Oral Presentation Australian Society for Limnology Congress 2013

Tasmanian wetlands – a reference condition approach for wetland assessment using macroinvertebrates. (#16)

Toni Furlonge 1 2 , Jenny Davis 3 , Fiona Dyer 1
  1. IAE, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, AUST
  2. NRM North, Launceston, TAS, Australia
  3. Monash University, Melbourne, TAS, Aust

Reference condition approach (RCA) assessments using macroinvertebrates for river systems are implemented around the world however the understanding to implement similar approaches for wetlands is inadequate.  We do not know whether the underlying philosophy and assumptions of habitat type and prediction for rivers applies to wetlands.  For example, river biota are thought to be strongly physically controlled and therefore habitat characteristics can be used to predict biota.  More stable environments such as wetlands normally have stronger biological controls.  How does this apply to wetlands? This project has addressed the knowledge gap in Tasmania by sampling 80 wetlands encompassing a wide range of wetland types.  Macroinvertebrate assemblages were identified, surface water quality was analysed, local characteristics were recorded on site and catchment characteristics were derived from existing GIS datasets.  Macroinvertebrates were linked to 5 wetland types derived from landform, with further analysis being implemented to include local and catchment characteristics. Preliminary results indicate that the wetland type has a substantially greater effect on the macroinvertebrate assemblage than does the type of wetland habitat,  the temporal variation or the seasonal variation.