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


Harris, RMB and Beaumont, LJ and Vance, TR and Tozer, CR and Remenyi, TA and Perkins-Kirkpatrick, SE and Mitchell, PJ and Nicotra, AB and McGregor, S and Andrew, NR and Letnic, M and Kearney, MR and Wernberg, T and Hutley, LB and Chambers, LE and Fletcher, M-S and Keatley, MR and Woodward, CA and Williamson, G and Duke, NC and Bowman, DMJS, Biological responses to the press and pulse of climate trends and extreme events, Nature Climate Change, 8 pp. 579-587. ISSN 1758-678X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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© 2018 Macmillan Publishers

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0187-9


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, extreme events, ecology
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Harris, RMB (Dr Rebecca Harris)
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
UTAS Author:Tozer, CR (Dr Carly Tozer)
UTAS Author:Remenyi, TA (Dr Tom Remenyi)
UTAS Author:Williamson, G (Dr Grant Williamson)
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:126890
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:234
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-07-02
Last Modified:2022-08-29
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