Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Climate-change ecology

Australian tree range threatened

Climate change could shrink the geographic range of most of Australia's eucalyptus species within the next 60 years.

Jason Edwards/National Geographic Creative

Eucalypt trees (Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora) are abundant in Australia (Eucalyptus terminalis and Corymbia opaca, pictured). Carlos González-Orozco, now at the Colombian Organisation for Agricultural Research in Meta, Bernd Gruber at the University of Canberra and their team used models to predict the distribution of some 650 tree species under various climate-change scenarios. They found that a 3 °C rise over the next 60 years would, on average, reduce the climatically suitable habitat for 91% of the species by half. And some 90% of suitable habitats that host a high concentration of rare and evolutionarily old species could disappear or move south.

These losses could seriously threaten the diversity of the trees and their genetic ability to adapt to climate change.

Nature Clim. Change (2016)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Australian tree range threatened. Nature 537, 453 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing