Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown
Griffith University · Australian Rivers Institute

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142
Publications
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Publications

Publications (142)
Article
Coastal ecosystems such as those in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon, are exposed to stressors in flood plumes including low light (caused by increased turbidity) and agricultural pesticides. Photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides are the most frequently detected pesticides in the GBR lagoon, but it is not clear how their toxicity to photot...
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Predicting the impacts of multiple stressors is important for informing ecosystem management but is impeded by a lack of a general framework for predicting whether stressors interact synergistically, additively or antagonistically. Here, we use process‐based models to study how interactions generalise across three levels of biological organisation...
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Coastal ecosystems are exposed to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Effective management actions would be better informed from generalized predictions of the individual, combined and interactive effects of multiple stressors; however, few generalities are shared across different meta-analyses. Using an experimental study, we present an approach for...
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Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) often have dual goals of protecting biodiversity and increasing sustainability of fisheries. To understand how MPAs are performing at these goals, evaluation of fish biomass outcomes against management targets is needed. However, the evaluation of performance should consider multiple biophysical and social drivers that...
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There is an urgent need to halt and reverse loss of mangroves and seagrass to protect and increase the ecosystem services they provide to coastal communities, such as enhancing coastal resilience and contributing to climate stability.1,2 Ambitious targets for their recovery can inspire public and private investment in conservation,3 but the expecte...
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Around 36,000 km³ of freshwater flows through rivers and estuarine ecosystems and enter the world’s coastal fishing regions every year. The flow of freshwater and sediments creates regional changes in coastal circulation, stimulates marine productivity and helps define the hydrologic properties of estuarine and oceanic waters. These processes can a...
Preprint
Background: Studying and quantifying fish behaviour is important to understand how fish interact with their environments. Yet much of fish behaviour in aquatic ecosystems remains hard to observe and time-consuming to manually document. Automated tracking through computer vision techniques can provide fine-scale movement data of many individuals acr...
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Seagrass meadows are threatened by multiple pressures, jeopardizing the many benefits they provide to humanity and biodiversity, including climate regulation and food provision through fisheries production. Conservation of seagrass requires identification of the main pressures contributing to loss and the regions most at risk of ongoing loss. Here,...
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Global-scale conservation initiatives and policy instruments rely on ecosystem indicators to track progress towards targets and objectives. A deeper understanding of indicator interrelationships would benefit these efforts and help characterize ecosystem status. We study interrelationships among 34 indicators for mangroves, saltmarsh, and seagrass...
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The collection of accurate fisheries catch data is critical to ensuring sustainable management of tuna fisheries, mitigating their environmental impacts and for managing transboundary fish stocks. These challenges are exemplified by the western Pacific tuna longline fishery, who’s management includes >26 nations, but is informed by critically low c...
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The remote tracking of endangered animals is often justified by the application of movement data to conservation problems, but examples of where scientific findings have rapidly informed conservation actions are relatively rare. In this study we satellite tracked 30 adult female hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) that were captured after ne...
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Environmental Economic Accounts track the condition of interconnected ecosystem assets, to inform environmental decision makers about its influence on the past and current status of ecosystem services. Indicators of condition need to be analysed to determine if they lead, are coincident with or lag environmental change, so that indicators are inter...
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Vegetated coastal wetlands, including seagrass, saltmarsh and mangroves, are threatened globally, yet the need to avert these losses is poorly recognized in international policy, such as in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. Identifying the impact of overlooking coastal wetlands in ecos...
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• Animal movement studies are conducted to monitor ecosystem health, understand ecological dynamics, and address management and conservation questions. In marine environments, traditional sampling and monitoring methods to measure animal movement are invasive, labor intensive, costly, and limited in the number of individuals that can be feasibly tr...
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As human impacts increase in coastal regions, there is concern that critical habitats that provide the foundation of entire ecosystems are in decline. Seagrass meadows face growing threats such as poor water quality and coastal development. To determine the status of seagrass meadows over time, we reconstructed time‐series of meadow area from 175 s...
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Ecological restoration is increasingly being upscaled to larger spatial scales of 10s to 100 s of kilometres. Yet, the complex logistics and high costs of ecological restoration mean that actions must be placed strategically at local scales of 10s of meters to maximise ecological benefits and reduce socio‐economic costs. Despite the purported use o...
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Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV; e.g. seagrasses, macroalgae), forms key habitats in shallow coastal systems that provide a plethora of ecosystem services, including coastal protection, climate mitigation and supporting fisheries production. Light limitation is a critical factor influencing the growth and survival of SAV, thus it is important to...
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1. Animal movement studies are conducted to monitor ecosystem health, understand ecological dynamics and address management and conservation questions. In marine environments, traditional sampling and monitoring methods to measure animal movement are invasive, labour intensive, costly, and measuring movement of many individuals is challenging. Auto...
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Connectivity is fundamentally important for shaping the resilience of complex human and natural networks when systems are disturbed. Ecosystem resilience is, in part, shaped by the spatial arrangement of habitats, the permeability and fluxes between them, the stabilising functions performed by organisms, their dispersal traits, and the interactions...
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Seascapes are typically comprised of multiple components that are functionally linked by the movement of organisms and fluxes of matter. Changes to the number and spatial arrangement of these linkages affect biological connectivity that, in turn, can alter ecological functions. Herbivory is one such function, pivotal in controlling excessive algal...
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Coral reefs have been subject to mass coral bleaching, potentially causing rapid and widespread degradation of ecosystem services that depend on live coral cover, such as fisheries catch. Fisheries species in tropical waters associate with a wide range of habitats, so assessing the dependency of fisheries on coral reefs is important for guiding fis...
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The development and uptake of citizen science and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for ecological monitoring is increasing rapidly. Citizen science and AI allow scientists to create and process larger volumes of data than possible with conventional methods. However, managers of large ecological monitoring projects have little guidance on whe...
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• Technological advancements in data collection and analysis are producing a new generation of ecological data. Among these, computer vision (CV) has received increased attention for its robust capabilities for rapidly processing large volumes of digital imagery. • In marine ecosystems, the study of fish connectivity provides fundamental informatio...
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There is growing interest in using ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to maintain or restore ecosystem services to increase human resilience to climate change. However, to date, the focus on EbA has been on conceptualising the approach and encouraging its use, rather than understanding EbA in practice. We review the EbA literature to synthesise where...
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Human-induced habitat clearing and pollution are leading drivers of biodiversity loss. Ecosystem assessments are required to identify ecosystems at risk of collapse, but they should account for cross-system linkages and dynamics where necessary. This is particularly true for coastal wetlands (e.g. seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh), which exhibit h...
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Mangroves have among the highest carbon densities of any tropical forest. These blue carbon ecosystems can store large amounts of carbon for long periods, and their protection reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports climate change mitigation. The incorporation of mangroves into Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and th...
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Human activities that threaten ecosystems often vary across small spatial scales, though they can be driven by large-scale factors like national governance. Here, we use two decades of data on global mangrove deforestation to assess whether landscape-scale indirect pressures – cumulative impacts, population density, mangrove forest fragmentation, t...
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Abstract The growing demand for freshwater resources has led to dam construction and water diversions in a majority of the world's large rivers. With an increasing demand for freshwater, trade‐offs between water allocations and the preservation of ecological connections between terrestrial and marine ecosystems are inevitable. The ecological links...
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Aquatic ecologists routinely count animals to provide critical information for conservation and management. Increased accessibility to underwater recording equipment such as action cameras and unmanned underwater devices has allowed footage to be captured efficiently and safely, without the logistical difficulties manual data collection often prese...
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Stressors to marine ecosystems are increasing, driven by human activities in the sea and on land, and climate change. Cumulative impact maps highlight regions affected by multiple human activities, but efficient conservation investment requires linking dominant pressures to management actions that best address the particular drivers of impacts. We...
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Fragmentation is a major driver of ecosystem degradation, reducing the capacity of habitats to provide many important ecosystem services. Mangrove ecosystem services, such as erosion prevention, shoreline protection and mitigation of climate change (through carbon sequestration), depend on the size and arrangement of forest patches, but we know lit...
Preprint
Coral reef communities are structured by evolutionary, ecological and environmental forces. How these factors interact in structuring these communities at a global scale, and vary among biogeographical regions is unclear. Using a dataset of a half million field observations, we developed a model that included multiple functional groups and their in...
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All fishery food webs are ultimately underpinned by organic matter produced by algae and plants, some of it supplied by primary producers at the fringes of fish habitats. This is no different in tropical and subtropical estuaries where secondary production by crustaceans and finfish may depend on coastal wetlands (e.g. mangroves, seagrass, saltmars...
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China's Belt and Road Initiative is the world's largest infrastructure development project aimed at linking Europe and East Africa with Asia. Port infrastructure development associated with the maritime component of China's Belt and Road Initiative (mBRI) could have trans-boundary environmental impacts. These impacts are likely to affect key coasta...
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Structural habitat complexity is a fundamental attribute influencing ecological food webs. Simplification of complex habitats occurs due to both natural and anthropogenic pressures that can alter productivity of food webs. Relationships between food web structure and habitat complexity may be influenced by multiple mechanisms, and untangling these...
Preprint
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Aquatic ecologists routinely count animals to provide critical information for conservation and management. Increased accessibility to underwater recording equipment such as cameras and unmanned underwater devices have allowed footage to be captured efficiently and safely. It has, however, led to immense volumes of data being collected that require...
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Climate change is a primary global driver of biodiversity reorganization. The velocity of climate change and related metrics describe the spatial change of climatic variables over time, allowing quantification of climate change exposure and connectivity, facilitating insights into the potential scope of species' range‐shift responses. These metrics...
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Management is failing to adequately protect coastal ecosystems. Here we reviewed the policies, legislation, plans and management frameworks intended to protect seagrass meadows in 20 case-studies with the aim of identifying critical gaps in seagrass protection. The case-studies were chosen to represent a range of regions known to have high cumulati...
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Community-based fisheries management that integrates local knowledge and existing user rights is often seen as a solution to the failures of top-down fisheries management in the Pacific. In Roviana Lagoon, Western Solomon Islands, a network of community-based marine protected areas (MPAs) was established in the early 2000s to conserve declining pop...
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Habitat loss is accelerating a global extinction crisis. Conservation requires understanding links between species and habitats. Emerging research is revealing important associations between vegetated coastal wetlands and marine megafauna, such as cetaceans, sea turtles, and sharks. But these links have not been reviewed and the importance of these...
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Historical harvesting pushed many whale species to the brink of extinction. Although most Southern Hemisphere populations are slowly recovering, the influence of future climate change on their recovery remains unknown. We investigate the impacts of two anthropogenic pressures—historical commercial whaling and future climate change—on populations of...
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Overexploitation of large apex marine predators is widespread in the world’s oceans, yet the timing and extent of declines are poorly understood. Here we reconstruct a unique fisheries-independent dataset from a shark control programme spanning 1760 km of the Australian coastline over the past 55 years. We report substantial declines (74–92%) of ca...
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1.Pollution from land‐based run‐off threatens coastal ecosystems and the services they provide, detrimentally affecting the livelihoods of millions people on the world's coasts. Planning for linkages among terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems can help managers mitigate the impacts of land‐use change on water quality and coastal ecosystem s...
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Species catchability is an important parameter used to help optimise stock assessment modelling and the economic efficiency of commercial fishing operations. Previous studies have shown several physical oceanographic parameters, including ambient temperature, waves, and currents affect the catchability of spanner crabs (Ranina ranina) throughout th...
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Objectives: "Channel-linked" and "multi-band" front-end automatic gain control (AGC) were examined as alternatives to single-band, channel-unlinked AGC in simulated bilateral cochlear implant (CI) processing. In channel-linked AGC, the same gain control signal was applied to the input signals to both of the two CIs ("channels"). In multi-band AGC,...
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At the crux of the debate over the global sustainability of fisheries is what society must do to prevent over‐exploitation and aid recovery of fisheries that have historically been over‐exploited. The focus of debates has been on controlling fishing pressure, and assessments have not considered that stock production may be affected by changes in fi...
Preprint
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Protected areas are the primary management tool for conserving ecosystems, yet their intended outcomes may often be compromised by poaching. Consequently, many protected areas are ineffective ‘paper parks’ that contribute little towards conserving ecosystems. Poaching can be prevented through enforcement and engaging with community members so they...
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Mixing models have become requisite tools for analyzing biotracer data, most commonly stable isotope ratios, to infer dietary contributions of multiple sources to a consumer. However, Bayesian mixing models will always return a result that defaults to their priors if the data poorly resolve the source contributions, and thus, their interpretation r...
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Climate change is shifting the ranges of species. Simple predictive metrics of range shifts such as climate velocity, that do not require extensive knowledge or data on individual species, could help to guide conservation. We review research on climate velocity, describing the theory underpinning the concept and its assumptions. We highlight how cl...
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Climate change is driving a pervasive global redistribution of the planet's species. Species redistribution poses new questions for the study of ecosystems, conservation science and human societies that require a coordinated and integrated approach. Here we review recent progress, key gaps and strategic directions in this nascent research area, emp...
Preprint
Full-text available
At the crux of the debate over the global sustainability of fisheries is what society must do prevent overexploitation of fisheries and aid recovery of fisheries that have historically been overexploited. The focus of debates has been on controlling fishing pressure and assessments have not considered that stock production may be affected by change...
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Full-text available
Migratory species depend on connected habitats and appropriate migratory cues to complete their life cycles. Diadromous fish exemplify species with migratory life cycles by moving between connected freshwater and saltwater habitats to reproduce. However, migration increases the exposure of fish to multiple threats and it is critical that managers i...
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Coastal fish populations are typically threatened by multiple human activities, including fishing pressure and run-off of terrestrial pollution. Linking multiple threats to their impacts on fish populations is challenging because the threats may influence a species directly, or indirectly, via its habitats and its interactions with other species. H...
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Almost all environmental management comes at an economic cost that may not be borne equitably by all stakeholders. Here, we investigate how heterogeneity in catch and profits among fishers influences the trade-off among the triple-bottom-line objectives of recovering a fish population, maximizing its economic value and distributing restrictions equ...