Emily Nicholson

Emily Nicholson
Deakin University · Centre for Integrative Ecology

PhD

About

118
Publications
43,341
Reads
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4,669
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
May 2012 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Centenary Research Fellow
May 2012 - February 2015
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Centenary Research Fellow
January 2010 - present
Bangor University
Education
March 2002 - May 2006
The University of Queensland
Field of study
  • Ecology
March 1995 - July 2001

Publications

Publications (118)
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecosystem accounting is a structured approach to compiling environmental and economic information. While accounts are typically used to compile data on past trends, they have an unrealised capacity to also be used to inform decisions by providing a structured approach to scenario evaluation of potential futures. We used the global standard for ecos...
Preprint
Safeguarding biodiversity and human well-being depends on sustaining ecosystems. Global agreements, such as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and UN Sustainable Development Goals, aim to halt and reverse loss and degradation of ecosystems, associated biodiversity and ecosystem services. They require standardised information for quantifyin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human impacts on the Earth’s biosphere are driving the global biodiversity crisis. Governments are preparing to agree on a set of actions intended to halt the loss of biodiversity and put it on a path to recovery by 2050. We provide evidence that the proposed actions can bend the curve for biodiversity, but only if these actions are implemented urg...
Technical Report
Full-text available
EXPERT INPUT TO THE POST-2020 GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FRAMEWORK: TRANSFORMATIVE ACTIONS ON ALL DRIVERS OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS ARE URGENTLY REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE THE GLOBAL GOALS BY 2050
Book
Full-text available
Recent global initiatives in ecosystem restoration offer an unprecedented opportunity to improve biodiversity conservation and human health and well-being. Ecosystems form a core component of biodiversity. They provide humans with multiple benefits – a stable climate and breathable air; water, food and materials; and protection from disaster and di...
Article
Full-text available
The UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA) aims at regular and standardised stocktaking of the extent of ecosystems, their condition, and the services they provide to society. Recording the condition of ecosystems is one of the most complex pieces in this exercise and needs to be supported by consistent guidel...
Article
Despite substantial conservation efforts, the loss of ecosystems continues globally, along with related declines in species and nature’s contributions to people. An effective ecosystem goal, supported by clear milestones, targets and indicators, is urgently needed for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and beyond to support biodiversity co...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the ongoing collapse of native mammal populations across northern Australia, the paucity of robust estimates of population density limits our capacity to identify and understand population change. Here we aimed to provide the first estimates of native mammal density on the Tiwi Islands-one of Australia's largest remaining refuge areas for n...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic and natural disturbances can cause degradation of ecosystems, reducing their capacity to sustain biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. Understanding the extent of ecosystem degradation is critical for estimating risks to ecosystems, yet there are few existing methods to map degradation at the ecosystem scale and none using free...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal wetland ecosystems, such as saltmarsh and mangroves, provide a wide range of important ecological and socio-economic services. A good understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of these ecosystems is critical to maximising the benefits from restoration and conservation projects. We mapped mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystem transit...
Article
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Abstract The achievement of global sustainability agendas, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, relies on transformational change across society, economy, and environment that are co‐created in a transdisciplinary exercise by all stakeholders. Within this context, environmental and societal change is increasingly understood and represented vi...
Article
Restoring and protecting “blue carbon” ecosystems - mangrove forests, tidal marshes, and seagrass meadows - are proposed actions for increasing global carbon sequestration. To improve understanding of which management actions produce the greatest gains in sequestration, we used a spatially explicit model to compare carbon sequestration and its econ...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
The UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA) aims at regular and standardised stocktaking on the extent of ecosystems, their condition and the services they provide to society. Recording the condition of ecosystems is one of the most complex pieces in this exercise, needing to be supported by robus...
Article
Biodiversity indicators are used to inform decisions and measure progress toward global targets, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Indicators aggregate and simplify complex information, so underlying information influencing its reliability and interpretation (e.g., variability in data and uncertainty in indicator values) can...
Preprint
Despite significant conservation efforts, the loss of ecosystems continues globally, along with related loss of species and Nature’s contributions to people. A new ecosystem goal and milestone, supported by clear targets and indicators, is urgently needed for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and beyon...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ecosystems are central to the definition of biodiversity. Sustaining ecosystems is essential for safeguarding species, ecosystem processes, and the natural capital and ecosystem services on which people rely. A new goal and associated action targets for ecosystem conservation form a core part of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG 202...
Book
Full-text available
Ecosystems are critically important components of Earth’s biological diversity and as the natural capital that sustains human life and well-being. Yet all of the world’s ecosystems show hallmarks of human influence, and many are under acute risks of collapse, with consequences for habitats of species, genetic diversity, ecosystem services, sustaina...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem condition is a fundamental component in the ecosystem accounting framework as part of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA). Here, we develop a conceptual framework and present a practical structure for implementing ecosystem condition accounts to contribute to the revision process of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. The purpose of the Guidelines for using A Global Standard for the Identification of Key Biodiversity Areas is to ensure that KBA identification is based on consistent, scientifically rigorous yet practical methods. These KBA Guidelines p...
Article
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Fish kills, often caused by low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO), involve with complex interactions and dynamics in the environment. In many places the precise cause of massive fish kills remains uncertain due to a lack of continuous water quality monitoring. In this study, we tested if meteorological conditions could act as a proxy for low levels o...
Article
Full-text available
It is nearly three decades since the world recognized the need for a global multilateral treaty aiming to address accelerating biodiversity loss. However, biodiversity continues to decline at a concerning rate. Drawing on lessons from the implementation of the current strategic plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2010 Aichi Targe...
Article
The Pampa biome within Brazil is one of South America’s most endangered biomes, due to conversion to croplands and use for cattle farming, with very limited coverage by protected areas. We investigated the impacts of (i) human population density, (ii) grassland and (iii) forest cover, (iv) protected areas and (v) mean size of farms on the occurrenc...
Article
Full-text available
Policy makers rely on biodiversity indicators to assess when, where and how nature is changing. Some indicators, however, respond more quickly to pressures than others, measuring short‐term and potentially reversible change, while others capture permanent loss of biodiversity. These characteristics influence an indicator's suitability to perform pr...
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity indices are used to measure environmental change and progress towards conservation goals, yet their fitness for purpose is poorly understood. Few indices have been evaluated comprehensively for their capacity to detect trends of interest, such as declines in threatened species or ecosystem function. Using a structured approach b...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem condition accounts are part of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting – Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EEA). An ecosystem condition account contains aggregated statistical information about the overall abiotic and biotic quality of an ecosystem at a policy relevant spatial scale. This article reviews 23 publicly-accessib...
Article
Coastal ecosystems are estimated to support 95% of the world’s commercially-important fish, owing largely to their provision of nursery habitat for juveniles; however, systematic databases with such data are scarce. By systematically reviewing the literature across Australia, we quantified fisheries enhancement from three key coastal vegetated habi...
Article
Full-text available
Approaches to assessing the impacts of different landscape scenarios on species range from metrics based on patterns of occurrence or habitat, to comprehensive models that explicitly include ecological processes. The choice of metrics and models affects how impacts may be interpreted, with flow‐on effects on conservation decisions. We used a case s...
Article
Quantifying trends in ecosystem extent is essential to understanding the status of ecosystems. Estimates of ecosystem loss are widely used to track progress toward conservation targets, monitor deforestation, and identify ecosystems undergoing rapid change. Satellite remote sensing has become an important source of information for estimating these...
Article
Full-text available
New technology reveals the value of the coast like never before
Article
The conservation community must be able to track countries’ progress in protecting wetlands, reefs, forests and more, argue James Watson and colleagues. The conservation community must be able to track countries’ progress in protecting wetlands, reefs, forests and more, argue James Watson and colleagues.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ecosystems that fringe our coastlines – saltmarshes, mangrove forests and seagrass meadows – provide a bounty of benefits for Australians. These often-neglected ecosystems support livelihoods, provide a wonderland for recreation and enable mitigation and adaptation to the perils of a changing coastline. Whilst some of these benefits are difficult t...
Article
Full-text available
Governments have committed to global targets to slow biodiversity loss and sustain ecosystem services. Biodiversity state indicators that measure progress toward these targets mostly focus on species, while indicators synthesizing ecosystem change are largely lacking. We fill this gap with three indices quantifying past and projected changes in eco...
Article
Full-text available
Wild capture fisheries provide substantial input to the global economy through employment and revenue. The coastal zone is especially productive, accounting for just 7% of the total area of the ocean, but supporting an estimated 50% of the world's fisheries. Vegetated coastal ecosystems—seagrass meadows, tidal marshes and mangrove forests—are widel...
Article
Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation remain leading causes of amphibian declines across the globe. To mitigate these impacts, conservation managers may protect core habitats and pursue habitat creation or enhancement actions, including construction of artificial wetlands, manipulation of wetland hydroperiods, removal of invasive species or r...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Species distribution models are an important conservation tool; however, performance can vary with factors including data inputs and modelling method. Model outputs are often under‐evaluated for explanatory and predictive capacity. Our aim was to evaluate the capacity of existing data for seven small mammal species to provide useful inferences...
Article
Full-text available
In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature adopted the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) criteria as the global standard for assessing risks to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Five years on, it is timely to ask what impact this new initiative has had on ecosystem management and conservation. In this policy perspective, w...
Article
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems and Red List of Threatened Species are global standards for assessing risks of ecosystem collapse and species extinction. However, misconceptions of the Red List assessment process, along with its technically demanding nature, can result in the misapplication of th...
Article
Full-text available
We developed a method to estimate population abundance from simultaneous counts of unmarked individuals over multiple sites. We considered that at each sampling occasion, individuals in a population could be detected at 1 of the survey sites or remain undetected and used either multinomial or binomial simultaneous-count models to estimate abundance...
Preprint
Full-text available
In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature adopted the Red List of Ecosystems (IUCN RLE) criteria as the global standard for assessing risks to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Identifying and quantifying the impacts of biodiversity assessments on the status of nature is key to justifying continued investment in asse...
Article
Global biodiversity targets have far-reaching implications for nature conservation worldwide. Scenarios and models hold unfulfilled promise for ensuring such targets are well founded and implemented; here, we review how they can and should inform the Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and their reformulation. They offer two clear...
Article
Full-text available
Detecting trends in species’ distribution and abundance are essential for conserving threatened species, and depend upon effective monitoring programmes. Despite this, monitoring programmes are often designed without explicit consideration of their ability to deliver the information required by managers, such as their power to detect population cha...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing risks to marine ecosystems is critical due to their biological and economic importance, and because many have recently undergone regime shifts due to overfishing and environmental change. Yet defining collapsed ecosystem states, selecting informative indicators and reconstructing long-term marine ecosystem changes remains challenging. The...
Article
Conservation targets perform beneficial auxiliary functions that are rarely acknowledged, including raising awareness, building partnerships, promoting investment, and developing new knowledge. Building on these auxiliary functions could enable more rapid progress towards current targets and inform the design of future targets.
Article
Full-text available
Researchers are increasingly studying carbon (C) storage by natural ecosystems for climate mitigation, including coastal 'blue carbon' ecosystems. Unfortunately, little guidance on how to achieve robust, cost-effective estimates of blue C stocks to inform inventories exists. We use existing data (492 cores) to develop recommendations on the samplin...
Article
Full-text available
1.Common worldwide and encroaching on even the most remote locations, roads negatively affects wildlife through habitat loss, fragmentation and direct mortality. Reducing these effects requires mitigation, including wildlife crossing structures and fencing. However, mitigation measures are expensive and vary in their success level, especially when...
Article
Full-text available
The Convention on Biological Diversity and its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 form the central pillar of the world's conservation commitment, with 196 signatory nations; yet its capacity to reign in catastrophic biodiversity loss has proved inadequate. Indicators suggest that few of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi targets...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing ecosystem degradation and transformation are key threats to biodiversity. Measuring ecosystem change towards collapse relies on monitoring indicators that quantify key ecological processes. Yet little guidance is available on selecting and implementing indicators for ecosystem risk assessment. Here, we reviewed indicator use in ecological s...
Article
Full-text available
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems is a powerful tool for classifying threatened ecosystems, informing ecosystem management, and assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse (that is, the endpoint of ecosystem degradation). These risk assessments require explicit definitions of ecosystem collapse, which are...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to monitor changes in biodiversity, and their societal impact, is critical to conserving species and managing ecosystems. While emerging technologies increase the breadth and reach of data acquisition, monitoring efforts are still spatially and temporally fragmented, and taxonomically biased. Appropriate long-term information remains th...
Article
The current set of global conservation targets requires methods for monitoring the changing status of ecosystems. Protocols for ecosystem risk assessment are uniquely suited to this task, providing objective syntheses of a wide range of data to estimate the likelihood of ecosystem collapse. Satellite remote sensing can deliver ecologically relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Effective ecosystem risk assessment relies on a conceptual understanding of ecosystem dynamics and the synthesis of multiple lines of evidence. Risk assessment protocols and ecosystem models integrate limited observational data with threat scenarios, making them valuable tools for monitoring ecosystem status and diagnosing key mechanisms of decline...
Article
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Societal, economic and scientific interests in knowing where biodiversity is, how it is faring and what can be done to efficiently mitigate further biodiversity loss and the associated loss of ecosystem services are at an all-time high. So far, however, biodiversity monitoring has primarily focused on structural and compositional features of ecosys...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation outlines an approach to improve the efficiency and management relevance of biodiversity monitoring programs at local to global scales
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Stochastic threats such as disease outbreak, pollution events, fire, tsunami and drought can cause rapid species extinction and ecosystem collapse. The ability of a species or ecosystem to persist after a stochastic threat is strongly related to the extent and spatial pattern of its geographical distribution. Consequently, protocols for assess...