Climate change impacts on biodiversity are spatially variable and often synergistic with other change drivers, including invasive species, disease and various forms of land use and land use change. The consequences of these multiple forms of change for the performance of protected areas and their management is key to the sustainability of conservation efforts. Our research considers these multiple interactive drivers of change and the implications for protected areas, including impacts on sub-Antarctic terrestrial systems.
Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) is an Antarctic research program, funded by the Australian Research Council as a Special Research Initiative. Prof. Melodie McGeoch is the lead of Theme 2 of SAEF, which is on Biodiversity Status and Trends. Which aims to transform our understanding of the biodiversity in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Understanding what species are there. How they survive in such a harsh environment. How they respond to climate change. Understanding invasive species within the Antarctic context. And how all of these answers will inform conservation efforts.
Examples of our work in this area:
Evaluating models for predicting microclimates across sparsely vegetated and topographically diverse ecosystems.
Baker D.J., Dickson C.R., Bergstrom D.M., Whinam J., Maclean I.M.D., McGeoch M.A. 2021. Evaluating models for predicting microclimates across sparsely vegetated and topographically diverse ecosystems. Divers Distribution 27, pp 2093-2103. Doi:10.1111/ddi.13398
Widespread dieback in a foundation species on a sub‐Antarctic World Heritage Island: Fine‐scale patterns and likely drivers.
Dickson, C.R., Baker, D.J., Bergstrom, D.M., Brookes, R.H., Whinam, J. and McGeoch, M.A. 2020. Widespread dieback in a foundation species on a sub‐Antarctic World Heritage Island: Fine‐scale patterns and likely drivers. Austral Ecology 46, pp 52-64. Doi:10.1111/aec.12958
The conservation of abundance in nonthreatened species.
Baker, D., Garnett, S., O’Connor, J., Ehmke, G., Clarke, R., Woinarski, J., McGeoch, M.A. 2018. The conservation of abundance in nonthreatened species. Conservation Biology. Doi:10.1111/cobi.13197
Accommodating climate change contingencies in conservation strategy.
Gillson, L., Dawson, T.P., Jack, S. & McGeoch, M.A. 2013. Accommodating climate change contingencies in conservation strategy. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28, 135-142. Doi:10.1016/j.tree.2012.10.008
Spatial variation in the ongoing and widespread decline of a keystone plant species.
Dickson, C. R., Baker, D. J., Bergstrom, D. M., Bricher, P. K., Brookes, R. H., Raymond, B., Selkirk, P.M., Shaw, J.D., Terauds, A., Whinam, J., McGeoch, M. A. (2019). Spatial variation in the ongoing and widespread decline of a keystone plant species. Austral Ecology, 44(5), 891-905. Doi:10.1111/aec.12758