Different dispersal abilities enable reef fish to coexist

Different dispersal abilities enable reef fish to coexist

The researchers in this study describe a unique and robust mechanism for coexistence: Species that differ only in their dispersal abilities can coexist if habitat patches are distributed at irregular distances. This mechanism creates complex patterns of coexistence that are robust to substantial environmental variability. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is noted for its diversity […]

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80% decline in koalas in SW Qld

In south-west Queensland, anecdotal reports have indicated koala populations have been significantly impacted by drought from 2001–2009. This study aimed to compare koala distribution and numbers in south-west Queensland in 2009 with pre-drought estimates from 1995–1997. It also sought to understand impacts that more frequent drought and heatwaves might have koalas. Community surveys and faecal […]

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Simple rules for complex invasive weeds

Designing practical rules for controlling invasive species is a challenging task for managers, particularly when species are long-lived, have complex life cycles and high dispersal capacities. Previous findings derived from plant matrix population analyses suggest that effective control of long-lived invaders may be achieved by focusing on killing adult plants. However, the cost-effectiveness of managing […]

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The Biodiversity Fund

Enduring legacy or missed opportunity We welcome the expenditure of almost a billion dollars over the next six years on biodiversity conservation. And we commend the Australian Government for making a commitment of ongoing investment to this Fund—a long-term approach to conservation funding our nation has sorely needed for a long time. However, our reading […]

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The psychology of searching for hard-to-find species

Base-rate neglect, inverse-probability fallacy and poor environmental decisions Our big brains struggle to coherently combine probabilities. It’s something that’s been noted time and again in studies on how doctors interpret a medical diagnosis but it’s a basic problem whenever we are presented information with several points of uncertainty (consider the blue cab / green cab […]

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Australia State of the Environment 2011

A sketch in 900 pages The State of the Environment reporting process is not without challenges. As Hugh Possingham pointed out in Decision Point #48: “Every five years there is a state of the environment report that laments the lack of consistent nation-wide biodiversity data.”   Readers of previous SoE reports will be fully aware that a lack […]

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The Devil is in the synergy

Interactions between climate change and habitat loss Bang, bang, bang… Climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, disease, pollution, and overexploitation are all having growing impacts on many species and ecosystems. Typically each impact is studied and managed in isolation but it is becoming increasingly clear that a single-stressor perspective is inadequate when biodiversity is threatened […]

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An elephant out of the box

Consider all the options and all the costs   When Professor David Bowman from the University of Tasmania published an opinion piece in Nature suggesting that we introduce elephants to Australia to control an invasive grass he really set the cat amongst the pigeons. There was a loud and ferocious response ridiculing the idea as […]

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