Sean D Connell

Sean D Connell
University of Adelaide · School of Biological Sciences

43.68
About
252
Research items
41,741
Reads
9,495
Citations
Research Experience
Jan 1999
University of Adelaide
Position
  • Professor
Jan 1997 - Jan 1999
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Lecturer
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Following
Projects
Projects (2)
Project
I feel like I am on the verge of breakthrough. Looking for PhD students to join. Whilst the work focuses on kelp forests, I am looking to expand it to other habitats, even terrestrial species. see my private website: http://seanconnell3.wixsite.com/seans
Research
Research items (252)
Article
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Trophic compensation, via intensifying consumption, stabilizes against boosted production at lower trophic levels. The ensuing potential for population outbreaks of herbivores is suppressed by intensifying predation. Ecosystem change reflects the shifting balance between the propagation of CO2 enrichment and its consumption; a chain of direct and i...
Article
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Reduction in seawater pH due to rising levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world's oceans is a major force set to shape the future of marine ecosystems and the ecological services they provide [1,2]. In particular, ocean acidification is predicted to have a detrimental effect on the physiology of calcifying organisms [3]. Yet, the i...
Article
Ecologists seem predisposed to studying change because we are intuitively interested in dynamic systems, including their vulnerability to human disturbance. We contrast this disposition with the value of studying processes that work against change. Although powerful, processes that counter disturbance often go unexplored because they yield no obser...
Article
Disturbance often results in small changes in community structure, but the probability of transitioning to contrasting states increases when multiple disturbances combine. Nevertheless, we have limited insights into the mechanisms that stabilise communities, particularly how perturbations can be absorbed without restructuring (i.e. resistance). Her...
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Predictions concerning the consequences of the oceanic uptake of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been primarily occupied with the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms, particularly those critical to the formation of habitats (e.g. coral reefs) or their maintenance (e.g. grazing echinoderms). This focus overlooks d...
Article
Increasing carbon emissions not only enrich oceans with CO2 but also make them more acidic. This acidifying process has caused considerable concern because laboratory studies show that ocean acidification impairs calcification (or shell building) and survival of calcifiers by the end of this century. Whether this impairment in shell building also o...
Article
The adaptive capacity of individuals, from their cells to their overall performance, allows species to adjust to environmental change. We assess a hierarchy of responses (from cells to organismal growth and behaviour) to understand the flexibility of adaptive responses to future ocean conditions (warming and acidification) in two species of fish wi...
Article
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Population replenishment of marine life largely depends on successful dispersal of larvae to suitable adult habitat. Ocean acidification alters behavioural responses to physical and chemical cues in marine animals, including the maladaptive deterrence of settlement-stage larval fish to odours of preferred habitat and attraction to odours of non-pre...
Article
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Humans are changing the marine environment at an accelerating rate, causing species decline and loss of natural resources. But counter to these declining trends, some species appear to be thriving in response to environmental change. Focusing on three divergent taxa – algae, jellyfish, and cephalopods – we discuss the concept of adaptable “weedy sp...
Article
The pervasive enrichment of CO2 in our oceans is a well‐documented stressor to marine life. Yet, there is little understanding about how CO2 affects species indirectly in naturally complex communities. Using natural CO2 vents, we investigated the indirect effects of CO2 enrichment through a marine food chain. We show how CO2 boosted the biomass of...
Article
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Aim Understanding the relative importance of climatic and non‐climatic distribution drivers for co‐occurring, functionally similar species is required to assess potential consequences of climate change. This understanding is, however, lacking for most ecosystems. We address this knowledge gap and forecast changes in distribution for habitat‐forming...
Article
Long-term species responses to ocean acidification depend on their sensitivity during different life stages. We tested for sensitivity of juvenile fish behaviour to ocean acidification by exposing eggs to control and elevated CO 2 levels, and translocating offspring between treatments in a reciprocal design. After 12 weeks of exposure, activity, in...
Article
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Farming is a technique employed by both humans and animals to enhance crop yields, allowing their populations to increase beyond the natural carrying capacity of the environment. Using volcanic CO2 vents, we investigate how a species of herbivorous fish (the black scalyfin Parma alboscapularis) may use increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions to enha...
Article
Niche segregation allows competing species to capture resources in contrasting ways so they can co-exist and maintain diversity, yet global change is simplifying ecosystems and associated niche diversity. Whether climate perturbations alter niche occupancy among co-occurring species and affect species diversity is a key, but unanswered question. Us...
Article
The CO2-boosted trophic transfer from primary producers to herbivores has been increasingly discovered at natural CO2 vents and in laboratory experiments. Despite the emerging knowledge of this boosting effect, we do not know the extent to which it may be enhanced or dampened by ocean warming. We investigated whether ocean acidification and warming...
Article
Ecologically dominant species often define ecosystem states, but as human disturbances intensify, their subordinate counterparts increasingly displace them. We consider the duality of disturbance by examining how environmental drivers can simultaneously act as a stressor to dominant species and as a resource to subordinates. Using a model ecosystem...
Article
Urban and artificial structures are increasingly added to the world’s coasts during a time in which changing climate is forecast to drive shifts in naturally occurring habitats. We ask whether the role of artificial structures as marine habitats will increase in importance relative to their natural counterparts, particularly as natural habitats are...
Article
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Ecological complexity represents a network of interacting components that either propagate or counter the effects of environmental change on individuals and communities1–3. Yet, our understanding of the ecological imprint of ocean acidification (elevated CO2) and climate change (elevated temperature) is largely based on reports of negative effects...
Article
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Extreme climatic events, such as heatwaves, are predicted to be more prevalent in future due to global climate change. The devastating impacts of heatwaves on the survival of marine organisms may be further intensified by ocean acidification. Here, we tested the hypothesis that prolonged exposure to heatwave temperatures (24 °C, +3 °C summer seawat...
Article
Many marine organisms produce calcareous shells as the key structure for defence, but the functionality of shells may be compromised by ocean acidification and warming. Nevertheless, calcifying organisms may adaptively modify their shell properties in response to these impacts. Here, we examined how reduced pH and elevated temperature affect shell...
Article
Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)from fossil fuel combustion is acidifying our oceans [1,2. This acidification is expected to have negative effects on calcifying animals because it affects their ability to build shells [3,4. However, the effects of ocean acidification in natural environments, subject to ecological and evolutionary processes (su...
Article
Artificial structures will be increasingly utilized to protect coastal infrastructure from sea-level rise and storms associated with climate change. Although it is well documented that the materials comprising artificial structures influence the composition of organisms that use them as habitat, little is known about how these materials may chemica...
Article
Accelerating climate change is eroding the functioning and stability of ecosystems by weakening the interactions among species that stabilize biological communities against change [ 1 ]. A key challenge to forecasting the future of ecosystems centers on how to extrapolate results from short-term, single-species studies to community-level responses...
Article
Good writing takes time, but in a research environment where speed is master, is it a superfluous pursuit? Scientists spend most of their working life writing, yet our writing style obstructs its key purpose: communication. We advocate more accessible prose that boosts the influence of our publications. For those who change, the proof of their succ...
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Connecting the nonlinear and often counterintuitive physiological effects of multiple environmental drivers to the emergent impacts on ecosystems is a fundamental challenge. Unfortunately, the disconnect between the way "stressors" (e.g., warming) is considered in organismal (physiological) and ecological (community) contexts continues to hamper pr...
Article
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Increasing oceanic uptake of CO2 is predicted to drive ecological change as both a resource (i.e. CO2 enrichment on primary producers) and stressor (i.e. lower pH on consumers). We use the natural ecological complexity of a CO2 vent (i.e. a seagrass system) to assess the potential validity of conceptual models developed from laboratory and mesocosm...
Article
en Although the public desire for healthy environments is clear‐cut, the science and management of ecosystem health has not been as simple. Ecological systems can be dynamic and can shift abruptly from one ecosystem state to another. Such unpredictable shifts result when ecological thresholds are crossed; that is, small cumulative increases in an e...
Article
Future climate is forecast to drive bottom-up (resource driven) and top-down (consumer driven) change to food web dynamics and community structure. Yet, our predictive understanding of these changes is hampered by an over-reliance on simplified laboratory systems centred on single trophic levels. Using a large mesocosm experiment, we reveal how fut...
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Top predator populations, once intensively hunted, are rebounding in size and geographic distribution. The cessation of sealing along coastal Australia and subsequent recovery of Australian Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus and long-nosed A. forsteri fur seals represents a unique opportunity to investigate trophic linkages at a frontier of predator...
Article
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The response of complex ecological communities to ocean acidification reflects interactions among species that propagate or dampen ecological change. Yet, most studies have been based on short-term experiments with limited numbers of interacting species. Both limitations tend to exaggerate measured effects and when combined with our predisposition...
Article
Calcifying organisms are considered particularly susceptible to the future impacts of ocean acidification (OA), but recent evidence suggests that they may be able to maintain calcification and overall fitness. The underlying mechanism remains unclear but may be attributed to mineralogical plasticity, which modifies the energetic cost of calcificati...
Article
Ocean acidification alters the way in which animals perceive and respond to their world by affecting a variety of senses such as audition, olfaction, vision and pH sensing. Marine species rely on other senses as well, but we know little of how these might be affected by ocean acidification. We tested whether ocean acidification can alter the prefer...
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The effects of ocean acidification (OA) on the structure and complexity of coastal marine biogenic habitat have been broadly overlooked. Here we explore how declining pH and carbonate saturation may aaect the structural complexity of four major biogenic habitats. Our analyses predict that indirect eeects driven by OA on habitat-forming organisms co...
Article
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Kelp forests (Order Laminariales) form key biogenic habitats in coastal regions of temperate and Arctic seas worldwide, providing ecosystem services valued in the range of billions of dollars annually. Although local evidence suggests that kelp forests are increasingly threatened by a variety of stressors, no comprehensive global analysis of change...
Article
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When conditions are stressful, reproduction and population growth are reduced, but when favourable, reproduction and population size can boom. Theory suggests climate change is an increasingly stressful environment, predicting extinctions or decreased abundances. However, if favourable conditions align, such as an increase in resources or release f...
Poster
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Structured Graphical Abstract: The sounds of silence: regime shifts impoverish marine soundscapes Rossi, T., Connell, S.D. & Nagelkerken, I. Landscape Ecol (2016). doi:10.1007/s10980-016-0439-x
Article
ContextRegime shifts are well known for driving penetrating ecological change, yet we do not recognise the consequences of these shifts much beyond species diversity and productivity. Sound represents a multidimensional space that carries decision-making information needed for some dispersing species to locate resources and evaluate their quantity...
Research
Full-text available
Structured Graphical Abstract of Silent oceans: ocean acidification impoverishes natural soundscapes by altering sound production of the world's noisiest marine invertebrate Tullio Rossi, Sean D. Connell, Ivan Nagelkerken Proc. R. Soc. B 2016 283 20153046; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.3046. Published 16 March 2016
Article
Ocean warming and acidification alter the physiological performance and behaviour of many small-bodied fishes, yet the potential interactive effects of these stressors on larger predators remains poorly understood. In particular, the combined effects of elevated temperature on metabolism and of elevated CO₂ on the behaviour of large predators may n...
Article
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The problem of linking fine-scale processes to broad-scale patterns remains a central challenge of ecology. As rates of abiotic change intensify, there is a critical need to understand how individual responses aggregate to generate compensatory dynamics that stabilize community processes. Notably, whilst local and global resource enhancement (e.g....
Article
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Article
Full-text available
Soundscapes are multidimensional spaces that carry meaningful information for many species about the location and quality of nearby and distant resources. Because soundscapes are the sum of the acoustic signals produced by individual organisms and their interactions, they can be used as a proxy for the condition of whole ecosystems and their occupa...
Article
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Forecasting the ecological consequences of a changing climate requires a range of approaches, including the use of mesocosms in which multiple physical and chemical parameters can be manipulated and the response of interacting organisms quantified. Here, we describe the design and evaluate the performance of a facility incorporating large mesocosms...
Article
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The dispersal of larvae and their settlement to suitable habitat is fundamental to the replenishment of marine populations and the communities in which they live. Sound plays an important role in this process because for larvae of various species, it acts as an orientational cue towards suitable settlement habitat. Because marine sounds are largely...
Article
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The antiquity of human impact on ecosystems is increasingly understood, though the arrival of settlers to new lands remains a defining period. Colonization of the ‘neo-Europes’, a reference from the discipline of history, precipitated changes in aquatic ecosystems throughmodification ofwaterways and introductions of non-native species. We considere...
Article
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Locating appropriate settlement habitat is a crucial step in the life cycle of most benthic marine animals. In marine fish, this step involves the use of multiple senses, including audition, olfaction and vision. To date, most investigations of larval fish audition focus on the hearing thresholds to various frequencies of sounds without testing an...
Article
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Background: The ecological consequences of climate change will be driven by a combination of both gradual and abrupt changes in climatic conditions. Despite growing evidence that abrupt abiotic change of extreme events may profoundly alter ecological processes, it remains unclear how such events may combine with longer-term global and local disturb...
Article
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Alterations in predation pressure can have large effects on trophically-structured systems. Modification of predator behaviour via ocean warming has been assessed by laboratory experimentation and metabolic theory. However, the influence of ocean acidification with ocean warming remains largely unexplored for mesopredators, including experimental a...
Article
Marine historical research has made progress in bridging the gap between science and policy, but examples in which it has been effectively applied remain few. In particular, its application to aquaculture remains unexplored. Using actual examples of natural resource management in the state of South Australia, we illustrate how historical data of va...
Article
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Rising anthropogenic CO2 emissions are anticipated to drive change to ocean ecosystems, but a conceptualization of biological change derived from quantitative analyses is lacking. Derived from multiple ecosystems and latitudes, our metaanalysis of 632 published experiments quantified the direction and magnitude of ecological change resulting from o...
Article
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Ocean warming is anticipated to strengthen the persistence of turf-forming habitat, yet the concomitant elevation of grazer metabolic rates may accelerate per capita rates of consumption to counter turf predominance. Whilst this possibility of strong top-down control is supported by the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE), it assumes that consumer me...
Article
The possible impacts of ocean acidification have gained substantial attention for their potential to alter physiological functioning of marine organisms. Less recognized are the present impacts of estuarine acidification, a widespread form of coastal acidification caused by terrestrial runoff and coastal current dynamics. We examined the effects of...
Article
Ocean ecosystems are predicted to lose biodiversity and productivity from increasing ocean acidification. Whilst laboratory experiments reveal negative effects of acidification on the behaviour and performance of species, more comprehensive predictions have been hampered by a lack of in situ studies that incorporate the complexity of interactions b...
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Kelp forests define .8000 km of temperate coastline across southern Australia, where ,70% of Australians live, work and recreate. Despite this, public and political awareness of the scale and significance of this marine ecosystem is low, and research investment miniscule (,10%), relative to comparable ecosystems. The absence of an identity for Aust...
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Current trends in habitat loss have been forecast to accelerate under anticipated global change, thereby focusing conservation attention on identifying the circumstances under which key species interactions retard habitat loss. Urbanised coastlines are associated with broad-scale loss of kelp canopies and their replacement by less productive mats o...
Article
Offshore islands are often preferentially selected for marine sanctuaries (no take areas) over inshore reefs on populated coasts because they support relatively unique marine communities and critical habitat for protected marine wildlife and are often less accessible to people. To evaluate whether marine sanctuaries around an offshore island with a...
Article
Oyster reefs form over extensive areas and the diversity and productivity of sheltered coasts depend on them. Due to the relatively recent population growth of coastal settlements in Australia, we were able to evaluate the collapse and extirpation of native oyster reefs (Ostrea angasi) over the course of a commercial fishery. We used historical rec...
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The capacity of natural systems to resist environmental change underpins ecosystem stability, e.g. the persistence of kelp-dominated states which are sometimes displaced by subordinates or weedy species (i.e. algal turfs). Perturbation by resource enhancement at global (e.g. CO2 emissions) through local scales (e.g. nutrient pollution) increases th...