Rod M. Connolly's research while affiliated with Griffith University and other places

Publications (284)

Article
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Conservation of marine ecosystems has been highlighted as a priority to ensure a sustainable future. Effective management requires data collection over large spatio-temporal scales, readily accessible and integrated information from monitoring, and tools to support decision-making. However, there are many roadblocks to achieving adequate and timely...
Article
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Earth system models are widely used to estimate future changes in wetland extent but do not incorporate surface elevation change (SEC) into predicting wetland's real responses to sea level rise (SLR). A machine learning model (MLM) was used to investigate the impact of multiple drivers on SEC and sediment accretion rate (SAR) in tidal marshes, and...
Preprint
Ecosystems remain under enormous pressure from multiple anthropogenic stressors. Manipulative experiments evaluating stressor interactions and impacts mostly apply stressors under static conditions without considering how variable stressor intensity (i.e., fluctuations) and synchronicity (i.e., timing of fluctuations) affect biological responses. W...
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Predicting the impacts of multiple stressors is important for informing ecosystem management but is impeded by a lack of a general framework for predicting whether stressors interact synergistically, additively or antagonistically. Here, we use process‐based models to study how interactions generalise across three levels of biological organisation...
Article
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Oysters are ecosystem engineers that form biogenic reef habitats in shallow coastal and estuarine waters and provide important ecosystem services. Widespread global declines have triggered a world-wide restoration movement, however a paucity of information on tropical oyster reefs has resulted in their exclusion from existing global assessments and...
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Efficacious monitoring of fish stocks is critical for efficient management. Multibeam acoustic cameras, that use sound-reflectance to generate moving pictures, provide an important alternative to traditional video-based methods that are inoperable in turbid waters. However, acoustic cameras, like standard video monitoring methods, produce large vol...
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Mangroves and seagrasses are important nurseries for many marine species, and this function is linked to the complexity and context of these habitats in coastal seascapes. It is also connected to bathymetric features that influence habitat availability, and the accessibility of refuge habitats, but the significance of terrain variation for nursery...
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Context Landscape modification alters the condition of ecosystems and the structure of terrain, with widespread impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Seafloor dredging impacts a diversity of flora and fauna in many coastal landscapes, and these processes also transform three-dimensional terrain features. The potential ecological signif...
Article
There is an urgent need to halt and reverse loss of mangroves and seagrass to protect and increase the ecosystem services they provide to coastal communities, such as enhancing coastal resilience and contributing to climate stability.1,2 Ambitious targets for their recovery can inspire public and private investment in conservation,3 but the expecte...
Article
Landscape modification alters the condition of ecosystems and the complexity of terrain, with consequences for animal assemblages and ecosystem functioning. In coastal seascapes, dredging is routine practice for extracting sediments and maintaining navigation channels worldwide. Dredging modifies processes and assemblages by favouring species with...
Preprint
Background: Studying and quantifying fish behaviour is important to understand how fish interact with their environments. Yet much of fish behaviour in aquatic ecosystems remains hard to observe and time-consuming to manually document. Automated tracking through computer vision techniques can provide fine-scale movement data of many individuals acr...
Article
Decades of eutrophication have increased water turbidity in Danish estuaries and led to light limitation of eelgrass (Zostera marina) growth. Former eelgrass areas are now denuded and consist of organic-rich muddy sediment with frequent resuspension events that maintain a high turbidity state. In addition, low anchoring capacity of eelgrass in the...
Article
Habitat complexity and connectivity can influence the number of species and their diversity across a landscape. For the surf zones of ocean-exposed beaches, globally one of the longest habitat interfaces, the assumed low structural complexity, and apparent homogeneity, of the sandy seafloor habitats predicts low taxonomic and functional diversity....
Article
Growing concern about the climate crisis comes with increased scrutiny of flying as an emission-intensive activity. This study conceptualises a modern communication system and draws on social media data to examine pre-COVID-19 (September to December 2019) public conversations about aviation and climate change. The analysis of >326,000 Twitter posts...
Preprint
Predicting the impacts of multiple stressors is important for informing ecosystem management, but is impeded by a lack of a general framework for predicting whether stressors interact synergistically, additively, or antagonistically. Here we use process-based models to study how interactions generalise across three levels of bio-logical organisatio...
Article
Trypaea australiensis Dana, 1852 is the predominant bioturbating thalassinidean shrimp on the east coast of Australia. It is, like other large bioturbators, generally considered an important ecosystem engineer. The sediment particle reworking rate of thalassinideans, a key parameter in benthic biogeochemical modelling, nevertheless remains unknown....
Article
The terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms all provide essential ecosystem services in urban environments. However, the services provided by each realm are often considered independently, which ignores the synergies between them and risks underestimating the benefits derived collectively. Greater research collaboration across these realms, and a...
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Significance Seagrasses are important for ecosystem services, including climate regulation and fisheries production. But they are threatened by multiple pressures including poor water quality and coastal development. Seagrass extent is not monitored in many places, so areas at most risk of decline and the management actions needed in these places a...
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Global-scale conservation initiatives and policy instruments rely on ecosystem indicators to track progress towards targets and objectives. A deeper understanding of indicator interrelationships would benefit these efforts and help characterize ecosystem status. We study interrelationships among 34 indicators for mangroves, saltmarsh, and seagrass...
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Tidal marshes are not only lost to human disturbance but also face the threat of sea 1 level rise (SLR). However, current earth system models used to estimate future changes in 2 wetland extent omit wetland's real responses to SLR without field observations. We 3 synthesised global data on sediment accretion rate (SAR) and surface elevation change...
Article
The status and potential degradation of an ecosystem is often difficult to identify, quantify, and characterize. Multiple, concurrent drivers of degradation may interact and have cumulative and confounding effects, making mitigation and rehabilitation actions challenging to achieve. Ecosystem status assessments generally emphasize areal change (gai...
Article
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The ongoing need to sustainably manage fishery resources can benefit from fishery-independent monitoring of fish stocks. Camera systems, particularly baited remote underwater video system (BRUVS), are a widely used and repeatable method for monitoring relative abundance, required for building stock assessment models. The potential for BRUVS-based m...
Preprint
Decades of eutrophication have increased water turbidity in Danish estuaries and led to light limitation of eelgrass (Zostera marina) growth. Former eelgrass areas are now denuded and consist of organic-rich muddy sediment with frequent resuspension events that maintain a high turbidity state. In addition, low anchoring capacity of eelgrass in the...
Article
Understanding the use of sandy beaches underpins strategies for effective management of this valuable ecosystem. In this context, remote-sensing platforms and aerial imagery could, theoretically, provide novel and cost-effective solutions to identify and map beach visitor use. Recreational beach use patterns were examined using data collected via a...
Book
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A global review of mangrove forests - extent, condition, protection, ecosystem services, restoration, global mapping, policy, economics, community engagement
Article
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Despite genuine attempts, the history of marine and coastal ecosystem management is littered with examples of poor environmental, social and financial outcomes. Marine ecosystems are largely populated by species with open populations, and feature ecological processes that are driven by multiple, interwoven, dynamic causes and effects. This complexi...
Article
Animals can respond to human impacts by favouring different morphological traits or by exploiting different food resources. We quantified the morphology and diet of four functionally different fish species (n = 543 fish) from 13 estuaries with varying degrees of human modification in Queensland, Australia. We found differences in the responses of t...
Preprint
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Environmental Economic Accounts track the condition of interconnected ecosystem assets, to inform environmental decision makers about its influence on the past and current status of ecosystem services. Indicators of condition need to be analysed to determine if they lead, are coincident with or lag environmental change, so that indicators are inter...
Article
Vegetated coastal wetlands, including seagrass, saltmarsh and mangroves, are threatened globally, yet the need to avert these losses is poorly recognized in international policy, such as in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. Identifying the impact of overlooking coastal wetlands in ecos...
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Studying and quantifying behaviour is important to understand how animals interact with their environments. However, manually extracting and analysing behavioural data from the large volume of camera footage collected is often time consuming. Deep learning techniques have emerged as useful tools in automating the analysis of certain behaviours unde...
Article
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• Animal movement studies are conducted to monitor ecosystem health, understand ecological dynamics, and address management and conservation questions. In marine environments, traditional sampling and monitoring methods to measure animal movement are invasive, labor intensive, costly, and limited in the number of individuals that can be feasibly tr...
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As human impacts increase in coastal regions, there is concern that critical habitats that provide the foundation of entire ecosystems are in decline. Seagrass meadows face growing threats such as poor water quality and coastal development. To determine the status of seagrass meadows over time, we reconstructed time‐series of meadow area from 175 s...
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Over the last 20 years, innovations have led to the development of exciting new technologies and novel applications of established technologies, collectively increasing the scale, scope, and quality of research possible in tidal marsh systems. Thus, ecological research on marshes is being revolutionized, in the same way as ecological research more...
Chapter
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Photo aesthetics assessment is a challenging problem. Deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)-based algorithms have achieved promising results for aesthetics assessment in recent times. Lately, few efficient and effective attention-based CNN architectures are proposed that improve learning efficiency by adaptively adjusts the weight of each patch d...
Article
Ecological restoration is increasingly being upscaled to larger spatial scales of 10s to 100 s of kilometres. Yet, the complex logistics and high costs of ecological restoration mean that actions must be placed strategically at local scales of 10s of meters to maximise ecological benefits and reduce socio‐economic costs. Despite the purported use o...
Article
Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV; e.g. seagrasses, macroalgae), forms key habitats in shallow coastal systems that provide a plethora of ecosystem services, including coastal protection, climate mitigation and supporting fisheries production. Light limitation is a critical factor influencing the growth and survival of SAV, thus it is important to...
Preprint
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1. Animal movement studies are conducted to monitor ecosystem health, understand ecological dynamics and address management and conservation questions. In marine environments, traditional sampling and monitoring methods to measure animal movement are invasive, labour intensive, costly, and measuring movement of many individuals is challenging. Auto...
Article
Wetland ecosystems are critical to the regulation of the global carbon cycle, and there is a high demand for data to improve carbon sequestration and emission models and predictions. Decomposition of plant litter is an important component of ecosystem carbon cycling, yet a lack of knowledge on decay rates in wetlands is an impediment to predicting...
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Mangroves have among the highest carbon densities of any tropical forest. These “blue carbon” ecosystems can store large amounts of carbon for long periods, and their protection reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports climate change mitigation. Incorporating mangroves into Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and their v...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ongoing need to sustainably manage fishery resources necessitates fishery-independent monitoring of the status of fish stocks. Camera systems, particularly baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS), are a widely-used and repeatable method for monitoring relative abundance, required for building stock assessment models. The potential for B...
Article
The structure of seafloor terrain affects the distribution and diversity of animals in all seascapes. Effects of terrain on fish assemblages have been reported from most ecosystems, but it is unclear whether bathymetric effects vary among seascapes or change in response to seafloor modification by humans. We reviewed the global literature linking s...
Article
Tidal marshes (including saltmarshes) provide remarkable value for many social (cultural, recreational) and environmental (fish production, water quality, shoreline protection, carbon sequestration) services. However, their extent, condition, and capacity to support these services are threatened by human development expansion, invasive species, ero...
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Climate change is altering naturally fluctuating environmental conditions in coastal and estuarine ecosystems across the globe. Departures from long-term averages and ranges of environmental variables are increasingly being observed as directional changes [e.g., rising sea levels, sea surface temperatures (SST)] and less predictable periodic cycles...
Article
Coastal salt marshes are distributed widely across the globe and are considered essential habitat for many fish and crustacean species. Yet, the literature on fishery support by salt marshes has largely been based on a few geographically distinct model systems, and as a result, inadequately captures the hierarchical nature of salt marsh pattern, pr...
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Connectivity is fundamentally important for shaping the resilience of complex human and natural networks when systems are disturbed. Ecosystem resilience is, in part, shaped by the spatial arrangement of habitats, the permeability and fluxes between them, the stabilising functions performed by organisms, their dispersal traits, and the interactions...
Article
Colonisation of decaying leaves fallen from mangrove trees by bacteria and fungi is thought to play an important role at the base of food webs in most tropical estuaries. Compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA) has enabled the previously difficult methodological task of measuring plant, bacterial and fungal energy flows to food...
Article
Multiple stressors are ubiquitous in coastal ecosystems as a result of increased human activity and development along coastlines. Accurately assessing multiple stressor effects is essential for predicting stressor impacts and informing management to efficiently and effectively mitigate potentially complex ecological responses. Extracting relevant i...
Article
Even before the global halt to extensive mobility due to the coronavirus crisis, there has been growing resistance amongst some groups to flying. Reflecting increasing concern about the imminent climate emergency, the phenomenon of feeling ashamed of flying and expressing related emotions through communication has resulted in the neologism “flygska...
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A combination of elemental analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (bulk SIA) and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA) was used to assess and monitor carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) cycling of a mangrove ecosystem that suffered mass dieback of trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia in 2015-2016, attributed...
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Seascapes are typically comprised of multiple components that are functionally linked by the movement of organisms and fluxes of matter. Changes to the number and spatial arrangement of these linkages affect biological connectivity that, in turn, can alter ecological functions. Herbivory is one such function, pivotal in controlling excessive algal...
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https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6517/670.1
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Whether and how landscape context and habitat traits combine to shape animal assemblages and the rate and distribution of ecological functions remains unresolved in many aquatic settings. Saltmarshes are one such ecosystem in which these considerations are frequently acknowledged as important, but quantitative studies of these effects are rare, esp...
Article
Environmental monitoring guides conservation and is particularly important for aquatic habitats which are heavily impacted by human activities. Underwater cameras and uncrewed devices monitor aquatic wildlife, but manual processing of footage is a significant bottleneck to rapid data processing and dissemination of results. Deep learning has emerge...
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The global distribution of primary production and consumption by humans (fisheries) is well-documented, but we have no map linking the central ecological process of consumption within food webs to temperature and other ecological drivers. Using standardized assays that span 105° of latitude on four continents, we show that rates of bait consumption...
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Coral reefs have been subject to mass coral bleaching, potentially causing rapid and widespread degradation of ecosystem services that depend on live coral cover, such as fisheries catch. Fisheries species in tropical waters associate with a wide range of habitats, so assessing the dependency of fisheries on coral reefs is important for guiding fis...
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The development and uptake of citizen science and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for ecological monitoring is increasing rapidly. Citizen science and AI allow scientists to create and process larger volumes of data than possible with conventional methods. However, managers of large ecological monitoring projects have little guidance on whe...
Article
• Technological advancements in data collection and analysis are producing a new generation of ecological data. Among these, computer vision (CV) has received increased attention for its robust capabilities for rapidly processing large volumes of digital imagery. • In marine ecosystems, the study of fish connectivity provides fundamental informatio...
Article
Human activities in coastal catchments can cause the accumulation of pollutants in seafood. We quantified the concentration of heavy metals, pesticides and PFASs in the flesh of the fisheries species yellowfin bream Acanthopagrus australis (n = 57) and mud crab Scylla serrata (n = 65) from 13 estuaries in southeast Queensland, Australia; a region w...
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Tidal marshes are a key component of coastal seascape mosaics that support a suite of socially and economically valuable ecosystem services, including recreational opportunities (e.g., fishing, birdwatching), habitat for fisheries species, improved water quality, and shoreline protection. The capacity for tidal marshes to support these services is,...
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Accurately evaluating ecosystem status is vital for effective conservation. The Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the global standard for assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse. Such tools are particularly needed for large, dynamic ecosystem complexes, such as the Indian Sundarbans...
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There is growing interest in using ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to maintain or restore ecosystem services to increase human resilience to climate change. However, to date, the focus on EbA has been on conceptualising the approach and encouraging its use, rather than understanding EbA in practice. We review the EbA literature to synthesise where...