Ben C Scheele

Ben C Scheele
Australian National University | ANU · Fenner School of Environment & Society

PhD

About

154
Publications
29,712
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,793
Citations
Citations since 2016
82 Research Items
2706 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - April 2016
James Cook University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (154)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Large-scale and/or long-term monitoring has many important roles in landscape ecology and conservation biology. We explore some of these roles in this review. We also briefly discuss some of the key design issues that need to be considered when developing long-term, large-scale monitoring to ensure it is effective. Recent Finding...
Article
Limiting biodiversity loss is a global challenge, especially in areas where biodiversity conservation conflicts with intensifying agricultural production. The different views and preferences about how to protect biodiversity, and why it is valuable, make concerted action to improve conservation outcomes difficult. Exploring different discourses tha...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The distribution and abundance of forest biodiversity can be shaped by multiple drivers, including disturbances like wildfires. We quantified the influence of wildfire severity and bird life history attributes on temporal patterns of bird site occupancy. Location Wet eucalypt forests of Victoria, Australia. Methods We employed a Before, After...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the responses of rare species to altered fire disturbance regimes is an ongoing challenge for ecologists. We asked: are there associations between fire regimes and plant rarity across different vegetation communities? We combined 62 years of fire history records with vegetation surveys of 86 sites across three different dry sclerophyl...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving coexistence between humans and large carnivores in human-shaped landscapes is a complex challenge. Addressing this challenge requires the revaluation of the approaches academia uses to foster carnivore conservation and human-large carnivore coexistence. In this forum paper, we provide a brief overview of the three archetypical approaches...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive predators are responsible for declines in many animal species across the globe. To redress these declines, conservationists have undertaken substantial work to remove invasive predators or mitigate their effects. Yet, the challenges associated with removal of invasive predators mean that most successful conservation programs have been rest...
Article
The intentional movement of species outside their indigenous range – assisted colonisation – is an emerging tool in conservation. Here, we outline the process developed to identify and assess candidate sites for assisted colonisation of the critically endangered Northern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi), a range‐restricted species highly t...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural practices have created tens of millions of small artificial water bodies (“farm dams” or “agricultural ponds”) to provide water for domestic livestock worldwide. Among freshwater ecosystems, farm dams have some of the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per m2 due to fertilizer and manure run‐off boosting methane production – an ext...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The incidence of major fires is increasing globally, creating extraordinary challenges for governments, managers and conservation scientists. In 2019–2020, Australia experienced precedent‐setting fires that burned over several months, affecting seven states and territories and causing massive biodiversity loss. Whilst the fires were still burni...
Article
Full-text available
After environmental disasters, species with large population losses may need urgent protection to prevent extinction and support recovery. Following the 2019–2020 Australian megafires, we estimated population losses and recovery in fire‐affected fauna, to inform conservation status assessments and management. Temperate and subtropical Australia. 20...
Article
Full-text available
In many farming landscapes, aquatic features, such as wetlands, creeks, and dams, provide water for stock and irrigation, while also acting as habitat for a range of plants and animals. Indeed, some species threatened by land‐use change may otherwise be considerably rarer—or even suffer extinction—in the absence of these habitats. Therefore, a crit...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the drivers of plant rarity is a major challenge in ecology. Analysing spatial associations between different plant species can provide an exploratory avenue for understanding the ecological drivers of plant rarity. Here, we examined the different types of spatial associations between rare and common plants to determine if they influenc...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species are major drivers of ecosystem degradation globally. How invasive herbivore impacts differ from native herbivore impacts remains understudied. We examined the relationships between herbivore sign and vegetation height, foliage density, cover of forbs, weeds, bare ground, and soil compaction across environmental and herbivore activi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This project has developed and tested a framework for assessing research value across the life cycle of conservation research projects and programs. This is the first comprehensive attempt of its kind to build and test a multimodal, integrated, qualitative and quantitative framework for achieving and assessing value in environmental research. The r...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly prominent threat to biodiversity. However, traditional methods in conservation generally have limited efficacy in the face of disease threats. Ironically, although unintentional human movement of species has facilitated the spread of pathogens, intentional conservation translocations are a promising...
Article
Full-text available
More than a third of the world’s amphibian species are listed as Threatened or Extinct, with a recent assessment identifying 45 Australian frogs (18.4% of the currently recognised species) as ‘Threatened’ based on IUCN criteria. We applied structured expert elicitation to 26 frogs assessed as Critically Endangered and Endangered to estimate their p...
Article
Full-text available
The recent introduction of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans into northeastern Spain threatens salamander diversity on the Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the current epidemiological situation with extensive field sampling of urodele populations. We then sought to delineate priority regions and identify conservation units for the...
Article
Monitoring of threatened species is a critical part of conserving biodiversity. It is needed to understand population trajectories, threatening processes, and the type and effectiveness of management responses needed to ensure persistence and recovery. Characteristics of some plant species (e.g. immobility) should render them amenable to monitoring...
Preprint
In many farming landscapes, aquatic features such as wetlands, creeks and dams provide water needed for stock and irrigation, while also acting as habitat for a range of plants and animals. Indeed, some species threatened by land use change may otherwise be considerably rarer – or even extinct – in the absence of these habitats. Therefore, a critic...
Article
The sublethal effects of infectious disease on reproductive behaviour and mating success are not well understood. Here, we investigated predictors of male mating success in one of Australia's most critically endangered vertebrates: the northern corroboree frog, Pseudophryne pengilleyi. Using a genomic approach to assign parentage, we explored wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring, reporting, and forecasting research impact beyond academia has become increasingly important to demonstrate and understand real-world benefits. This is arguably most important in crisis disciplines such as medicine, environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation, where application of new knowledge is urgently needed to improv...
Article
The amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, henceforth Bd) has had a devastating impact on biodiversity, causing the decline or extinction of over 500 amphibian species. Yet, our understanding of Bd transmission pathways remains incomplete, in particular for host species with weak aquatic associations, and between reservo...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Investigation of realized niche contraction in declining species can help us understand how and where threats are being either mediated or tolerated across landscapes. It also provides insights into species' sensitivity to environmental change that are unable to be identified through analysis of declines in range size or abundance alone. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Australia’s 2019–2020 mega-fires were exacerbated by drought, anthropogenic climate change and existing land-use management. Here, using a combination of remotely sensed data and species distribution models, we found these fires burnt ~97,000 km2 of vegetation across southern and eastern Australia, which is considered habitat for 832 species of nat...
Article
Quantifying the long-term population trajectory of species and the factors affecting these trends is a fundamental part of animal conservation. We describe the results of a long-term investigation of temporal changes in the occurrence of arboreal marsupials in the wet eucalypt forests of south-eastern Australia. The assemblage includes habitat spec...
Article
Many studies have documented the individual effects of variables such as vegetation, long‐term climate and short‐term weather on biodiversity. Few, however, have explicitly explored how interactions among these major drivers can influence species abundance. We used data from a 15‐year study (2002–2017) in the endangered temperate woodlands of south...
Article
Ecosystems are shaped by a range of drivers including human and natural disturbances. They also may be subject to interactions between disturbances which can affect ecological processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem condition; yet few ecosystems have been subject to multiple studies of the effects of interacting disturbances. This limits understandi...
Article
Full-text available
Lambert et al . question our retrospective and holistic epidemiological assessment of the role of chytridiomycosis in amphibian declines. Their alternative assessment is narrow and provides an incomplete evaluation of evidence. Adopting this approach limits understanding of infectious disease impacts and hampers conservation efforts. We reaffirm th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Environmental DNA techniques have become established as a useful tool for biological monitoring and are used extensively to determine species presence in aquatic systems. However, their application in terrestrial systems has been more limited, likely in part due to difficulties in choosing where to sample and ensuring that collected DNA reflects cu...
Article
Habitat loss is widely acknowledged as a key driver of global biodiversity decline. However, whether biodiversity loss occurs in response to reductions in habitat amount versus reductions in connectivity in fragmented landscapes is debated. A challenge in resolving this issue is that measures of the amount of native woody vegetation cover and those...
Article
Full-text available
Novel outbreaks of emerging pathogens require rapid responses to enable successful mitigation. We simulated a 1-day emergency meeting where experts were engaged to recommend mitigation strategies for a new outbreak of the amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Despite the inevitable uncertainty, experts suggested and discussed...
Article
In forests subject to stand-replacing disturbances, early successional stands can provide important habitats for a range of species not typically present in long-undisturbed areas. Compared to old-growth forests, the habitat values of – and key ecological processes in – early successional forests have been less studied, perhaps due to a perception...
Article
Full-text available
Novel outbreaks of emerging pathogens require rapid responses to enable successful mitigation. We simulated a 1‐day emergency meeting where experts were engaged to recommend mitigation strategies for a new outbreak of the amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Despite the inevitable uncertainty, experts suggested and discussed...
Article
Full-text available
Many human-shaped landscapes have high natural and cultural values and support viable amphibian populations. The challenges and approaches required to achieve the persistence of amphibians in such landscapes are clearly different from approaches commonly applied in protected areas. Contrary to protected areas or natural landscapes, where amphibian...
Article
Forests globally are subject to disturbances such as logging and fire that create complex temporal variation in spatial patterns of forest cover and stand age. However, investigations that quantify temporal changes in biodiversity in response to multiple forms of disturbance in space and time are relatively uncommon. Over a 10‐year period, we inves...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many human-shaped landscapes support viable amphibian populations due to the habitats created and/or maintained as a consequence of human actions. The challenges and approaches required to achieve the persistence of amphibians in human-shaped landscapes are markedly different from approaches commonly applied in protected areas. Contrary to protecte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many human-shaped landscapes support viable amphibian populations due to the habitats created and/or maintained as a consequence of human actions. The challenges and approaches required to achieve the persistence of amphibians in human-shaped landscapes are markedly different from approaches commonly applied in protected areas. Contrary to protecte...
Article
Globalization has facilitated the emergence and spread of novel pathogens, representing a major conservation challenge. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, epitomizes this unprecedented threat, being responsible for declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. Chytridiomycosis h...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving coexistence between large carnivores and humans in human‐dominated landscapes (HDLs) is a key challenge for societies globally. This challenge cannot be adequately met with the current sectoral approaches to HDL governance and an academic community largely dominated by disciplinary sectors. Academia (universities and other research instit...
Article
Monitoring threatened species is essential for quantifying population trends, understanding causes of species' declines, and guiding the development and assessment of effective recovery actions. Here, we provide a systematic , continental-scale evaluation of the extent and quality of monitoring for threatened species, focusing on terrestrial and fr...
Article
Full-text available
The demise of amphibians? Rapid spread of disease is a hazard in our interconnected world. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was identified in amphibian populations about 20 years ago and has caused death and species extinction at a global scale. Scheele et al. found that the fungus has caused declines in amphibian populations every...
Article
Transformation of intact vegetation into new kinds and configurations of human‐modified habitats is a well established driver of biodiversity loss. Following initial conversion, many human‐dominated landscapes are then subject to further large‐scale changes in land use. The impacts on biodiversity of repeated changes in land use remain poorly known...
Article
Full-text available
New evidence of impacts by feral horses in Australia's alpine parks systems confirms they endanger threatened species and extensively damage critically endangered bog communities that could take millennia to recover. These impacts are not confounded by effects of deer and accumulate over time, even when only a small number of feral horses (~100) ar...
Article
Context: Introduced herbivores can have a substantial impact on native plants and animals, particularly in ecosystems that do not share a recent evolutionary history with similar herbivore species. The feral horse, Equus caballus, has a widespread but patchy distribution in Australia, with large populations present in national parks in the Australi...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Knowledge of the individual and collective effects of habitat, weather variability and climate on bird populations is limited, with the result that species vulnerability to the collective impacts of global change is poorly understood. We quantified the effects of interactions between these potential drivers on the occurrence of resident, migrat...
Article
Species occurrence is influenced by a range of factors including habitat attributes, climate, weather and human landscape modification. These drivers are likely to interact, but their effects are frequently quantified independently. Here we report the results of a 13‐year study of temperate woodland birds in south‐eastern Australia to quantify how...
Article
Mitigating the negative impacts of agriculture on amphibians requires knowledge of how different land uses affect species distribution and community composition. In the case of frogs, there is currently insufficient information on their use of terrestrial habitats in cropping landscapes to inform conservation planning. We examined how four differen...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring is essential for effective conservation and management of threatened species and ecological communities. However, more often than not, threatened species monitoring is poorly implemented, meaning that conservation decisions are not informed by the best available knowledge. We outline challenges and provide best‐practice guidelines for th...
Article
Targeted threatened species management is a central component of efforts to prevent species extinction. Despite the development of a range of management frameworks to improve conservation outcomes over the past decade, threatened species management is still commonly characterised as ad hoc. Although there are notable successes, many management prog...
Chapter
The dramatic loss of biodiversity in Australia over the past 200 years following European colonisation has been well documented for some taxa (Short and Smith 1994, Fusco et al. 2015, Lindenmayer 2015). Much of this rapid decline is the result of broad scale habitat clearing, changed fire regimes, and the introduction of feral herbivores and predat...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Booderee National Park is located in Jervis Bay in south-eastern Australia, around 200 km south of Sydney on the New South Wales coast between Nowra and Ulladulla. A major monitoring program began in Booderee National Park in 2003, which encompassed a range of vertebrate groups including mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs, as well as native vegetat...
Experiment Findings
A major monitoring program began in Booderee National Park in 2003, which encompassed a range of vertebrate groups including mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs, as well as native vegetation. Fifteen-years of monitoring has now revealed a major ecological surprise: localised collapses of populations of some of the park’s mammal species and the drama...
Article
The conventional approach to conserving threatened biota is to identify drivers of decline, instigate actions to mitigate threatening processes, and monitor interventions to test their effectiveness and ensure target species recover. In Australia, predation by introduced predators is a threatening process for many native mammals. Here we report the...
Article
Full-text available
The fungal skin disease chytridiomycosis has caused the devastating decline and extinction of hundreds of amphibian species globally, yet the potential for evolving resistance, and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain poorly understood. We exposed 406 naïve, captive-raised alpine tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii alpina) from multiple p...
Article
Full-text available
Potentiating the evolution of immunity is a promising strategy for addressing biodiversity diseases. Assisted selection for infection resistance may enable the recovery and persistence of amphibians threatened by chytridiomycosis; a devastating fungal skin disease threatening hundreds of species globally. However, knowledge of the mechanisms involv...
Data
Appendix S1 of article Canessa et al. (2018): Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: from theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians. Journal of Applied Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13089.
Article
Full-text available
1. Conservation science can be most effective in its decision-support role when seeking answers to clearly formulated questions of direct management relevance. Emerging wildlife diseases, a driver of global biodiversity loss, illustrate the challenges of performing this role: in spite of considerable research, successful disease mitigation is uncom...