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Ecological engineering for biodiversity adaptation to climate change

Managing contemporary environmental needs whilst ensuring Natural Resource Management (NRM) investment is future-proofed to withstand climate change is a key challenge for environmental managers in the 21st century.
To address this challenge, the Department of the Environment and CSIRO are collaborating to identify and develop a new generation of climate-smart ‘ecological engineering’ approaches.

The project defines ecological engineering as ‘the design, manipulation or construction of self-sustaining ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and nature’. This term is being used in place of ‘ecological restoration’ because restoring characteristics from pre-existing communities may not be viable with impacts from climate change.

The project will:

  • review a range of ecological engineering techniques for facilitating climate-resilience in NRM
  • undertake in-depth research to ascertain the viability of one of the most promising ecological engineering techniques for NRM – climate-adjusted seed provenancing
  • establish research infrastructure and collaborative partnerships to support a growing evidence base into the effectiveness of some ecological engineering techniques.

More detail is available in the project flier.

Project publications

Prober SM, Doerr V, Broadhurst L, Williams KJ, Dickson F (2019) Shifting the conservation paradigm – a synthesis of options for renovating nature under climate change. Ecological Monographs 89, e01333.

Prober SM, Broadhurst, L, Boggs G, Breed MF, Bush D, Lynch AJJ, Dickson F (2018) Discussion Paper: Achieving more with less – linking ecological restoration investments with ecological restoration research infrastructure. CSIRO, Australia.

Broadhurst L, Prober S, Dickson F and Bush D (2017) Using restoration as an experimental framework to test provenancing strategies and climate adaptability. Ecological Management & Restoration, 18(3), 205-208. DOI:

Prober SM, Williams KJ, Broadhurst LK and Doerr VAJ (2017) Nature conservation and ecological restoration in a changing climate: what are we aiming for? The Rangelands Journal, 39(6), 477-486. DOI:

Prober SM, Potts BM, Bailey T, Byrne M, Dillon S, Harrison PA, Hoffmann AA, Jordan R, McLean EH, Steane DA, Stock WD and Vallaincourt RE (2016) Climate adaptation and ecological restoration in eucalypts. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 128, 40-53.