Queensland’s biodiversity under climate change: impacts and adaptation – synthesis report

This report is a synthesis of the existing scientific research on climate change impacts and the adaptation options for terrestrial, freshwater aquatic, coastal and marine biodiversity, it’s ecosystems and the services they provide.

This report summarises the different ways climate change is likely to affect biodiversity ecosystems, and ecosystem services in Queensland.

What are the likely implications of climate change for Queensland’s species and ecosystems?

Climate and ocean changes will affect all of Queensland’s marine, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in ways that are more widespread and, in many situations, more extreme than currently recognised.

The modelling and synthesis undertaken for this report indicates that all ecosystems across Queensland are expected to experience significant environmental change.

This change is largely driven by rising atmospheric CO2, ocean acidification, increasing temperatures, declining rainfall, altered rainfall patterns, altered oceanic currents and changed disturbance regimes.

How will climate change affect ecosystem services in Queensland?

The projected changes to Queensland’s natural ecosystems as a result of climate change are expected to directly affect the ecosystem services these systems currently provide, such as the capture, filtration and storage of freshwater, nutrient cycling, pest control, coastal protection and recreation.

Their increasing scarcity has the potential to lead to increases in production costs and reductions in social and economic benefits.

What can be done to incorporate climate change into the management of species and ecosystems?

Minimising the future decline of biodiversity will require a shift in policy objectives to prioritise the functioning of ecosystems and support the natural movement of species.

Future biodiversity action will also be more productive if it is supported by environmental and ecological modelling based on critical monitoring and evaluation within an active adaptive management framework.


Contact Information

Dr Kristen Williams

Ecological Geographer (Research Scientist)

Phone: +61 2 6242 1695

Email: Kristen.Williams@csiro.au

Mr Andrew Warren

Communications Advisor

Environment Group

Phone: +61 7 3833 5747

Alt Phone: +61 416 277 695

Email: andrew.warren@csiro.au


Williams K. J., Dunlop M., Bustamante R. H., Murphy H. T, Ferrier S., Wise R. M., Liedloff A., Skewes T., Harwood T. D., Kroon F., Williams R. J., Joehnk K., Crimp S., Stafford Smith M., James C. & Booth T., 2012. Queensland’s biodiversity under climate change: impacts and adaptation – synthesis report. A Report Prepared for the Queensland Government, Brisbane. Canberra: CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship.

CSIRO, 9 October 2012. Report.

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