Rachael Gallagher

Rachael Gallagher
Macquarie University · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD Plant Ecology

About

91
Publications
46,367
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4,883
Citations
Citations since 2016
57 Research Items
3704 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
Full-text available
Traits have become a crucial part of ecological and evolutionary sciences, helping researchers understand the function of an organism's morphology, physiology, growth and life history, with effects on fitness, behaviour, interactions with the environment and ecosystem processes. However, measuring, compiling and analysing trait data comes with data...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Fires can severely impact aquatic fauna, especially when attributes of soil, topography, fire severity and post‐fire rainfall interact to cause substantial sedimentation. Such events can cause immediate mortality and longer‐term changes in food resources and habitat structure. Approaches for estimating fire impacts on terrestrial species (e.g....
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity analyses across continental extents are important in providing comprehensive information on patterns and likely drivers of diversity. For vascular plants in Australia, community‐level diversity analyses have been restricted by the lack of a consistent plot‐based survey dataset across the continent. To overcome these challenges, we coll...
Preprint
Full-text available
The traits of plants determine how they interact with each other and their environment, constituting key knowledge for diverse fields. The lack of comprehensive knowledge of plant traits (the “Raunkiærian shortfall”) poses a major, cross-disciplinary, barrier to scientific advancement. Spatial biases in trait coverage may also lead to erroneous con...
Article
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Climate change threatens the health and survival of urban trees and the various benefits they deliver to urban inhabitants. Here, we show that 56% and 65% of species in 164 cities across 78 countries are currently exceeding temperature and precipitation conditions experienced in their geographic range, respectively. We assessed 3,129 tree and shrub...
Article
Modern cities are dominated by impervious surfaces that absorb, store and release heat in summer, create large volumes of runoff and provide limited biodiversity habitat and poor air quality can also be a health issue. Future climate change, including more frequent and extreme weather events will likely exacerbate these issues. Green infrastructure...
Article
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Mixed species plantings present an attractive alternative to monoculture reforestation through their added benefits to biodiversity. Yet there is ambiguity in the use of the term ‘biodiversity’ in carbon and biodiversity markets, which may create perverse outcomes when designing schemes and projects. Here, we review how the concept of biodiversity...
Article
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In the summer of 2019–2020, southern Australia experienced the largest fires on record, detrimentally impacting the habitat of native species, many of which were already threatened by past and current anthropogenic land use. A large-scale restoration effort to improve degraded species habitat would provide fire-affected species with the chance to r...
Chapter
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Chapter 2, building on prior assessments, provides a global assessment of the observed impacts and projected risks of climate change to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, including their component species and the services they provide to people. Where possible, differences among regions, taxonomic groups and ecosystem types are presented. Adapt...
Article
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Short fire intervals potentially drive declines in plant populations through immaturity risk—when the interval between two fires is too short to allow a plant population to develop the capacity to persist through the second fire. Through quantifying the period of time after fire for obligate-seeding species to become reproductively mature (the juve...
Article
The Darwinian shortfall, i.e. the lack of knowledge of phylogenetic relationships, significantly impedes our understanding of evolutionary drivers of global patterns of biodiversity. Spatial bias in the Darwinian shortfall, where phylogenetic knowledge in some regions is more complete than others, could undermine eco‐ and biogeographic inferences....
Article
Full-text available
Climate shapes the composition and function of plant communities globally, but it remains unclear how this influence extends to floral traits. Flowering phenology, or the time period in which a species flowers, has well‐studied relationships with climatic signals at the species level but has rarely been explored at a cross‐community and continental...
Article
Full-text available
Our ability to understand how species may respond to changing climate conditions is hampered by a lack of high‐quality data on the adaptive capacity of species. Plant functional traits are linked to many aspects of species life history and adaptation to environment, with different combinations of trait values reflecting alternate strategies for ada...
Article
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Megafire events generate immediate concern for wildlife and human well‐being, but their broader ecological impacts likely extend beyond individual species and single fire events. In the first mechanistic study of fire effects focussed on ecosystems, we aimed to assess the sensitivity and exposure of ecosystems to multiple fire‐related threats, plac...
Article
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Addressing global environmental challenges requires access to biodiversity data across wide spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales. Availability of such data has increased exponentially recently with the proliferation of biodiversity databases. However, heterogeneous coverage, protocols, and standards have hampered integration among these databases...
Article
Existing abiotic and biotic threats to plant species (e.g., disease, drought, invasive species) affect their capacity to recover post‐fire. We use a new, globally applicable framework to assess the vulnerability of 26,062 Australian plant species to a suite of active threats after the 2019–2020 fires. Australia. 2019–2020. Plants. Spatial data for...
Article
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To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, the international community requires clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially and how multiple targets can be pursued concurrently. To support goal setting and the implementation of international strategies and action plans, spatial guidance is needed...
Article
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Predictions of how vegetation responds to spatial and temporal differences in climate rely on established links with plant functional traits and vegetation types that can be encoded into Dynamic Global Vegetation Models. Individual traits have been linked to climate at species level and at community level within regions. However, a recent global as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Climate shapes the composition and function of plant communities globally, but it remains unclear how this influence extends to floral traits. Flowering phenology, or the time period in which a species flowers, has well-studied relationships with climatic signals at the species level but has rarely been explored at a cross-community and contine...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change risk assessments are essential for the successful conservation and management of species under future climates. However, many management plans fail to include such assessments when evaluating threats to species or ecological communities. Species distribution models (SDMs) are versatile tools that can estimate species exposure to shif...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of values of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 448 traits across 28,640 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxon descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of per...
Article
Species traits have much to offer conservation science. However, the selection and application of trait data in conservation requires rigor to avoid perverse or unexpected outcomes. To guide trait use, we review how traits are applied along the conservation continuum: the progression of conservation actions from assessing risk, to designing and pri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim: Addressing global environmental challenges requires access to biodiversity data across wide spatial, temporal and biological scales. Recent decades have witnessed an exponential increase of biodiversity information aggregated by biodiversity databases (hereafter ‘databases’). However, heterogeneous coverage, protocols, and standards of databas...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Leaf size has considerable ecological relevance, making it desirable to obtain leaf size estimations for as many species worldwide as possible. Current global databases, such as TRY, contain leaf size data for approximately 30,000 species, which is only ca. 8% of known species worldwide. Yet, taxonomic descriptions exist for the...
Article
Addressing climate change risks requires collaboration and engagement across all sectors of society. In particular, effective partnerships are needed between research scientists producing new knowledge, policy‐makers, and practitioners who apply conservation actions on the ground. We describe the implementation of a model for increasing the applica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urban forests (i.e. all vegetation present in urban areas), provide environmental and socio-economic benefits to more than half of the global population. Projected climate change threatens these benefits to society. Here, we assess vulnerability to climate change of 16,006 plant species present in the urban forests of 1,010 cities within 93 countri...
Preprint
Urban forests (i.e. all vegetation present in urban areas), provide environmental and socio-economic benefits to more than half of the global population. Projected climate change threatens these benefits to society. Here, we assess vulnerability to climate change of 16,006 plant species present in the urban forests of 1,010 cities within 93 countri...
Article
Questions The taxonomic and functional composition of plant communities capture different dimensions of diversity. Functional diversity (FD) – as calculated from species traits – typically increases with species richness in communities and is expected to be higher in less extreme environments, where a broader range of functional strategies can pers...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To quantify the impact of the 2019–2020 megafires on Australian plant diversity by assessing burnt area across 26,062 species ranges and the effects of fire history on recovery potential. Further, to exemplify a strategic approach to prioritizing plant species affected by fire for recovery actions and conservation planning at a national scale....
Article
Accurately assessing community diversity patterns across distributional ranges is critically important for informed and effective management of ecological communities. Yet, for many wide-ranging communities diversity patterns across broad ranges are poorly known. We apply a range of analytical approaches to an extensively studied ecological communi...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of measurements of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 375 traits across 29230 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxa descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of...
Article
Full-text available
Species that cannot adapt or keep pace with a changing climate are likely to need human intervention to shift to more suitable climates. While hundreds of articles mention using translocation as a climate-change adaptation tool, in practice, assisted migration as a conservation action remains rare, especially for animals. This is likely due to conc...
Article
Motivation The Global Urban Tree Inventory (GUTI) is a compilation of datasets on tree species found in cities and towns throughout the world. GUTI data can be used to address a diverse range of theoretical and applied investigations related to species’ biogeography and distribution, ecological and physiological tolerance to climatic, biophysical a...
Technical Report
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The impacts of the 2019/2020 fires on NSW plant species were assessed using an expert-derived framework that addressed 11 key factors likely to drive risk to plants from fire or during post-fire recovery. This assessment builds on the national assessment of risk to plants as a results of these fires (Gallagher 2020) by providing additional NSW data...
Preprint
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paragraph To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, countries and the international community require clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially, and multiple targets be pursued concurrently ¹ . To support governments and political conventions, spatial guidance is needed to identify which areas...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Research on species recovery, reintroduction, and conservation disproportionally focusses on birds and mammals. Typically, less attention is given to hyper-diverse but ecologically important groups such as plants and invertebrates. In this study, we focussed on a continent with one of the world’s highest proportions of endemic plant species (Austra...
Article
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Organismal biology has undergone a dramatic paradigm shift in the last decade. The realization that host cells and genes are outnumbered by symbiotic microbial cells and their genes has forced us to rethink our focus on ‘individuals’. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the ecology and biology of animals and plants are intimately connected...
Article
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A substantial amount of money has been spent globally on threatened species management. While the number of threatened species continues to increase, we would expect to observe a portion of those receiving active management to respond positively and recover over time. Management of these recovering species requires a different approach to those whi...
Article
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Climate change poses significant challenges to the long-term management of threatened species. Pre-emptive assessments of the capacity for threatened species to adapt to climate change are essential for choosing appropriate management actions that minimise extinction risk. Here, we use species traits and range metrics linked to ecological performan...
Article
1.Heat waves are increasing in frequency and intensity globally with negative consequences for biological function. Assessing the effect of extreme heat on species requires an understanding of their adaptive capacity for mitigating physiological damage. Where long‐term exposure to extreme heat in natural populations provides sufficient selection pr...
Article
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Aim We test for spatial and climatic patterns of diversification in the Orchidaceae, an angiosperm family characterized by high levels of species diversity and rarity. Globally, does orchid diversity correlate with land area? In Australia, does diversity correlate with herbarium collecting effort, range size, or climate niche breadth? Where are Aus...
Article
Aim Climate oscillations are known to influence the reproductive phenology of birds. Here, we quantify the effects of cyclic climatic variation, specifically El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), on birds that breed opportunistically. We aim to show how inter‐decadal climate fluctuations influence opportunistic breeding. This knowledge is essential...
Article
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Why are avian eggs ovoid, while the eggs of most other vertebrates are symmetrical? The interaction between an egg and its environment likely drives selection that will shape eggs across evolutionary time. For example, eggs incubated in hot, arid regions face acute exposure to harsh climatic conditions relative to those in temperate zones, and this...
Article
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Leaf size varies by over a 100,000-fold among species worldwide. Although 19th-century plant geographers noted that the wet tropics harbor plants with exceptionally large leaves, the latitudinal gradient of leaf size has not been well quantified nor the key climatic drivers convincingly identified. Here, we characterize worldwide patterns in leaf s...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf size varies by over a 100,000-fold among species worldwide. Although 19th-century plant geographers noted that the wet tropics harbor plants with exceptionally large leaves, the latitudinal gradient of leaf size has not been well quantified nor the key climatic drivers convincingly identified. Here, we characterize worldwide patterns in leaf s...
Article
Research from the intensively studied northern temperate and boreal regions dominates avian reproductive phenology studies. However, in most other areas, long-term, high-quality phenological datasets are not available, limiting our ability to predict how reproductive timing may respond to rapid climate change. Here, we provide novel methods for com...
Article
To map and analyse range size variation in the terrestrial seed-plant flora of Australia in relation to latitude, habitat availability, climate and soils, and to compare mean range size between biomes and growth forms. Australia. Range sizes were estimated from herbarium records using alpha-hulls for 19,227 species and mapped into a set of 0.5° × 0...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting the influence of climate change on the potential distribution of naturalised alien plant species is an important and challenging task. While prioritisation of management actions for alien plants under current climatic conditions has been widely adopted, very few systems explicitly incorporate the potential of future changes in climate co...
Article
Alien plant invasions are considered likely to be facilitated by climate change, resulting in a shift to more alien-dominated vegetation globally. Alien invaders typically have dispersal, environmental tolerance and adaptive capacity traits that may be beneficial for responding to a changing climate. We examine the main drivers of vegetation change...
Chapter
Full-text available
Liana abundance and species diversity are higher in tropical than temperate forests, but substantial variation exists in liana community structure within tropical forests, particularly among biogeographical regions and along gradients in altitude, precipitation, and edaphic characteristics. We used liana surveys from across the world, which we comp...
Chapter
Exotic, invasive plants are a major cause of environmental degradation throughout Australia, affecting most ecosystems and vegetation types. Here, we investigate the origins of Australia’s exotic plant flora, assess their economic and ecological impact and discuss the processes by which these species become successful invaders. Various management s...
Data
Information on congeneric pairs of naturalized and invasive species introduced to Australia (Appendix S1); sources of data on functional traits (Appendix S2); and methods for calculating climate niche breadth and biome occupancy (Appendix S3) are available online. The authors are solely responsible for the content and functionality of these materia...
Article
Species distribution models are an invaluable tool for anticipating the potential range of invasive species. These models often improve when both native and non-native occurrences are available for model development and validation. Therefore, how might ecologists anticipate the potential distributions for emerging invasive species that lack any or...
Chapter
This chapter provides a description of the taxonomic diversity, biogeographic patterns and functional traits of Australia's climbing plant flora at both regional and continental scales. The definition provided for a climbing plant encompasses species with a wide range of climbing strategies and growth habits and is not restricted to woody lianas. T...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to predict which alien plants will transition from naturalized to invasive prior to their introduction to novel regions is a key goal for conservation and has the potential to increase the efficacy of weed risk assessment (WRA). However, multiple factors contribute to plant invasion success (e.g., functional traits, range characteristic...
Article
Assisted colonization is a form of conservation translocation which introduces species at risk from extinction to new habitats, beyond their current range, in anticipation of more suitable conditions. Identifying which species, communities and ecosystems may benefit most from assisted colonization in coming decades is a key goal for conservation. C...
Article
Assisted colonization, the intentional movement of species beyond their native range, has been proposed as a climate change adaptation tool for biodiversity conservation. The risks and benefits of its implementation are still being debated but already the climate is changing, species are moving and the pressure on at-risk species must therefore be...
Article
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Climate change and the ability of alien populations to realize different climatic niches compared to native populations pose challenges for pre-empting invasion risk. These issues are not addressed in Weed Risk Assessments (WRAs), which have been developed to identify potentially invasive species and prevent their importation. Chrysanthemoides moni...
Article
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Naturalised, but not yet invasive plants, pose a nascent threat to biodiversity. As climate regimes continue to change, it is likely that a new suite of invaders will emerge from the established pool of naturalised plants. Pre-emptive management of locations that may be most suitable for a large number of potentially invasive plants will help to ta...
Article
The conservation implications of large-scale rainforest clearing and fragmentation on the persistence of functional and taxonomic diversity remain poorly understood. If traits represent adaptive strategies of plant species to particular circumstances, the expectation is that the effect of forest clearing and fragmentation will be affected by specie...
Article
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Trait variation in plant communities is thought to be constrained by two opposing community assembly processes operating at discrete spatial scales: habitat filtering and limiting similarity between coexisting species. Filtering processes cause convergence in ecological strategy as species are excluded from unsuitable sites, whilst limiting similar...
Article
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Climate change presents a new challenge for the management of invasive exotic species that threaten both biodiversity and agricultural productivity. The invasion of exotic perennial grasses throughout the globe is particularly problematic given their impacts on a broad range of native plant communities and livelihoods. As the climate continues to c...
Article
Aim: Climbing plants (lianas, vines, scramblers) are under-represented in many global datasets that underpin knowledge in functional trait biology, important for ecological theory, conservation and predicting forest dynamics under global change. To address this omission, we tested a set of hypotheses about how the traits of climbers vary with latit...
Article
Full-text available
We apply the concept of biodiversity hotspot analysis (the identification of biogeographical regions of high species diversity) to identify invasion hotspots – areas of potentially suitable climate for multiple non-native plant species – in Australia under current and future climates. We used the species distribution model Maxent to model climate s...