ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Vegetation and wetland assets benchmarking project (2019-2021)

Funding

CEWO, Contingency Funding from the MER-Murrumbidgee project.

Researchers/investigators

Associate Professor Skye Wassens, Lorraine Hardwick, Associate Professor Andrew Hall &  Craig Poynter.(CSU's Spatial Data Analysis Network (SPAN)

Research theme

Environmental Water

Description

This project, which commenced in November 2019, is establishing a benchmark of baseline data for a range of different vegetation communities types across the Murrumbidgee catchment.

To date there have been few studies that capture the community composition and structure of wetland vegetation communities in the Murrumbidgee - information necessary to understand their water needs; identify communities that are at risk of decline; and to better predict the community responses under a given environmental watering regime.

The project takes in the wetlands in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, Coleambally Irrigation Area, Yanco-Billabong Creek systems, Gavini Nimmie-Caira, Junction wetlands, and North Redbank (Lowbidgee).

The benchmark includes evaluation of species diversity and community, river red gum recruitment and encroachment and tree condition.

As the majority of the wetlands across the Lowbidgee are unmapped,  bathometric (a measurement which measures depth of water) profiles of the key wetlands are being developed using high resolution LiDAR-derived digital terrain models, This will allow identification of the maximum inundation extent of the intermittent floodplain wetlands.

Outcomes

The information collated from this project will serve as a reference for future evaluation of CEWO watering actions; support water planning including assessing suitability of wetland sites for Commonwealth environmental water; and assist in setting watering objectives and recovery targets.

Contact:

Associate Professor Skye Wassens email

Albury-Wodonga Campus

December 2020