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Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 435–447 | Cite as

Moving beyond the conceptual: specificity in regional climate change adaptation actions for biodiversity in South East Queensland, Australia

  • Luke P. Shoo
  • Julian O’Mara
  • Karin Perhans
  • Jonathan R. Rhodes
  • Rebecca K. Runting
  • Susanne Schmidt
  • Lochran W. Traill
  • Lui C. Weber
  • Kerrie A. Wilson
  • Catherine E. Lovelock
Original Article

Abstract

While many scientific assessments have been recommending general strategies for biodiversity conservation under climate change, translation of these recommendations into specific actions and practice has been limited. Focusing on two biomes, rainforest and wetlands in biodiverse South East Queensland, Australia, we demonstrate how general principles can be translated into specific actions for stakeholders and responsible agencies. We synthesize research that is contextualizing protection of refugia and habitat connectivity, establishing baseline data sets to detect change and developing strategic conservation planning scenarios to adjust reserve boundaries or situate new reserves. This has been achieved by coupling spatial information on biological assets (i.e. ecosystems and species) with future climate scenarios and process models to anticipate movement of critical habitats. Conservation planning software is also being used to prioritize investment to meet specific objectives. This approach is enabling us to identify at-risk biological assets, opportunities to ameliorate threats and obstacles to delivering regional adaptation actions. A larger total reserved area is needed, with proactive planning to capture areas further inland and along watercourses. Major obstacles include conflict between urbanization and priorities for habitat conservation and the need for greater levels of investment for monitoring programmes and to protect landward shifted wetlands on private land.

Keywords

Actions Threats Conservation Evidence Adaptation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is part of the South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative, a partnership between the Queensland and Australian Governments, the CSIRO Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, Griffith University, University of the Sunshine Coast and University of Queensland. The Initiative aims to provide research knowledge to enable the region to adapt and prepare for the impacts of climate change. We thank two anonymous reviewers and guest editor Ryan McAllister for useful comments that improved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke P. Shoo
    • 1
  • Julian O’Mara
    • 1
  • Karin Perhans
    • 1
  • Jonathan R. Rhodes
    • 2
  • Rebecca K. Runting
    • 1
    • 2
  • Susanne Schmidt
    • 3
  • Lochran W. Traill
    • 1
  • Lui C. Weber
    • 1
  • Kerrie A. Wilson
    • 1
  • Catherine E. Lovelock
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Geography, Planning and Environmental ManagementThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agriculture and Food ScienceThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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