Dana M. Bergstrom, Water and the Environment, Kingston
Barbara C. Wienecke, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Kingston, Tas., Australia.
John van den Hoff, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Kingston, Tas., Australia.
Lesley Hughes, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
David B. Lindenmayer, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Tracy D. Ainsworth, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW, Australia.
Christopher M. Baker, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
Lucie Bland, Eureka Publishing, Thornbury, Vic., Australia.
David M J S Bowman, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas., Australia.Follow
Shaun T. Brooks, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Battery Point, Tas., Australia.
Josep G. Canadell, Climate Science Centre, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Black Mountain, ACT, Australia.
Andrew J. Constable, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Battery Point, Tas., Australia.
Katherine A. Dafforn, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Michael H. Depledge, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, UK.
Catherine R. Dickson, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic., Australia.
Norman C. Duke, Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, Australia.
Kate J. Helmstedt, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.
Andrés Holz, Portland State UniversityFollow

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Global Change Biology

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Global environmental change, Ecological disturbances, Environmental disasters, Climatic changes, Adaptive natural resource management, Biodiversity, Global warming, Environmental protection


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 M km , 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.


This is the post-print version; the final version is available from the publisher, © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd:

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