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This report card represents a first attempt at summarising current knowledge of climate change impacts on terrestrial and freshwater species and ecosystems, and identifies potential adaptation responses and knowledge gaps in Australia.

The potential impacts of climate change on terrestrial and freshwater systems in Australia are immense. We have already seen shifts of species distributions across elevational and latitudinal space, and this is expected to continue. Population losses and species extinctions are predicted, through a variety of direct (such as heat stress and drought) and indirect impacts (including phenological mismatch, pollinator loss, etc). Our World Heritage Areas and their associated biodiversity are at risk, and we can expect declines in ecosystem function in many areas.

While mitigation measures, in the form of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, remain the front line strategy against the impacts of climate change, adaptation management actions need to be implemented now to minimise biodiversity loss and manage the ecological transformation we face.

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  • All references for this report are found under the References tab



David Bowman; University of Tasmania

Kerry Bridle; Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Barry Brook; University of Adelaide

Samantha Capon; Griffith University

Lynda Chambers; Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Stephen Garnett; Charles Darwin University

Jean-Marc Hero; Griffith University

Lauren Hodgson; James Cook University

Ary Hoffmann; University of Melbourne

Lesley Hughes; Macquarie University

Joanne Isaac; James Cook University

Craig James; CSIRO

Roger Kitching; Griffith University

Andrew Lowe; University of Adelaide

Tara Martin; CSIRO

Nicola Mitchell; University of Western Australia

Elvira Poloczanska; CSIRO

Hugh Possingham; University of Queensland

Grant Wardell-Johnson; Curtin University

Dick Williams; CSIRO

Stephen Williams; James Cook University

Yvette Williams,; James Cook University

Colin Yates; Department of Parks and Wildlife (WA)



Mark Stafford Smith - CSIRO

Alistair Hobday- CSIRO

Justin Welbergen – James Cook University

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