Living with Climate Change: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Factsheets for Australia: Terrestrial Biodiversity
This factsheet provides a short summary of the potential climate change impacts on Australia’s terrestrial biodiversity. The distribution and life cycle of all species have evolved to tolerate a specific climate window. Changes in local climate conditions can force redistribution and migration of species, changes in the timing of life cycles and disrupt inter-species interactions (e.g. herbivory). Responses of species and ecosystems to climate change have already been observed. The most vulnerable species are likely to be those that are already rare or endangered and include alpine species, mangroves and coastal communities, rainforests and the highly diverse communities of south west Western Australia. Impacts on human society include loss of income and ecosystem services (e.g. water quality). Most adaptation actions will be highly specific to particular ecological communities or ecosystems. Key areas for adaptation in terrestrial systems will include conserving and regenerating climate refugia. The factsheet also describes research priorities for terrestrial biodiversity adaptation and the work of the then Terrestrial Adaptation Network.