Towards consistency, rigour and compatibility of risk assessments for ecosystems and ecological communities

Nicholson,E, Regan,TJ, Auld,TD, Burns,EL, Chisholm,LA, English,V, Harris,S, Harrison,P, Kingsford,RT, Leishman,MR, Metcalfe,DJ, Pisanu,P, Watson,CJ, White,M, White,MD, Williams,RJ, Wilson,B and Keith,DA 2015, Towards consistency, rigour and compatibility of risk assessments for ecosystems and ecological communities, Austral Ecology, doi: 10.1111/aec.12148.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title Towards consistency, rigour and compatibility of risk assessments for ecosystems and ecological communities
Author(s) Nicholson,EORCID iD for Nicholson,E orcid.org/0000-0003-2199-3446
Regan,TJ
Auld,TD
Burns,EL
Chisholm,LA
English,V
Harris,S
Harrison,P
Kingsford,RT
Leishman,MR
Metcalfe,DJ
Pisanu,P
Watson,CJ
White,M
White,MD
Williams,RJ
Wilson,B
Keith,DA
Journal name Austral Ecology
Publisher Ecological Society of Australia
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1442-9985
1442-9993
Keyword(s) Conservation status
IUCN
Red List of Ecosystems
Threatened ecological communities
Threatened ecosystems
Summary Ecosystem-level conservation is increasingly important at global, national and local levels. Many jurisdictions have developed and apply their own protocols for assessing the threat status of ecosystems, often independently, leading to inconsistencies between and within countries which are problematic for cross-jurisdictional environmental reporting. Australia is a good example of these historic legacies, with different risk assessment methods applied nationally and in most states. The newly developed criteria for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) provide a framework to compare and contrast apparently divergent protocols. We critically reviewed the Australian protocols and compared them with the IUCN RLE, based on the following components of a risk assessment protocol: (i) categories of threat; (ii) assessment units; (iii) underlying concepts and definitions; (iv) assessment criteria; (v) uncertainty methods; and (vi) assessment outcomes. Despite some differences in specific objectives, criteria and their expression, the protocols were structurally similar, included broadly similar types of criteria, and produced assessment outcomes that were generally concordant. Alignment with the IUCN RLE would not require extensive changes to existing protocols, but would improve consistency, rigour and robustness in ecosystem risk assessment across jurisdictions. To achieve this, we recommend: (i) more quantitative assessments of functional change; (ii) separation of management and policy considerations from risk assessment; and (iii) cross-referencing of assessment units in different jurisdictions. We argue that the focus on processes and ecological function, rather than only patterns, is key to robust risk assessment. © 2014 The Authors.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/aec.12148
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology)
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Ecological Society of Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072065

Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 182 Abstract Views, 1 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Wed, 03 Jun 2015, 10:04:52 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.