Terrestrial and Nearshore Ecosystems: Environmental Change and Conservation
Photo: Martin Riddle
Scientific research under this theme is investigating the effects of environmental change on Antarctic and subantarctic terrestrial and coastal ecosystems. It will provide the scientific basis to guide enhanced environmental protection for these ecosystems.
The work of the theme is organised into three streams:
- Trends and sensitivity to change
- Vulnerability and spatial protection
- Human impacts: prevention, mitigation and remediation
Research in this theme will:
- identify ecosystem sensitivities and vulnerabilities to environmental stressors
- identify signals of ecosystem change caused by human activity
- provide a scientific foundation for a system of spatial management and area protection in Antarctica
- provide a scientific and technical foundation for practical measures to prevent, mitigate or remediate detrimental change caused by human activity.
Photo: Tim Spedding
Additionally, experimental studies of disturbance to Antarctic wildlife from visitors, vehicles and aircraft have formed the basis of guidelines for minimising disturbance. Research has also been used to develop risk assessments for introduced non-native species, such as plant seeds and microbial pathogens, and to develop response plans and protocols to reduce the risks of non-native incursions.
Photo: Kate Kiefer
Terrestrial and Nearshore Ecosystems: Environmental Change and Conservation will contribute to Australia’s commitment to protecting the Antarctic environment by:
- fulfilling Australia's obligations under the Madrid Protocol and other international agreements, national legislation and government initiatives and policies;
- supporting governance of the Australian Antarctic Territory;
- supporting Australia’s policy positions at the Antarctic Treaty meetings – principally the Committee for Environment Protection (CEP) meetings.
Contact: Theme Leader Dr Martin Riddle