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Rainforest and woodland ecotones

Expansion of rainforest at the expense of eucalypt forest and grassland in Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, linked to changes in rainfall and fire regimes.

Bowman et al., 2001; Hughes, 2003

Sub-alpine vegetation

Encroachment by snow gums into sub-alpine grasslands at higher elevations.

Wearne and Morgan, 2001

Freshwater swamps and floodplains

Saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps since the 1950s in Northern Territory accelerating since the 1980s, possibly associated with sea level and precipitation changes.

Winn et al., 2006

Coral reefs

Eight mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef since 1979, triggered by unusually high sea surface temperatures; no serious events known prior to 1979 (see Section 11.6). Most widespread events appear to have occurred in 1998 and 2002, affecting up to 50% of reefs within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999; Done et al., 2003; Berkelmans et al., 2004

Birds

Earlier arrival of migratory birds; range shifts and expansions for several species; high sea surface temperatures associated with reduced reproduction in wedge-tailed shearwaters.

Smithers et al., 2003; Chambers, 2005; Chambers et al., 2005; Beaumont et al., 2006

Mammals

Increased penetration of feral mammals into alpine and high sub-alpine areas and prolonged winter presence of macropods.

Green and Pickering, 2002

Insects

Change in genetic constitution of Drosophila, equivalent to a 4° latitude shift (about 400 km).

Umina et al., 2005

New Zealand

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