Development and application of a framework for assessing the vulnerability of aquatic species to multiple threats


This report describes a simple, points-based framework for assessing aquatic species vulnerability to multiple threatening processes, and applies it it within the Southern and Southwestern Flatlands region of Australia. The framework can be readily adapted and replicated in other regions where multiple stressors, including climate change, are acting simultaneously to threaten the viability of aquatic fauna.

The aim of the study was to develop and apply a vulnerability framework that addresses three key threats (climate change, secondary salinization and nutrient enrichment) faced by aquatic fauna in south-western Australian rivers.

More specifically, the principle objectives were (i) to develop a simple, points-based framework for assessing aquatic species
vulnerability to multiple threatening processes in south-western Australian aquatic systems, and (ii) to apply the framework to selected species in a case study system (Blackwood River catchment). We intended the output from application of the framework to readily facilitate the selection of species (and areas) to be prioritised for management, i.e., to answer: Which of the species assessed may be at greatest risk in the future? What factors contribute most to their vulnerability? Where in the landscape they are located? Finally, we also aimed to ensure that the framework developed be repeatable for assessing aquatic species vulnerabilities in other catchments in south-western Australia.

This study was completed as part of the Australian Government's Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Research Grants Program - Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund (Southern and Southwestern Flatlands Cluster).


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Metadata


Detailed Descriptions
Report
070402 - Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment, 050101 - Ecological Impacts of Climate Change, 050205 - Environmental Management, 050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
Geographic and Temporal Extents
South West
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Attributions and Constraints
© 2015 Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, University of Western Australia.
The University of Western Australia
Steve J. Beatty, Barbara A. Cook, Benjamin M. Ford, Garry Ogston, Bronte E. Van Helden, Paul G. Close
Cook, B. A., Ford, B. M., Van Helden, B. E., Beatty, S. J., Ogston, G., Close, P. G. (2015). Development and application of a framework for assessing the vulnerability of aquatic species to multiple threats. Report No CENRM 140. Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, University of Western Australia.
Ben Ford, Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management University of Western Australia cenrm@uwa.edu.au www.cenrm.uwa.edu.au/
2015