Composition and relative health of remnant vegetation fringing lakes along a salinity and waterlogging gradient

T. Horsnell, Keith Smettem, David Reynolds, E. Mattiske

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Extensive land clearing for agriculture in south-west Western Australia has led to highly fragmented patches of remnant vegetation. In this landscape, the fringing vegetation of lakes has an important conservation priority in a biologically diverse region but is vulnerable to altered hydrological regimes and easily degraded by waterlogging and salinity. Protection of the fringing vegetation with direct intervention approaches such as drainage or pumping schemes requires knowledge of the tolerance or ‘coping’ range of species targeted for conservation. To obtain this information the health of vegetation in relation to waterlogging and salinity is assessed in two lake systems north of Esperance in south-western Australia. The lower reaches of both systems are dominated by healthy halophytic species. Mesophytes, phreatophytes, xerophytes, and combinations of these classes dominate the upper reaches but are mostly degraded. There are unhealthy and healthy pockets of mesophytic, phreatophytic, xerophytic species, and combinations of these classes occurring at similar elevations above shallow groundwater, indicating that temporal hydroperiod thresholds are important for these species.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)489-502
    JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
    Volume17
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Composition and relative health of remnant vegetation fringing lakes along a salinity and waterlogging gradient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this