Articles on Ecosystems

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Months after the bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef, signs of the hoped-for recovery are scant. Kirsten Tidswell/Climate Council

The Great Barrier Reef’s ‘new normal’ is a forlorn sight

Member of the Climate Council this week returned to one of the areas of the Great Barrier Reef that was worst affected by this year's coral bleaching. What they found was far from encouraging.
Overfishing can teach us valuable lessons about ecosystem resilience. Andreas Altenberger/

Humans are experimenting with the planet, so let’s make sure we learn along the way

Large-scale natural experiments such as oil spills, tsunamis and climate change are things you wouldn't want to do on purpose. But that doesn't mean they're not scientifically useful experiments too.
They might be eating your home, but termites play a vital role in ecosystems. Termite image from

Hidden housemates: the termites that eat our homes

Termite damage costs Australian homes at least a billion dollars each year – but they are absolutely vital for ecosystems.
Bleached coral can take on luminously beautiful pink and purple hues - but don’t be deceived, these corals are under stress. Justin Marshall/

In pictures: a close-up look at the Great Barrier Reef’s bleaching

The bleaching hitting the Great Barrier Reef not only harms corals. As these close-up photos show, it also deprives many other species of a home and livelihood.
Australian defence ranges, such as Shoalwater Bay, cover some 3 million hectares of the country. DVIDSHUB/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

Defence white paper shows Australian forces must safeguard nature too

Australia's defence forces manage huge swathes of land which are home to valuable ecosystems. The new defence white paper finally acknowledges the importance of looking after them.
Extreme weather could trigger ecosystem collapse, including mass tree deaths. Dead tree image from

Rising extreme weather warns of ecosystem collapse: study

Extreme weather will affect people and animals, as well as whole ecosystems. Research using satellites shows that ecosystems worldwide are vulnerable to collapse.
Fragments of woodland surrounded by cleared land in south west Australia. Google Earth

Unique Australian wildlife risks vanishing as ecosystems suffer death by a thousand cuts

Australia may have reputation for vast areas of wilderness, but in reality the continent's ecosystems have been chopped and diced. Now we need to protect what's left.
Rivers in many agriculturally significant areas of Australia could lose water as the landscape grows greener. Kerry Raymond/Wikimedia Commons

River flows drop as carbon dioxide creates thirstier plants

Rising carbon dioxide levels are making plants grow faster, sucking up more water and reducing river flows in many agriculturally important areas of Australia, according to new research.

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