Assessment of Riverine Ecological Condition in the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia: Implications for Restoration
Abstract:The relationship between river ecological condition and neighbouring land and water management was investigated using a range of indices. Four systems in the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia were surveyed and a unique set of reach parameters were identified that were strongly correlated with reach ecological condition. Of the 115 reaches surveyed, 33% were classified as being in very poor condition, 24% as poor, 23% as average, 15% as good and 4% as excellent. Those classified as average to excellent had an ecological condition that was correlated (R2 = 0.50) with: bank stability, % riparian cover, ungrazed, fenced, aquatic wood, and width of the riparian zone. Whereas the ecological condition of those reaches below average was negatively correlated with the same parameters. This study pinpointed those reach characteristics that could be upgraded to maximise the ecological outcomes from the restoration process. As a point of interest, previous broad scale work on the rivers of the Fleurieu Peninsula suggested they were in reference condition based on their environmental (ARC E) and biotic (ARC B) scores (Australian Natural Resources Atlas, South Australia). This study suggested this is an optimistic classification that does not take into account the fragmented condition of these rivers and creeks.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2010
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