River and wetland classifications for freshwater conservation planning in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
To provide the foundation for a freshwater conservation plan for KwaZulu-Natal, three-level hierarchical river and wetland type classifications, based on spatio-temporal scaling relationships, are proposed. This resolution of classification is appropriate for regional- or provincial-scale conservation planning. The hierarchical structure of the classifications provides scope for finer resolution, by the addition of further levels, for application at a sub-regional or municipal scale. The proposed classifications include 74 river and 16 wetland types. River typing incorporating a classification based on intra-annual flow patterns from 40 gauging weirs could not be accurately represented spatially. Research on testing the strengths of the relationships among environmental surrogates for biotic diversity is proposed.
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