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Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


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Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Conservation and management of rock-dwelling reptiles in the Sydney region


10.00am, Tuesday 7 December 2010

ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room room 114, Sir Gerorge Fisher Building (DB32)
Dr. David Pike, University of Sydney


Rocky habitats support high levels of biodiversity and endemism, but also are under severe threat from human activities, and thus active habitat management is necessary to maintain species assemblages. My talk will focus on the conservation and management of rock-dwelling reptiles in temperate regions, which rely on sun-exposed sandstone rocks throughout much of the year. Sun exposure causes these rocks to reach relatively high temperatures, allowing ectotherms thermoregulate even when ambient temperatures are quite low. The availability of these “hot rocks” in the landscape is limited, and has been reduced by three main processes: (1) vegetation overgrowth (shading), (2) human disturbance of rocks, and (3) illegal removal of rocks (“bushrock removal”). Because a reduction in the availability of rocks can negatively influence population sizes of rock-dwelling reptiles, understanding how these threats impact fauna is vital to designing effective conservation and management programmes. My talk will discuss the nature of these threats, their impacts on fauna, and how landscape-scale restoration efforts can help improve habitat quality for rock-dwelling species. I will focus on Australia’s most endangered snake, the broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides), and its main prey, velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii), but will reveal general conservation and management implications for a wide array of species inhabiting these systems.


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