NERP TE Project 7.3 Climate change and the impacts of extreme climatic events on Australia’s Wet Tropics biodiversity (JCU)

This project investigates in detail the exposure and sensitivity of Wet Tropics animals to extreme climate and weather events, such as heat waves, fires, flooding rain and cyclones. This information will be used to assess and map the vulnerability of biodiversity to the impacts of current and future extreme events in the Wet Tropics bioregion. The information gathered in the Wet Tropics can potentially be applied to other regions in Australia and elsewhere to predict and mitigate the impacts of extreme climatic events on biodiversity. Outcomes will include: Maps of exposure and the sensitivity of organisms to temperature extremes, identification of thermal hotspots and refugia and a list of biodiversity values particularly at risk from extreme events. This project is now complete.

Understanding the ecological responses to extreme climatic events is paramount for predicting the impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems and for preserving the unique plants and animals of the Wet Tropics ecosystems in this century and beyond.

Principal Investigator
Welbergen, Justin, Dr Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change, James Cook University (CTBCC/JCU)

Publications / Data