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

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Johnson, JE and Holbrook, NJ (2014) Adaptation of Australia’s Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change: Using Science to Inform Conservation Management. International Journal of Ecology, 2014 (140354). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1687-9708

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Abstract

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—
both temperate and tropical—are 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” adaptations that can be
implemented now and refined as knowledge improves.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Ecology
Page Range: pp. 1-12
ISSN: 1687-9708
Additional Information:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence(CC BY 3.0)

Date Deposited: 20 May 2014 05:40
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 05:00
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