Why are Australian cycads endangered: pollinators, climate or humans? (2016–2019)

Globally, and in Australia, a majority of cycad species are currently listed as vulnerable or endangered. Land-clearing post-European settlement is thought to be the major threat, but Australian cycads might already have been restricted to refugia following the aridification of Australia or landscape changes induced by the arrival of the first humans. We aim to determine whether Australian cycads were threatened by historical processes, such as ancient climate change, megafaunal extinction, increased fire regimes and pollinator disruption, or by post-European changes to their environment. Our findings should inform management of a group of vulnerable plants, and contribute to our understanding of the maintenance of biodiversity in general.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council