Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance to Climate Change

  • Bayden D. RussellEmail author
  • Sean D. Connell
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution book series (EGEP, volume 1)


As the human population increases, so too does the rate at which we modify the environment and produce waste. Nutrient pollution from terrestrial sources continues to increase. Marine waters have absorbed ∼30 % of CO2 emissions, and many marine species are already being forced to cope with increasing ocean acidification. Global sea surface temperatures have warmed at ∼0.13 °C per decade since the mid-1980s and are predicted to rise a further 1–4 °C by the end of the century. Despite increasing research into these individual stressors, there is still only a limited understanding of how multiple stressors, such as increasing CO2, temperature, and nutrient pollution, may combine to accelerate degradation of ecosystems. Yet, if we are to manage our marine environment to increase ecosystem resistance and resilience into the future, we need to understand how these stressors combine to cause ecosystem phase-shifts.


Ecosystem resilience and resistance Synergistic effects Global stressors Local stressors Climate change Nutrient pollution 


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Additional Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Seas Ecology LaboratoriesSchool of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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