Our wetland scientists monitor the health of large water bodies to ensure they remain free from environmental issues such as eutrophication, poor water quality, algal outbreaks, weed dominance, mosquito and midge booms, fish kills and invasive species dominance.

Wetland Health Monitoring

 

Monitoring wetland health is critical to ensure the ‘ecological character’ of the water body remains intact. If change is occurring, we need to understand the cause and then develop a management strategy to restore the wetland to its pre-disturbed condition. Monitoring requires systematic collection of data repeated over time, and PASES Aqua uses a range of indicators to monitor wetland health (modified from National Land and Water Audit):

INDICATORSMEASURES
CONDITION
Catchment disturbanceLand use category
Infrastructure
Land cover change
Natural disturbances – fire, drought, floods
PHYSICAL FORM AND PROCESSES
Area of wetland% change in wetland area
Loss in area of original wetland
Wetland topography% of wetland where activities have resulted in change in bathymetry
Degree of sedimentation/erosion
% change in bathymetry
Soil Disturbance% and severity of wetland soil disturbance
Substrate disturbance
HYDROLOGICAL DISTURBANCE
Local physical modifications to hydrology inflow, drainage and extractionSeverity of activities that change the water regime
Impact of man made structures
Changes to water regime
WATER AND SOIL QUALITY
Turbidity regime% change in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU)
Salinity regime
Change in pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, KH, GH, Phosphates, Dissolved oxygen, Ca,,Mg etc, Substrate, composition/soil propertiesSalinity,soil pH, soil depth, soil colour, soil texture
FRINGING ZONE
Change in fringing zone (measured by change in vegetation condition)% of fringing vegetation that is intact
% of natural and exotic vegetation
BIOTA
Change in soft bodied aquatic macrophytes% cover of soft bodied aquatic macrophytes
Change in hard bodied aquatic macrophytes% cover of hard bodied aquatic macrophytes
Change in invertebrate diversity and community compositionSpecies richness and community composition, abundance of mosquitoe and midge larvae
Change in wetland dependent vertebrates, presence, breeding and abundanceTurtles, Birds, Snakes, Amphibians
Change in introduced species presence and abundance% change in feral fish sp richness and numbers
% change in weed sp richness and numbers
Change in algae species and abundance% change in phytoplankton species –species richness and densities (cell counts)
% change in filamentous
species – species richness and % cover

There are times when resources are not available to measure all indicators. In this situation, PASES Aqua will assess the most important indicators to assess and maintain the integrity of the wetland.

Some of the work we have done

For the best advice available, please contact our Wetland specialists to discuss your project requirements.

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