Climate change impacts on New Zealand’s biological heritage Dr Cate MacInnes-Ng, University of Auckland
There are few examples of the direct impacts of climate change on biodiversity in New Zealand. Also, the extent to which climate change may exacerbate biosecurity threats to the primary sector is largely unknown.
Yet climate change is likely to intensify existing threats, including invasive species impacts and new invasions, and may further compromise connectivity among small, isolated populations of endemic flora and fauna. Even greater threats to biodiversity may come from an interaction between climate change and pests, as increasing temperatures make a wider range of recipient communities more habitable and as storm events facilitate pest and pathogen movements. These changes will also increase pressure on natural and primary production ecosystems.
The project team established a framework for evaluating climate change impacts on New Zealand’s biodiversity, biosecurity, and ecosystem processes. This framework aims to position the BioHeritage Challenge for future research on climate change impacts in our second phase of funding from July 2019.