Poster Presentation Australian Society for Limnology Congress 2013

Measuring the stream ecosystem service benefits of riparian revegetation (#206)

Elliot Picone 1 , Darren S Ryder 1 , Rhiannon Smith 1 , Romina Rader 1
  1. University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Ecosystem services are the goods and services provided by ecosystems that contribute to human wellbeing. Riverine ecosystems are among the most important ecosystems in terms of service provision but are also among the most degraded.  Riverine ecosystems provide ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, erosion mitigation, pollutant filtration and retention, biodiversity conservation and terrestrial and aquatic habitat provision. My research investigates the efficacy of vegetation restoration and fencing, two commonly implemented management interventions, to improve the ecological condition and associated ecosystem services in rivers of the Border Rivers-Gwydir in northern NSW. To do this I will quantify the stream bank and instream ecosystem services provided by streams and compare paired treatment (fenced) and control (unfenced) stream reaches. I hypothesise that fenced-off stream reaches will provide greater ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and ecosystem metabolism, erosion mitigation, nutrient retention and regeneration, biodiversity conservation and terrestrial and aquatic habitat provision, compared with unfenced stream reaches. In addition, I hypothesise that stream bank plantings in combination with fencing will accelerate the provision of these services relative to fencing alone. By understanding the ecological mechanisms regulating the provision of services and the cost/unit ecosystem service provision generated through fencing and stream bank plantings, this study will facilitate improved management interventions that ensure restoration efforts target the ecological attributes of streams to optimise ecosystem service benefits.