Why monitor native vegetation?
Water dependent native vegetation species and communities depend on river flows, floodplain run-off and groundwater to sustain them. Water Sharing Plans (WSPs) in NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan have environmental outcomes and objectives to maintain and improve the health of water dependent vegetation.
Floodplain, wetland and riparian vegetation communities are important habitats for native fauna such as fish, frogs, birds and reptiles and supply many of the nutrients that sustain the river ecosystem. Changes to the flow regime of rivers and floodplains can impact on the health of vegetation communities and affect the quality of habitat they provide.
To manage water effectively under WSPs and the Basin Plan, the department needs to understand how water dependent vegetation species respond to river flows and flooding. To do this we monitor the condition and community structure of important communities such as river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah), and black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) communities along rivers and in floodplains as part of the Environmental Outcomes Monitoring and Research Program.
This monitoring and research will provide us with important baseline data to help us to track changes in vegetation condition over time and improve the management of water resources by informing rules in Water Sharing Plans and the Basin Plan.