Wetlands and adjoining riparian communities are an essential part of catchments, and play a vital role in water quality improvement, as well as being hotspots for biodiversity. They are also becoming increasingly recognised as existing and potential ‘sinks’ for sequestering carbon. In Queensland, wetlands are essential for maintaining the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Queensland Wetlands Program has established a new project to provide data needed for assessing and monitoring wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchments. The project activities include:
- collecting data over five years
- reporting a baseline data case study for selected wetlands
- reporting subsequent changes in the state of wetland values and pressures
- implementing a framework which applies the DPSIR (Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, Response) model to monitoring wetlands
As part of these key activities, the wetland will monitor:
- the health and biodiversity of wetland ecosystems
- the natural state and biological integrity of wetlands
- the natural hydrological cycle of wetlands
- the natural interaction between wetlands and other ecosystems
The data provided by the project will assist with the management of wetlands, and help to fill a critical gap in monitoring and assessing these vital ecosystems. It is hoped that the project will develop a framework people can use on wetlands in other parts of Australia. More information on the project is available from this report.
If you are interested in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Wetlands, the WetlandInfo website has lots of useful brochures, interactive maps and case studies.
Article adapted from Queensland Wetlands Program report. Main image from the Great Barrier Reef Coastal Wetlands Protection Program website. In-text images from WetlandInfo website.
Banner Image: Flickr. (2019). Dickson wetlands. [online] Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sbittinger/42421902154