Interactions among pressures


Interactions among pressures

While there are many interactions among pressures, emerging and future climate change is likely to magnify the effects of all previously identified pressures.140

An analysis of which pressures are most commonly found acting together on Australian plants identified a set of ‘threat syndromes’:88

  • Syndrome 1. Species with small-to-medium geographic ranges (usually less than 100 kilometres) intersecting regions developed for extensive crops (e.g. Verticordia plumosa var. pleiobotrya).
  • Syndrome 2. Species with small-to-medium geographic ranges that intersect urban areas (e.g. Grevillea caleyi).
  • Syndrome 3. Narrow endemics with specific habitat requirements threatened by fire, weeds, disease, hydrological changes, salinity or other landscape-scale ecological changes (e.g. Lambertia echinata subsp. occidentalis).
  • Syndrome 4. Species adapted to rock outcrops threatened by grazers (sheep, rabbits, goats), introduced weeds, fires, dams or other human activities (e.g. Zieria parrisiae).

The interaction between fire regimes and climate change will be particularly significant.141 Climate change is expected to affect fire regimes through its effects on temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind, and also through impacts on vegetation growth and litter accumulation.142

Interactions between climate change and invasive species have been mentioned (e.g. effects of soil warming on invasive fungi), but as species are forced to move around landscapes the distinction between natural and invasive may become less clear and species previously seen as native might be considered as invading the ranges of other native species.1

In much of Australia, interactions among climate change, agriculture and biodiversity are already emerging as declines in biodiversity are partly driven by agricultural practices and also affect agricultural productivity, while climate change affects both.143

Cork S (2011). Biodiversity: Interactions among pressures. In: Australia state of the environment 2011, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra,, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65ac828812