - pathogen

    KW - pest species

    KW - population decline

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    KW - salinization

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    KW - savanna

    KW - sea level change

    KW - threshold

    KW - vulnerability

    KW - wetland

    KW - wildfire

    KW - Australia

    KW - Amphibia

    KW - Animalia

    KW - Anthozoa

    KW - Mammalia

    KW - Rhizophoraceae

    U2 - 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.01.016

    DO - 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.01.016

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