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Ecosystems and biodiversity

Western Australia’s unique environment is particularly susceptible to climate change impacts, with many ecosystems being sensitive to geographic and climatic characteristics and parameters. As climate is a key factor in determining where individual species of plants and animals can live, grow and reproduce, climate change has the potential to fundamentally shift, reduce or eliminate some ecosystems. Changes in climatic factors such as temperature and rainfall may directly affect the distribution, lifecycles, habitat use, physiology and extinction rates of individual species.

Climate change may also indirectly affect species and ecosystems by altering important factors such as fire frequency, dryland salinity, the spread of dieback, water flows in rivers and wetlands and the frequency of extreme climatic events.