Authors: Dana M Bergstrom, Barbara C Wienecke, John van den Hoff, Lesley Hughes, David B Lindenmayer, Tracy D Ainsworth, Christopher M Baker, Lucie Bland, David MJS Bowman, Shaun T Brooks, Josep G Canadell, Andrew J Constable, Katherine A Dafforn, Michael H Depledge, Catherine R Dickson, Norman C Duke, Kate J Helmstedt, Andrés Holz, Craig R Johnson, Melodie A McGeoch, Jessica Melbourne-Thomas, Rachel Morgain, Emily Nicholson, Suzanne M Prober, Ben Raymond, Euan G Ritchie, Sharon A Robinson, Katinka X Ruthrof, Samantha A Setterfield, Carla M Sgrò, Jonathan S Stark, Toby Travers, Rowan Trebilco, Delphi FL Ward, Glenda M Wardle, Kristen J Williams, Phillip J Zylstra, and Justine D Shaw
Published in: Global Change Biology
Globally, collapse of ecosystems — potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function — imperils biodiversity, human health and well-being.
We examine the current state and recent trajectories of 19 ecosystems, spanning 58° of latitude across 7.7 million km², from Australia’s coral reefs to terrestrial Antarctica.
Pressures from global climate change and regional human impacts, occurring as chronic ‘presses’ and/or acute ‘pulses’, drive ecosystem collapse. Ecosystem responses to 5–17 pressures were categorised as four collapse profiles — abrupt, smooth, stepped and fluctuating. The manifestation of widespread ecosystem collapse is a stark warning of the necessity to take action.
We present a three-step assessment and management framework (3As Pathway Awareness, Anticipation and Action) to aid strategic and effective mitigation to alleviate further degradation to help secure our future.
Bergstrom DM, Wienecke BC, Hoff J, Hughes L, Lindenmayer DB, Ainsworth TD, Baker CM, Bland L, Bowman DMJS, Brooks ST, Canadell JG, Constable AJ, Dafforn KA, Depledge MH, Dickson CR, Duke NC, Helmstedt KJ, Holz A, Johnson CR, McGeoch MA, Melbourne‐Thomas J, Morgain R, Nicholson E, Prober SM, Raymond B, Ritchie EG, Robinson SA, Ruthrof KX, Setterfield SA, Sgrò CM, Stark JS, Travers T, Trebilco R, Ward DFL, Wardle GM, Williams KJ, Zylstra PJ, Shaw JD (2021) Combating ecosystem collapse from the tropics to the Antarctic. Global Change Biology PDF DOI