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.

    Credit: 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


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


    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