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Research priorities for natural ecosystems in a changing global climate


Williams, SE and Hobday, AJ and Falconi, L and Hero, J-M and Holbrook, NJ and Capon, S and Bond, NR and Ling, SD and Hughes, L, Research priorities for natural ecosystems in a changing global climate, Global Change Biology, 26, (2) pp. 410-416. ISSN 1354-1013 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/gcb.14856


Climate change poses significant emerging risks to biodiversity, ecosystem function and associated socioecological systems. Adaptation responses must be initiated in parallel with mitigation efforts, but resources are limited. As climate risks are not distributed equally across taxa, ecosystems and processes, strategic prioritization of research that addresses stakeholder‐relevant knowledge gaps will accelerate effective uptake into adaptation policy and management action. After a decade of climate change adaptation research within the Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, we synthesize the National Adaptation Research Plans for marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. We identify the key, globally relevant priorities for ongoing research relevant to informing adaptation policy and environmental management aimed at maximizing the resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change. Informed by both global literature and an extensive stakeholder consultation across all ecosystems, sectors and regions in Australia, involving thousands of participants, we suggest 18 priority research topics based on their significance, urgency, technical and economic feasibility, existing knowledge gaps and potential for cobenefits across multiple sectors. These research priorities provide a unified guide for policymakers, funding organizations and researchers to strategically direct resources, maximize stakeholder uptake of resulting knowledge and minimize the impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems. Given the pace of climate change, it is imperative that we inform and accelerate adaptation progress in all regions around the world.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptation, freshwater, global change biology, marine, natural ecosystems, research prioritization, terrestrial
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
UTAS Author:Ling, SD (Dr Scott Ling)
ID Code:136158
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP170104668)
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-12-03
Last Modified:2020-02-27

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