Dataset: Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (Theme 2): Wetlands Scoring


This excel spreadsheet details the indicators and scoring system used to assess wetland condition as part of the the NSW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) program for state-wide monitoring of wetland condition. The spatial extent of the wetlands used in the evaluation are presented in the related dataset listed in this metadata statement. Detailed descriptions of the monitoring methods and preliminary results can be found in: Sonia Claus, Sarah Imgraben, Kirsty Brennan, Alex Carthey, Benjamin Daly and Neil Saintilan (in prep) NSW Wetlands Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Program Technical Report. NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, Sydney. The 'Draft Report'.The indicators are grouped into three disturbance groups and four condition groups, for information refer to the Draft Report.Catchment Disturbance in this report is defined as modifications or changes to the catchment structure or processes, which in turn affect the wetland. The most important catchment disturbances affecting wetlands in NSW include urbanisation, agriculture, vegetation clearing, infrastructure and fire, however these vary depending on which region the wetland is situated in.Hydrological Disturbance strongly influences the levels of nutrients entering a wetland, water and soil chemistry, vegetation patterns, the biota present and the wetland’s productivity. Drainage, damming, extraction and river regulation have greatly altered the hydrologic dynamics of many NSW wetlands.Habitat disturbance includes both the direct removal of wetland habitat as well as activities that modify, damage or disturb wetland habitat areas. Modification or removal of habitat may occur for several reasons, including construction work, urban development, clearing for agriculture, recreational uses and water regulation.Biological condition measures the response of the wetland plants and animals to pressures on the ecosystem. It covers birds, fish, invertebrates, and aquatic and fringing vegetation. It can be a measurement of the presence, abundance or health of these plants and animals.Pest Species measures wetland condition in terms of the ratio of native: introduced species.Water quality measures the condition of the water in the wetland. It includes measures such as pH, salinity and turbidity. Water in a wetland is important as it supports biota and ecological processes within the ecosystem. It can be very difficult to analyse water quality data as it is highly variable.Soil condition measures the physical attributes of the wetland, such as pH, salinity, soil moisture, erosion and modifications like channelling works. Wetland soils contain nutrients that form the base of the food chain, and store seed and egg banks of wetland animals and plants. Soils vary according to wetland type.

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