David Lindenmayer

David Lindenmayer
Australian National University | ANU · Fenner School of Environment & Society

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1,031
Publications
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Publications

Publications (1,031)
Article
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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...
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The amount of carbon stored in deadwood is equivalent to about 8 per cent of the global forest carbon stocks1. The decomposition of deadwood is largely governed by climate2–5 with decomposer groups—such as microorganisms and insects—contributing to variations in the decomposition rates2,6,7. At the global scale, the contribution of insects to the d...
Article
In recent years, novel, high-severity wildfire regimes have driven major changes in the structure and function of forests globally. Indeed, many forests are vulnerable to recruitment failures and collapse in the event of decreased intervals between fires, including forests dominated by the Australian obligate seeders, Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegat...
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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...
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Access to water is a critical aspect of livestock production, although the relationship between livestock weight gain and water quality remains poorly understood. Previous work has shown that water quality of poorly managed farm dams can be improved by fencing and constructing hardened watering points to limit stock access to the dam, and revegetat...
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Forest loss and degradation are the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide. Rising global wood demand threatens further damage to remaining native forests. Contrasting solutions across a continuum of options have been proposed, yet which of these offers most promise remains unresolved. Expansion of high-yielding tree plantations could free up f...
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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...
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Fire severity is a key component of fire regimes, and understanding the factors affecting it is critical given the increasing incidence of wildfires globally. We quantified the factors affecting the severity of the 2019–2020 fires in Victoria, southeastern Australia. We constructed statistical models of relationships between fire severity (as refle...
Article
There has been concern globally about the impacts of wildfires on lives, property and biodiversity. Mechanical thinning has been proposed as a way to reduce fire severity. However, its effectiveness appears to vary between regions and ecosystems. Here, we sought to answer the question: Does thinning reduce the severity of wildfire in managed eucaly...
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Natural capital accounting will confirm what we know — without change, we are headed for environmental disaster resulting from economic growth. We propose a natural capital bank, a new institution to help maintain natural capital adequacy and chart a course to a sustainable future via accounting. Link to article: https://rdcu.be/cnZPK
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Reintroduction programs can benefit from optimisation of source populations to maximise genetic diversity. Here, we report an approach to guide genetic supplementation of founder individuals to maximise genetic diversity in a reintroduction program for a nationally threatened Australian ground-dwelling marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (easte...
Article
Forest certification has become an important element in the trade of forest and wood products in many countries worldwide. We reviewed the Controlled Wood audit process under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is one of the world’s largest forest certification schemes. We analysed an FSC Controlled Wood audit of logging operations conducte...
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Human and natural disturbances are key drivers of change in forest ecosystems. Yet, the direct and indirect mechanisms which underpin these changes remain poorly understood at the ecosystem level. Here, using structural equation modelling across a 150+ year chronosequence, we disentangle the direct and indirect effects of major disturbances in a te...
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• Forest ecosystems experience a myriad of natural and anthropogenic disturbances that shape ecological communities. Seedling emergence is a critical, preliminary stage in the recovery of forests post disturbance and is triggered by a series of abiotic and biotic changes. However, the long-term influence of different disturbance histories on patter...
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Reduced voluntary food intake is a common response of endotherms to warmer temperatures. However, the implications of this are rarely considered for wild animals exposed to higher temperatures caused by climate change. We provide a conceptual model to demonstrate the potential consequences of elevated temperatures on food intake and survival.
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Large, high‐severity wildfires are an important component of disturbance regimes around the world and can influence the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Climatic changes and anthropogenic disturbances have altered global disturbance patterns and increased the frequency of high‐severity wildfires worldwide. While the recovery of plant co...
Article
Understanding local adaptation is critical for conservation management under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Local adaptation inferred from genotype-environment associations may show different genomic patterns depending on the spatial scale of sampling, due to differences in the slope of environmental gradients and the level of gene flow...
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The midstorey is a critical structural component of many forests globally. Using statistical models, we quantified the influence of two sets of variables on the percentage cover and basal area of two dominant Acacia spp. (Montane Wattle [Acacia frigescens] and Silver Wattle [Acacia dealbata]) in the midstorey of Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) fo...
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...
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Birds are high profile elements of the vertebrate biota in almost all terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Many studies have uncovered evidence of a decline in bird biodiversity, but temporal patterns of change vary among ecosystems and among bird species with different life history traits. Ecosystem-specific, long-term studies are critical for identi...
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Globally, collapse of ecosystems—potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function—imperils biodiversity, human health and well‐being. We examine the current state and recent trajectories of 19 ecosystems, spanning 58° of latitude across 7.7 M km2, from Australia's coral reefs to terrestrial Antarctica. Pressures from...
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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...
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Attempts to conserve threatened species in fragmented landscapes are often challenging because factors such as habitat loss, habitat degradation and dominant species interact to reduce threatened species’ capacity to survive and reproduce. Understanding how threatening and mitigating processes interact is critical if conservation measures are to be...
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Forests exhibit thresholds in disturbance intervals that influence sustainability of production and natural values including sawlog production, species existence and habitat attributes. Fire is a key disturbance agent in temperate forests and frequency of fire is increasing, threatening sustainability of these forest values. We used mechanistically...
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• Theories of dispersal and senescence (or aging) predict that dispersal, and ongoing survival and body condition, are influenced by evolutionary drivers, along with intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Such theories are relevant to translocations of animals where high mortality, loss of body condition, and dispersal beyond the area of release are comm...
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Translocated captive-bred predators are less skilled at hunting than wild-born predators and more prone to starvation post-release. Foraging in an unfamiliar environment presents many further risks to translocated animals. Knowledge of the diet and foraging behaviour of translocated animals is therefore an important consideration of reintroductions...
Article
Old growth forests have many key values, but temporal changes across their spatial extent are poorly understood. This includes large parts of Australia and is a major knowledge gap given the extent of human and natural disturbances in the Australian forest estate over past decades. We integrated spatial data on the timing and extent of fire and log...
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The catastrophic 2009 wildfires in the Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests of the Central Highl&s of Victoria provided an opportunity to gain new insights into the responses to fire by various elements of the biota. Ongoing long-term monitoring at a large number of permanent field sites for up to 25 years prior to the fire, together with 10 y...
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Many invasive species have had negative effects on the Australian environment, including the introduced Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor). However, there is a paucity of information on the factors influencing the fine scale distribution and abundance patterns of Sambar Deer in south-eastern Australia. We present the results of a field survey of Sambar De...
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Woodland birds are a species assemblage of conservation concern, and their persistence in fragmented agricultural landscapes is dependent on both the preservation of existing woodland remnants and the implementation of restoration plantings. However, little is known about the habitat‐use and persistence of birds in fragmented agricultural landscape...
Preprint
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en Large isolated trees are keystone structures that can help maintain biodiversity in fragmented landscapes, with evidence that open areas with isolated trees may support similar levels of taxonomic diversity to nearby patches of habitat. However, it is not clear if isolated trees can support the same diversity of ecological functions as trees in...
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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...
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Forests are increasingly affected by natural disturbances. Subsequent salvage logging, a widespread management practice conducted predominantly to recover economic capital, produces further disturbance and impacts biodiversity worldwide. Hence, naturally disturbed forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world, with consequences for th...
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Forests are increasingly affected by natural disturbances. Subsequent salvage logging, a widespread management practice conducted predominantly to recover economic capital, produces further disturbance and impacts biodiversity worldwide. Hence, naturally disturbed forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world, with consequences for th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The rapid expansion of urban areas in which natural and semi-natural areas are replaced by human infrastructure, such as buildings and streets, is a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. However, little is known about how the structure of biotic communities is affected by urbanization in the tropics. Here, we tested the effect of land use types i...
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Purpose of Review Umbrella, flagship and keystone species are among the most widely employed surrogate species concepts. We explored whether these concepts are useful for understanding the consequences of landscape change. We assessed the literature on surrogate species in relation to landscape change and identified key foci and notable gaps within...
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Biodiversity has been devastated globally in the past hundred years, largely because of land conversion and agricultural intensification. Conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations is one of the greatest per unit area contributors to biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia. Concerned consumers, mainly from developed countries, have begun dem...
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The Ecological Society of Australia was founded in 1959, and the society’s journal was first published in 1976. To examine how research published in the society’s journal has changed over this time, we used text mining to quantify themes and trends in the body of work published by the Australian Journal of Ecology and Austral Ecology from 1976 to 2...
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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...
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Global sustainability agendas focus primarily on halting deforestation, yet the biodiversity crisis resulting from the degradation of remaining forests is going largely unnoticed. Forest degradation occurs through the loss of key ecological structures, such as dying trees and deadwood, even in the absence of deforestation. One of the main drivers o...
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Forest thinning has been proposed to reduce fire severity. However, evidence to support this strategy in Australia is scant. We completed a detailed empirical analysis of stand history data from forests burned in wildfires in 2009 in south‐eastern Australia, to address the question: Does forest thinning reduce fire severity? The answer varied depen...
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Natural regeneration is key for large-scale forest restoration, yet it may lead to different biodiversity outcomes depending on socio-environmental context. We combined the results of a global meta-analysis to quantify how biodiversity recovery in naturally regenerating forests deviates from biodiversity values in reference old-growth forests, with...
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Management of military training areas (MTA) is complex. These areas are environmentally significant, covering an estimated 250M hectares globally. Often the dedicated military training values of these sites are in competition with the potential for protection of local environmental values. Globally, no current MTA management approach effectively in...
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
Modelling the occupancy of species is a key part of the discipline of ecology, with particular efforts often focused on identifying which environmental, vegetation and other factors influence why a given species occurs where it does. Here, based on data gathered between 2003 and 2016, we developed models of the environmental, terrain and vegetation...
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
Extensive and recurrent severe wildfires present complex challenges for policy makers. This is highlighted by extensive wildfires around the globe, ranging from western North America and Europe to the Amazon and Arctic, and, most recently, the 2019–2020 fires in eastern Australia. In many jurisdictions, discussions after significant losses of life,...
Book
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Mensajes principales • En condiciones apropiadas, las tierras que fueron sometidas al uso agrícola o pastoril pueden revertir a bosques mediante el proceso de regeneración natural ya sea de forma asistida o sin asistencia. Estos nuevos bosques conservan biodiversidad, brindan un amplio espectro de bienes y servicios ecosistémicos, y apoyan econom...
Article
The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires’ severity and frequency.
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Natural disturbance regimes in forest ecosystems are being rapidly modified by anthropogenic pressures, including silvicultural practices and climate change. Australian forests dominated by mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) are critically endangered, with wildfires and clearfell logging predicted to cause ecosystem collapse within the next 50 years...
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Restoration plantings are frequently occupied by native wildlife, but little is known about how planting attributes influence breeding by, and persistence of, fauna populations. We monitored breeding success of woodland birds in restoration plantings in a fragmented agricultural landscape in south-eastern Australia. We documented nest fate and dail...
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Under suitable conditions, deforested land used for agricultural crops or pastures can revert to forest through the assisted or unassisted process of natural regeneration. These naturally regenerating forests conserve biodiversity, provide a wide array of ecosystem goods and services, and support rural economies and livelihoods. Based on studies in...
Article
Determining the shared responses of different taxa to landscape modification is a key step for identifying which groups of species are good surrogates for other groups. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the spatial processes that drive cross-taxonomic congruence of diversity or how this knowledge can be used to improve the management of modif...
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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...
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Millions of hectares of land worldwide is in urgent need of restoration. However, many past landscape and ecosystem restoration efforts are likely to have been less than effective. Some of the reasons for these problems include a lack of monitoring, or being subjected to poor quality monitoring practices, or that the restoration efforts are too oft...
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Simplification of stand structure of forests and woodlands through human-induced modification is a serious threat to biodiversity. Restoring lost habitat complexity and heterogeneity, such as woody debris, requires an understanding of the relationships between different elements that contribute to stand structure. In this study, we examine the stru...
Article
Fire is a powerful ecological and evolutionary force. Animals that modify drivers of fire behaviour could therefore have far-reaching effects on ecosystems. Yet, with a few notable exceptions, effects of animals on fire have been often overlooked. We show how animals can affect fire behaviour by modifying the amount, structure, or condition of fuel...
Article
Landscape change and habitat fragmentation is increasingly affecting forests worldwide. Assessments of patterns of spatial cover in forests over time can be critical as they reveal important information about landscape condition. In this study, we assessed landscape patterns across the Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) and Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus de...
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High costs of tree planting are a barrier to meeting global forest restoration targets. Natural forest regeneration is more cost‐effective than tree planting, but its potential to foster restoration at scale is poorly understood. We predict, map, and quantify natural regeneration potential within 75.5 M ha of deforested lands in the Brazilian Atlan...
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Logging after natural disturbances like fires, insect attack and windstorms (termed salvage logging [SL]) is employed to recover some of a forest’s natural and/or economic capital. However, trade-offs between management objectives and lack of consensus on the ecological consequences of SL impair science-based decision-making. We conducted a global...
Article
David Lindenmayer leads six large‐scale, long‐term research programmes in south‐eastern Australia to help conserve biodiversity in restored areas on farmland as well as conservation in reserves, national parks, wood production forests and plantations. What makes this award‐winning researcher tick and how is the research influencing biodiversity man...
Article
Surrogates and indicators of biodiversity are used to infer the state and dynamics of species populations and ecosystems, as well as to inform conservation and management actions. Despite their widespread use, few studies have examined how ecological theory can guide the selection or surrogates and indicators, and thus reduce the likelihood of fail...