Professor Lesley Hughes is an ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University who researches the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. She is a lead author on the IPCC fourth and fifth assessment reports, a member of the Australian Government’s Land Sector Carbon & Biodiversity Board and commissioner on the federal Climate Commission
The distributions, abundance, and life cycles of species and the structure and composition of ecological communities are already responding to the climatic changes experienced over the past few decades. Many future impacts are expected to be negative, including shrinkage of geographic ranges, increasing fragmentation of distributions, altered competitive regimes with invasive species, and increased extinction rates. These impacts will be imposed on species and systems already stressed by human disturbance. This talk will discuss what we know and don’t know about the potential for the biota of the Southern Hemisphere to adapt and the way in which management policy and practice must also adapt in a warming world.