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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 35(3)

Synergies between climate change, extinctions and invasive vertebrates

Barry W. Brook

Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Email: barry.brook@adelaide.edu.au
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There is mounting evidence for the direct ecological impacts of recent climate change, and for amplifying feedbacks, in both directions, with other drivers of biodiversity loss, such as habitat fragmentation and overexploitation. Surprisingly, however, empirical and experimental data on the links between climate change and species introductions are scant, especially for invasive vertebrates. Because the theoretical basis for their mutually reinforced impact is strong, this dearth of evidence likely reflects the difficulty in studying such interactions, and insufficient attention to this topic, rather than a genuine lack of association. Given the unprecedented rate of recent and predicted future climate change, and the continued exponential rise in species invasions worldwide, it is imperative that we sharpen our scientific focus so as to best equip wildlife managers with the knowledge to tackle this inevitable synergy of threats.

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