Simon Ferrier

Simon Ferrier
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation | CSIRO · Division of Land and Water

About

229
Publications
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Publications

Publications (229)
Preprint
Diversity of terrestrial plants plays a key role in maintaining a stable, healthy, and productive ecosystem. Though remote sensing has been seen as a promising and cost-effective proxy for estimating plant diversity, there is a lack of quantitative studies on how confidently plant diversity can be inferred from spaceborne hyperspectral data. In thi...
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
Understanding how biodiversity is changing over space and time is crucial for well‐informed decisions that help to retain the Earth's biological heritage over the long term. Tracking changes in biodiversity through ecosystem accounting provides this important information in a systematic way, and readily enables linking to other relevant environment...
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...
Article
Generalized dissimilarity modelling (GDM) is a powerful and unique method for characterizing and predicting beta diversity, the change in biodiversity over space, time and environmental gradients. The number of studies applying GDM is expanding, with increasing recognition of its value in improving our understanding of the drivers of biodiversity p...
Preprint
Context Management for positive biodiversity outcomes under a changing climate requires a shift of perspective relative to traditional conservation. Here we develop a repeatable indicator for measuring the capacity of landscapes to retain biodiversity under a range of plausible climate futures, as a function of the condition and spatial configurati...
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
Article
Models help decision-makers anticipate the consequences of policies for ecosystems and people; for instance, improving our ability to represent interactions between human activities and ecological systems is essential to identify pathways to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, use of modeling outputs in decision-making remains unc...
Article
Biodiversity projections with uncertainty estimates under different climate, land-use, and policy scenarios are essential to setting and achieving international targets to mitigate biodiversity loss. Evaluating and improving biodiversity predictions to better inform policy decisions remains a central conservation goal and challenge. A comprehensive...
Article
Full-text available
Few biodiversity indicators are available that reflect the state of broad-sense biodiversity—rather than of particular taxa—at fine spatial and temporal resolution. One such indicator, the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII), estimates how the average abundance of the native terrestrial species in a region compares with their abundances in the abse...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The background paper is intended to provide guidance to ecosystem accounts compilers on issues of spatial scale and aggregation in relation to biodiversity by clarifying the different concepts and providing options to address the measurement challenges. The paper is also intended to support compilers in engagement with biodiversity measurement expe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Nature Futures Framework (NFF) is a heuristic tool for co-creating positive futures for nature and people. It seeks to open up a diversity of futures through mainly three value perspectives on nature – Nature for Nature, Nature for Society, Nature as Culture. In this paper, we describe how the NFF can be applied in modelling to support policy....
Article
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Signatory countries to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are formulating goals and indicators through 2050 under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Among the goals is increasing the integrity of ecosystems. The CBD is now seeking input toward a quantifiable definition of integrity and methods to track it globally. Here, w...
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Context Ensembles of artificial neural network models can be trained to predict the continuous characteristics of vegetation such as the foliage cover and species richness of different plant functional groups. Objectives Our first objective was to synthesise existing site-based observations of native plant species to quantify summed percentage fol...
Preprint
Full-text available
Signatory countries to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are formulating indicators through 2030 under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). These goals include increasing the integrity of natural ecosystems. However, the definition of integrity and methods for measuring it remain unspecified. Moreover, nations did not achie...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity underpins the supply of ecosystem services essential for well-being and economic development, yet biodiversity loss continues at a substantial rate. Linking biodiversity indicators with national economic accounts provides a means of mainstreaming biodiversity into economic planning and monitoring processes. Here we examine the various...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring the status and trends of biodiversity is critical for making informed decisions about the conservation, management or restoration of species, habitats and ecosystems. Defining the reference state against which status and change are measured is essential. Typically, reference states describe historical conditions, yet historical conditions...
Article
An important element of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 15 – i.e. to enhance “ecosystem resilience … through conservation and restoration” – remains largely unaddressed by existing indicators. We here develop an indicator addressing just one of many possible dimensions of ecosystem resilience, by focusing on the capacity of ec...
Article
Full-text available
Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity³; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge⁴. Here we use an ensemble of land-use and bi...
Article
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Extensive anthropogenic activities driven by the demand for agriculture and forestry products have led to dramatic reductions in biodiversity worldwide and significant changes in the provisioning of ecosystem services. These trends are expected to continue in the future as the world continues to develop without much consideration of the role that n...
Article
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Abstract Scientists have repeatedly argued that transformative, multiscale global scenarios are needed as tools in the quest to halt the decline of biodiversity and achieve sustainability goals. As a first step towards achieving this, the researchers who participated in the scenarios and models expert group of the Intergovernmental Science‐Policy P...
Preprint
Measuring the status and trends of biodiversity is critical for making informed decisions about the conservation, management or restoration of species, habitats and ecosystems. Defining the reference state against which status and change are measured is essential. Typically, reference states describe historical conditions, yet historical conditions...
Article
Targets for human development are increasingly connected with   targets for nature, however, existing scenarios do not explicitly address this relationship. Here, we outline a strategy to generate scenarios centred on our relationship with nature to inform decision-making at multiple scales.
Article
Global biodiversity indicators are often derived by intersecting observed or projected changes in anthropogenic pressures with underlying patterns in the distribution of biodiversity. However these patterns are typically delineated at a coarser resolution than the key ecological processes shaping both land-use and biological distributions. The ‘Bio...
Chapter
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Essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) are designed to support the detection and quantification of biodiversity change and to define priorities in biodiversity monitoring. Unlike most primary observations of biodiversity phenomena, EBV products should provide information readily available to produce policy-relevant biodiversity indicators, ideally...
Article
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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
Degradation and loss of natural habitat is the major driver of the current global biodiversity crisis. Most habitat conservation efforts to date have targeted small areas of highly threatened habitat, but emerging debate suggests that retaining large intact natural systems may be just as important. We reconcile these perspectives by integrating fin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite the scientific consensus on the extinction crisis and its anthropogenic origin, the quantification of historical trends and of future scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services has been limited, due to the lack of inter-model comparisons and harmonized scenarios. Here, we present a multi-model analysis to assess the impacts of land-us...
Preprint
Scientists have repeatedly argued that transformative, multiscale global scenarios are needed as tools in the quest to halt the decline of biodiversity and achieve sustainability goals. As a first step towards achieving this, the Expert Group on Scenarios and Models of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Serv...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated high-resolution maps of carbon stocks and biodiversity that identify areas of potential co-benefits for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation can help facilitate the implementation of global climate and biodiversity commitments at local levels. However, the multi-dimensional nature of biodiversity presents a major chall...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The concepts ‘Ecological Integrity’ (EI) and ‘Biodiversity’ (living variation) are founding principles of ecologicallysustainable development under NSW environmental legislation, including NSW’s Biodiversity Conservation Act (2016). Ecological Integrity is a high-level goal for biodiversity conservation requiring integration of habitat repair and m...
Article
Full-text available
Scenario-based modelling is a powerful tool to describe relationships between plausible trajectories of drivers, possible policy interventions, and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Model inter-comparisons are key in quantifying uncertainties and identifying avenues for model improvement but have been missing among the global biodiver...
Preprint
Degradation and loss of natural habitat is the major driver of the current global biodiversity crisis. Most habitat conservation efforts to date have targeted small areas of highly threatened habitat, but emerging debate suggests retaining large intact natural systems may be just as important. We reconcile these perspectives by integrating fine-res...
Preprint
An important element of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Target 15 - i.e. to enhance "ecosystem resilience ... through conservation and restoration" - remains largely unaddressed by existing indicators. We here develop an indicator addressing just one of many possible dimensions of ecosystem resilience, by focusing on the capacity of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The workshop drew on the ‘nature futures’ participatory scenario-building exercise initiated by the IPBES expert group on scenarios and models, and other biodiversity modelling initiatives such as the ISIMIP project2 working on adding biodiversity to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) scenarios framework, the 'bending the curve' initiative3 l...
Article
1.Increasing attention is being given to understanding how intensifying human activities combine over space and time to influence persistence of biodiversity. Two types of biodiversity assessment in particular are attracting growing interest: one focused on understanding past‐to‐present change (environmental accounting) and another focused on under...
Article
Full-text available
Reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss is a major challenge facing humanity¹, as the consequences of biological annihilation would be irreversible for humankind2–4. Although the ongoing degradation of ecosystems5,6 and the extinction of species that comprise them7,8 are now well-documented, little is known about the role that remaining wilde...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The workshop entitled ‘From visions to scenarios for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century’ was organized by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) expert group on scenarios and models and its technical support unit, and hosted by the NF-UBC Nereus Program, the Peter Wall Institute f...
Preprint
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Context: Conservation planning and land management are inherently spatial processes that are most effective when implemented over large areas. Objectives: Our objectives were to (i) use existing plot data to aggregate species inventories to growth forms and derive indicators of vegetation structure and composition and ii) generate spatially-explici...
Article
Nations have committed to ambitious conservation targets in response to accelerating rates of global biodiversity loss. Anticipating future impacts is essential to inform policy decisions for achieving these targets, but predictions need to be of sufficiently high spatial resolution to forecast the local effects of global change. As part of the int...
Article
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Species distributions and abundances are undergoing rapid changes worldwide. This highlights the significance of reliable, integrated information for guiding and assessing actions and policies aimed at managing and sustaining the many functions and benefits of species. Here we synthesize the types of data and approaches that are required to achieve...
Article
Given the magnitude and rate of ongoing climate change, the physiological capacity of species to tolerate extreme conditions will play a key role in influencing outcomes for biodiversity. It is also possible that species will respond to changes in climate by shifting their physiological tolerances, through genetic adaptation. How these processes in...
Article
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Aim Observed, realized niche space often underestimates species’ physiological tolerances due to interactions with other species, dispersal constraints, and because some combinations of influential environmental factors do not currently exist in the real world. Conversely, correlative ecological niche models rely on the assumption that the range of...
Article
Full-text available
Systematic conservation planning and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are the two most widely used approaches for identifying important sites for biodiversity. However, there is limited advice for conservation policy makers and practitioners on when and how they should be combined. Here we provide such guidance, using insights from the recently develo...
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...
Technical Report
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In June 2018, PBL hosted a workshop for the IPBES expert group on Scenarios and Models. An important outcome was an inclusive framework for understanding how people relate to and value nature, and for building diverse positive nature future scenarios at different scales.
Article
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To support the assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models is carrying out an intercomparison of biodiversity and ecosystem services models using harmonized scenarios (BES-SIM). The goals of BES-SIM are (1) to project the global impacts o...
Article
Aim Spatial modelling can provide new understanding of patterns in biodiversity and help inform policy, planning and management decisions. However, for many taxa, in many regions, issues with currently available biological data curtail the application of spatial biodiversity models. Here we develop techniques to model spatial patterns of diverse su...
Article
Full-text available
Aim A key ecological debate is whether ecosystem functions are distinctly influenced by biological diversity across broad scales. Although recent work has emphasized the importance of links between ecosystem functions and measures of ecological specialization as proxies of biodiversity, few studies have analysed macroecological relationships empiri...
Article
Full-text available
To support the assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models is carrying out an intercomparison of biodiversity and ecosystem services models using harmonized scenarios (BES-SIM). The goals of BES-SIM are (1) to project the global impacts o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Unless actions are taken to reduce multiple anthropogenic pressures, biodiversity is expected to continue declining at an alarming rate. Models and scenarios can be used to help design the pathways that sustain a thriving nature and its ability to contribute to people. This approach has so far been hampered by the complexity associated with combini...
Article
Aim Conservation assessment and planning across extensive regions rely on the use of mapped or modelled surrogates because direct field‐based inventories of biodiversity rarely provide complete spatial coverage. Surrogates are assumed to represent spatial patterns in the distribution of biodiversity, yet the validity of this assumption is rarely ev...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Global indicators of change in the state of terrestrial biodiversity are often derived by intersecting observed or projected changes in the distribution of habitat transformation, or of protected areas, with underlying patterns in the distribution of biodiversity. However the two main sources of data used to account for biodiversity patterns in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Few biodiversity indicators are available that reflect broad-sense biodiversity - rather than particular taxa - at fine spatial and temporal resolution. The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) reports how the average abundance of native terrestrial species in a region compares with their abundances before pronounced human impacts. BII is designed f...
Preprint
Full-text available
To support the assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPBES Expert Group on Scenarios and Models is carrying out an intercomparison of biodiversity and ecosystem services models using harmonized scenarios (BES-SIM). The goals of BES-SIM are (1) to project the global impacts o...
Article
Climate change is shifting the ranges of species. Simple predictive metrics of range shifts such as climate velocity, that do not require extensive knowledge or data on individual species, could help to guide conservation. We review research on climate velocity, describing the theory underpinning the concept and its assumptions. We highlight how cl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
What is IPBES? IPBES—the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services—was established in 2012 to serve a role linking the science and knowledge about nature and nature’s benefits to people with policy and decision-making. IPBES has many expert groups, including one that focusses on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity of Ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is driving a pervasive global redistribution of the planet's species. Species redistribution poses new questions for the study of ecosystems, conservation science and human societies that require a coordinated and integrated approach. Here we review recent progress, key gaps and strategic directions in this nascent research area, emp...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is driving a pervasive global redistribution of the planet's species. Species redistribution poses new questions for the study of ecosystems, conservation science and human societies that require a coordinated and integrated approach. Here we review recent progress, key gaps and strategic directions in this nascent research area, emp...
Article
Locating and protecting climate change refugia is important to conserving biodiversity with accelerating climate change. Comparative phylogeographic analysis provides an effective tool for locating such refugia, as long-term retention of one or more populations within a refugial landscape will generate unique genetic lineages. The ranges of the wes...
Conference Paper
A more robust understanding of the implications of future risks and opportunities could improve strategic decision making at different levels. Single sector analyses are likely to simplify key interactions across domains which may limit their ability to identify mechanisms to mitigate risks or harness opportunities. This paper describes an integrat...