Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Biological diversity in Australia has been dwindling, even without the full onslaught of climate change with the anticipated decrease in numbers of species, communities and effects on associated ecosystems. This makes the impacts of climate change attractive for students undertaking research training in field biology in undergraduate and graduate zoology programs. The projects undertaken by such students are, of necessity, short-term and typically vary between several months and two years of field work. In this paper we consider if such projects are compatible with studying the effects of climate change on Australian native fauna. We conclude that there are limited opportunities for explicit outcomes; however, the research is valuable in a broader context of underpinning longer term research.

Adam, P. 2010. Australian saltmarshes in global context, Pp. 1-23 in Australian Saltmarsh Ecology, edited by N. Saintilan. CSIRO Publication, Collingwood.
Araújo, M.B. and Rahbek, C. 2006. How does climate change affect biodiversity? Science 313: 1396-1397.
Beaumont, L.J. and Hughes, L. 2002. Potential changes in the distribution of latitudinally restricted Australian butterfly species in response to climate change. Global Change Biology 8: 954-971.
Bradley, J.S., Shira, I.J. and Wooller, R.D. 1991. A long-term study of short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris on Fisher Island, Australia. Ibis 133: 55-61.
Bradshaw, W.E. and Holzapfel, C.M. 2006. Evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Science 312: 1477-1488.
CANA. undated a. Australian Animals. Climate Action Network Australia. http://www.cana.net.au/bush/aus_animals.htm Accessed 6 September, 2011.
CANA. undated b. Global Warming is Really Already with Us. Climate Action Network Australia. http://www.cana.net.au/bush/global_warming.htm Accessed 6 September, 2011.
Dickman, C.R., Haythornthwaite, A.S., McNaught, G.H., Mahon, P.S., Tamayo, B. and Letnic, M. 2001. Population dynamics of three species of dasyurid marsupials in arid central Australia: a 10-year study. Wildlife Research 28: 493-506.
Doney, S.Cm., Fabry, V.J., Feely, R.A. and Kleypas, J.A. 2009. Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual Review of Marine Science 1: 169-192.
Dupont, S., Dorey, N. and Thorndyke, M. 2010. What meta-analysis can tell us about vulnerability of marine biodiversity to ocean acidification? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 89: 182-185.
Edwards, M. and Richardson, A.J. 2004. Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and tropic mismatch. Nature 430: 881-883.
Elith, E., Graham, C.H., Anderson, R.P., Dudík, M., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Hijmans, R.J., Huettmann, F., Leathwick, J.R., Lehmann, A., Li, J., Lohmann, L.G., Loiselle, B.A., Manion, G., Moritz, C., Nakamura, M., Nakazawa, Y., Overton, J.McC., Peterson, A.T., Phillips, S.J., Richardson, K., Scachetti-Pereira, R., Schapire, R.E., Soberón, J., Williams, S., Wisz, M.S. and Zimmermann, N.E. 2006. Novel methods improve predication of species' distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29: 129-151.
Fabricius, K.E., Langdon, C., Uthicke, S., Humphrey, C., Noonan, S., De'ath, G., Okazaki, R., Muehllehner, N., Glas, M. and Lough, J.M. 2011. Losers and winners in coral reefs acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Nature Climate Change 1: 165-169.
Findlay, H.S., Kendall, M.A., Spicer, J.I. and Widdicombe, S. 2010. Relative influences of ocean acidification and temperature on intertidal barnacle post-larvae at the northern edge of their geographic distribution. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 864: 675-682.
Gienapp, P., Teplitsky, C., Alho, J.S., Mills, J.A. and Merila, J. 2008. Climate change and evolution: disentangling environmental and genetic responses. Molecular Ecology 17: 167-178.
Gutowska, M.A., Pörtner, H.O. and Melzner, F. 2008. Growth and calcification in the cephalopod Sepia officinalis under elevated seawater pCO2Marine Ecology Progress Series, 373: 303-309.
Hall-Spencer, J. M., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Martin, S., Ransome, E., Fine, M., Turner, S., M. Rowley, S. J., Tedesco, D. and Buia, M. 2008. Volcanic carbon dioxide vents show ecosystem effects of ocean acidification. Nature 454: 96-99.
Hilbert, D.W., Hughes, L., Johnson, J., Lough, J.M., Low, T., Pearson, R.G., Sutherst, R.W. and Whittaker, S. 2007. Biodiversity Conservation Research in a Changing Climate. Workshop Report: Research Needs and Information Gaps for the Implementation of the Key Objectives of the National Biodiversity and Climate Change Action Plan. Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P.J., Hooten, A.J., Steneck, R.S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., Harvell, C.D., Sale, P.F., Edwards, A.J., Caldeira, K., Knowlton, N., Eakin, C.M., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Muthiga, N., Bradbury, R.H., Dubi, A. and Hatziolos, M.E. 2007. Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science 318: 1737-1742.
Hughes, L. 2003. Climate Change and Australia: Trends, projections and impacts. Austral Ecology 28: 423-443.
IPCC. 2001. Climate Change 2011: The Scientific Basis. Technical Summary from Working Group 1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva.
Keppelle, M., Van Vuuren, M.M.I. and Baas, P. 1999. Effects of climate change on biodiversity: A review and identification of key research issues. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 1383-1397.
Kroeker, K.J., Kordas, R.L., Crim, R.N. and Singh, G.G. 2010. Meta-analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Ecology Letters 13: 1419-1434.
Lunney, D. 1987. Effects of logging, fire and drought on possums and gliders in the Coastal Forests near Bega, N.S.W. Australian Wildlife Research 14: 263-274.
Mahon, P.S., Bates, P.B. and Dickman, C. 1998. Population indices for wild carnivores: a critical study in sand-dune habitat, south-western Queensland. Wildlife Research 25: 217-217.
Martin, R.W. and Handasyde, K.A. 1999. The Koala: Natural History, Conservation and Management. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.
Matthews, A., Spooner, P. and Lunney, D., 2012. Herbivores in alpine herbfields: will wombats shift to higher altitudes with climate change? Pp 68-79 in Wildlife and climate change: towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna, edited by D. Lunney and P. Hutchings. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
McCarty, J.P. 2001. Ecological consequences of recent climate change. Conservation Biology 15: 320-331.
Moore, B.D. and Foley, W.J. 2000. A review of feeding and diet selection in koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus). Australian Journal of Zoology 48: 317-333.
Munday, P.L. 2004. Habitat loss, resource specialization, and extinction on coral reefs. Global Change Biology 10: 1642-1647.
Munday, PL., Dixson, D.L., Donelson, J.M., Jones, G.P., Pratchett, M.S., Devitsina, G.V. and Døving, K.B. 2009. Ocean acidification impairs olfactory discrimination and homing ability of a marine fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 1848-1852.
Ospoina-Álvarex, N. and Piferrer, F. 2008. Temperature-dependent sex determination in fish revisited: prevalence, a single sex ratio response pattern, and possible effects of climate change. PLoS ONE 3: e2837.
Parmesan, C. and Yohe, G.A. 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421: 37-42.
Parmesan, C. 2006. Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 37: 637-669.
Perry, A.L., Low, P.J., Ellis, J.R. and Reynolds, J.D. 2005. Climate change and distribution shifts in marine fishes. Science 308: 1912-1915.
Raven, J.A. and Johnston, A.M. 1991. Mechanisms of inorganic carbon acquisition in marine phytoplankton and their implications for the use of other resources. Limnology and Oceanography 36: 1701-1717.
Recher, H. 1997. Impact of wildfire on the avifauna of Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia. Wildlife Research 24: 745-761.
Recher, H.F., Lunney, D. and Matthews, A. 2009. Small mammal populations in a eucalypt forest affected by fire and drought. 1. Long-term patterns in an era of climate change. Wildlife Research 36: 143-158.
Root, T.L., Price, J.T., Hall, K.R., Schneider, S.H., Rosenzweig, C. and Pounds, J.A. 2003. Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature 421: 57-60.
Ross, P. M., Parker, L. and O'Connor, W. A. 2012. The impact of Ocean Acidification on Reproduction and Early development of Marine Organisms. Pp 31-51 in Wildlife and climate change: towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna, edited by D. Lunney and P. Hutchings. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Ross, P., Minchinton, T. and Ponder, W. 2009. The ecology of molluscs in Australian Saltmarshes, Pp. 75-115 in Australian Saltmarsh Ecology, edited by N. Saintilan. CSIRO Publication, Collingwood.
Royal Society. 2005. Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Policy Document 12/05, Pp. 1-58. The Royal Society, London.
Sabine, C.L., Feely, R.A., Gruber, N., Key, R.M., Lee, K., Bullister, J.L., Wanninkhof, R., Wong, C.S., Wallace, D.W.R., Tilbrook, B., Millero, F.J., Peng, T-H., Kozyr, A., Ono, T. and Rios, A.F. 2004. The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2Science 305: 367-371.
Schwanz, L.E. and Janzen, F.J. 2008. Climate Change and Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: can individual plasticity in nesting phenology prevent extreme sex ratios? Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 81: 826-834.
Shea, G.M. 1993. Hidden herpetology: a list of theses in Australian universities to mid-1993. Pp. 1-16 in Herpetology in Australia: A Diverse Discipline, edited by D. Lunney and D. Ayers. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2005a. Climate warming and the rainforest birds of the Australian wet tropics: using abundance data as a sensitive predictor of change in total size. Biological Conservation 125: 335-343.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2005b. Potential decoupling of trends in distribution area and population size of species with climate change. Global Change Biology 11: 1469-1476.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2006. Detecting climate change induced range shifts: Where and how should we be looking? Austral Ecology 31: 22-29.
Thomas, C.D., Cameron, A., Rhys, E.G., Bakkenes, M., Beaumont, L.J., Collingham, Y.C., Erasmus, B.F.N., de Siqueira, M.F., Grainger, A., Hannah, L., Hughes, L., Hutley, B., van Jaarsveld, A.S., Midgely, G.F., Miles, L., Ortega-Huerta, M.A., Townsend Peterson, A., Phillips, O.L. and Williams, S.E. 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427: 145-148.
Underwood, T. 1997. Experiments in Ecology. Cambridge University Press.
Visser, M.E. 2008. Keeping up with a warming world: assessing the rate of adaptation to climate change. Proceedings of Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275: 649-659.
Walther, G.-R., Post, E., Convey, P., Menzel, A., Parmesank, C., Beebee, T.J.C., Fromentin, J.-M., Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Bairlein, F. 2002. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Science 416: 389-395.
Wilkinson, C. 2002. Status of Coral Reefs of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.
Wood, P. and Recher, H. 2004. Long-term persistence of the Australian magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, in Kings Park, Perth. Emu 104: 251-259.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Contents

Figures & Tables

References

Adam, P. 2010. Australian saltmarshes in global context, Pp. 1-23 in Australian Saltmarsh Ecology, edited by N. Saintilan. CSIRO Publication, Collingwood.
Araújo, M.B. and Rahbek, C. 2006. How does climate change affect biodiversity? Science 313: 1396-1397.
Beaumont, L.J. and Hughes, L. 2002. Potential changes in the distribution of latitudinally restricted Australian butterfly species in response to climate change. Global Change Biology 8: 954-971.
Bradley, J.S., Shira, I.J. and Wooller, R.D. 1991. A long-term study of short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris on Fisher Island, Australia. Ibis 133: 55-61.
Bradshaw, W.E. and Holzapfel, C.M. 2006. Evolutionary response to rapid climate change. Science 312: 1477-1488.
CANA. undated a. Australian Animals. Climate Action Network Australia. http://www.cana.net.au/bush/aus_animals.htm Accessed 6 September, 2011.
CANA. undated b. Global Warming is Really Already with Us. Climate Action Network Australia. http://www.cana.net.au/bush/global_warming.htm Accessed 6 September, 2011.
Dickman, C.R., Haythornthwaite, A.S., McNaught, G.H., Mahon, P.S., Tamayo, B. and Letnic, M. 2001. Population dynamics of three species of dasyurid marsupials in arid central Australia: a 10-year study. Wildlife Research 28: 493-506.
Doney, S.Cm., Fabry, V.J., Feely, R.A. and Kleypas, J.A. 2009. Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem. Annual Review of Marine Science 1: 169-192.
Dupont, S., Dorey, N. and Thorndyke, M. 2010. What meta-analysis can tell us about vulnerability of marine biodiversity to ocean acidification? Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 89: 182-185.
Edwards, M. and Richardson, A.J. 2004. Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and tropic mismatch. Nature 430: 881-883.
Elith, E., Graham, C.H., Anderson, R.P., Dudík, M., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Hijmans, R.J., Huettmann, F., Leathwick, J.R., Lehmann, A., Li, J., Lohmann, L.G., Loiselle, B.A., Manion, G., Moritz, C., Nakamura, M., Nakazawa, Y., Overton, J.McC., Peterson, A.T., Phillips, S.J., Richardson, K., Scachetti-Pereira, R., Schapire, R.E., Soberón, J., Williams, S., Wisz, M.S. and Zimmermann, N.E. 2006. Novel methods improve predication of species' distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29: 129-151.
Fabricius, K.E., Langdon, C., Uthicke, S., Humphrey, C., Noonan, S., De'ath, G., Okazaki, R., Muehllehner, N., Glas, M. and Lough, J.M. 2011. Losers and winners in coral reefs acclimatized to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Nature Climate Change 1: 165-169.
Findlay, H.S., Kendall, M.A., Spicer, J.I. and Widdicombe, S. 2010. Relative influences of ocean acidification and temperature on intertidal barnacle post-larvae at the northern edge of their geographic distribution. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 864: 675-682.
Gienapp, P., Teplitsky, C., Alho, J.S., Mills, J.A. and Merila, J. 2008. Climate change and evolution: disentangling environmental and genetic responses. Molecular Ecology 17: 167-178.
Gutowska, M.A., Pörtner, H.O. and Melzner, F. 2008. Growth and calcification in the cephalopod Sepia officinalis under elevated seawater pCO2Marine Ecology Progress Series, 373: 303-309.
Hall-Spencer, J. M., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Martin, S., Ransome, E., Fine, M., Turner, S., M. Rowley, S. J., Tedesco, D. and Buia, M. 2008. Volcanic carbon dioxide vents show ecosystem effects of ocean acidification. Nature 454: 96-99.
Hilbert, D.W., Hughes, L., Johnson, J., Lough, J.M., Low, T., Pearson, R.G., Sutherst, R.W. and Whittaker, S. 2007. Biodiversity Conservation Research in a Changing Climate. Workshop Report: Research Needs and Information Gaps for the Implementation of the Key Objectives of the National Biodiversity and Climate Change Action Plan. Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P.J., Hooten, A.J., Steneck, R.S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., Harvell, C.D., Sale, P.F., Edwards, A.J., Caldeira, K., Knowlton, N., Eakin, C.M., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Muthiga, N., Bradbury, R.H., Dubi, A. and Hatziolos, M.E. 2007. Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science 318: 1737-1742.
Hughes, L. 2003. Climate Change and Australia: Trends, projections and impacts. Austral Ecology 28: 423-443.
IPCC. 2001. Climate Change 2011: The Scientific Basis. Technical Summary from Working Group 1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva.
Keppelle, M., Van Vuuren, M.M.I. and Baas, P. 1999. Effects of climate change on biodiversity: A review and identification of key research issues. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 1383-1397.
Kroeker, K.J., Kordas, R.L., Crim, R.N. and Singh, G.G. 2010. Meta-analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms. Ecology Letters 13: 1419-1434.
Lunney, D. 1987. Effects of logging, fire and drought on possums and gliders in the Coastal Forests near Bega, N.S.W. Australian Wildlife Research 14: 263-274.
Mahon, P.S., Bates, P.B. and Dickman, C. 1998. Population indices for wild carnivores: a critical study in sand-dune habitat, south-western Queensland. Wildlife Research 25: 217-217.
Martin, R.W. and Handasyde, K.A. 1999. The Koala: Natural History, Conservation and Management. University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.
Matthews, A., Spooner, P. and Lunney, D., 2012. Herbivores in alpine herbfields: will wombats shift to higher altitudes with climate change? Pp 68-79 in Wildlife and climate change: towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna, edited by D. Lunney and P. Hutchings. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
McCarty, J.P. 2001. Ecological consequences of recent climate change. Conservation Biology 15: 320-331.
Moore, B.D. and Foley, W.J. 2000. A review of feeding and diet selection in koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus). Australian Journal of Zoology 48: 317-333.
Munday, P.L. 2004. Habitat loss, resource specialization, and extinction on coral reefs. Global Change Biology 10: 1642-1647.
Munday, PL., Dixson, D.L., Donelson, J.M., Jones, G.P., Pratchett, M.S., Devitsina, G.V. and Døving, K.B. 2009. Ocean acidification impairs olfactory discrimination and homing ability of a marine fish. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 1848-1852.
Ospoina-Álvarex, N. and Piferrer, F. 2008. Temperature-dependent sex determination in fish revisited: prevalence, a single sex ratio response pattern, and possible effects of climate change. PLoS ONE 3: e2837.
Parmesan, C. and Yohe, G.A. 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421: 37-42.
Parmesan, C. 2006. Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 37: 637-669.
Perry, A.L., Low, P.J., Ellis, J.R. and Reynolds, J.D. 2005. Climate change and distribution shifts in marine fishes. Science 308: 1912-1915.
Raven, J.A. and Johnston, A.M. 1991. Mechanisms of inorganic carbon acquisition in marine phytoplankton and their implications for the use of other resources. Limnology and Oceanography 36: 1701-1717.
Recher, H. 1997. Impact of wildfire on the avifauna of Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia. Wildlife Research 24: 745-761.
Recher, H.F., Lunney, D. and Matthews, A. 2009. Small mammal populations in a eucalypt forest affected by fire and drought. 1. Long-term patterns in an era of climate change. Wildlife Research 36: 143-158.
Root, T.L., Price, J.T., Hall, K.R., Schneider, S.H., Rosenzweig, C. and Pounds, J.A. 2003. Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature 421: 57-60.
Ross, P. M., Parker, L. and O'Connor, W. A. 2012. The impact of Ocean Acidification on Reproduction and Early development of Marine Organisms. Pp 31-51 in Wildlife and climate change: towards robust conservation strategies for Australian fauna, edited by D. Lunney and P. Hutchings. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Ross, P., Minchinton, T. and Ponder, W. 2009. The ecology of molluscs in Australian Saltmarshes, Pp. 75-115 in Australian Saltmarsh Ecology, edited by N. Saintilan. CSIRO Publication, Collingwood.
Royal Society. 2005. Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Policy Document 12/05, Pp. 1-58. The Royal Society, London.
Sabine, C.L., Feely, R.A., Gruber, N., Key, R.M., Lee, K., Bullister, J.L., Wanninkhof, R., Wong, C.S., Wallace, D.W.R., Tilbrook, B., Millero, F.J., Peng, T-H., Kozyr, A., Ono, T. and Rios, A.F. 2004. The oceanic sink for anthropogenic CO2Science 305: 367-371.
Schwanz, L.E. and Janzen, F.J. 2008. Climate Change and Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination: can individual plasticity in nesting phenology prevent extreme sex ratios? Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 81: 826-834.
Shea, G.M. 1993. Hidden herpetology: a list of theses in Australian universities to mid-1993. Pp. 1-16 in Herpetology in Australia: A Diverse Discipline, edited by D. Lunney and D. Ayers. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2005a. Climate warming and the rainforest birds of the Australian wet tropics: using abundance data as a sensitive predictor of change in total size. Biological Conservation 125: 335-343.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2005b. Potential decoupling of trends in distribution area and population size of species with climate change. Global Change Biology 11: 1469-1476.
Shoo, L.P., Williams, S.E. and Hero, J.-M. 2006. Detecting climate change induced range shifts: Where and how should we be looking? Austral Ecology 31: 22-29.
Thomas, C.D., Cameron, A., Rhys, E.G., Bakkenes, M., Beaumont, L.J., Collingham, Y.C., Erasmus, B.F.N., de Siqueira, M.F., Grainger, A., Hannah, L., Hughes, L., Hutley, B., van Jaarsveld, A.S., Midgely, G.F., Miles, L., Ortega-Huerta, M.A., Townsend Peterson, A., Phillips, O.L. and Williams, S.E. 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature 427: 145-148.
Underwood, T. 1997. Experiments in Ecology. Cambridge University Press.
Visser, M.E. 2008. Keeping up with a warming world: assessing the rate of adaptation to climate change. Proceedings of Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275: 649-659.
Walther, G.-R., Post, E., Convey, P., Menzel, A., Parmesank, C., Beebee, T.J.C., Fromentin, J.-M., Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Bairlein, F. 2002. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Science 416: 389-395.
Wilkinson, C. 2002. Status of Coral Reefs of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.
Wood, P. and Recher, H. 2004. Long-term persistence of the Australian magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, in Kings Park, Perth. Emu 104: 251-259.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal