Raiter KG, HP Possingham, SM Prober and RJ Hobbs (2014) Under the radar: mitigating enigmatic ecological impacts. TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION 29(11):635-644

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Identifying the deleterious ecological effects of developments, such as roads, mining, and urban expansion, is essential for informing development decisions and identifying appropriate mitigation actions. However, there are many types of ecological impacts that slip 'under the radar' of conventional impact evaluations and undermine the potential for successful impact mitigation (including offsets). These 'enigmatic' impacts include those that are small but act cumulatively; those outside of the area directly considered in the evaluation; those not detectable with the methods, paradigms, or spatiotemporal scales used to detect them; those facilitated, but not directly caused, by development; and synergistic impact interactions. Here, we propose a framework for conceptualising enigmatic impacts and discuss ways to address them.