A Method for Catchment Scale Mapping of Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems to Support Natural Resource Management (Queensland, Australia)

Glanville, K.; Ryan, T.; Tomlinson, M.; Muriuki, G.; Ronan, M.; Pollett, A.
February 2016
Environmental Management;Feb2016, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p432
Academic Journal
Immediate and foreseeable threats to groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are widely acknowledged, many linked to altered groundwater regimes including changes in groundwater flow, flux, pressure, level and/or quality (Eamus et al. in Aust J Bot 54:97-114, ). Natural resource managers and other decision-makers often lack sufficient information at an appropriate scale to understand the groundwater dependency of ecosystems and ensure that GDEs are adequately considered in decision-making processes. This paper describes a new catchment scale mapping method for GDEs based on the integration of local expert knowledge with detailed spatial datasets to delineate GDEs at a scale compatible with management and planning activities. This overcomes one of the key criticisms often levelled at broader scale mapping methods-that information from local and regional experts, with significant understanding of landscape processes and ecosystems, is not incorporated into the datasets used by decision-makers. Expert knowledge is conveyed in the form of pictorial conceptual models representing the components, processes and interrelationships of groundwater within a catchment and the ecosystems dependent on it. Each mapped GDE is linked to a pictorial conceptual model and a mapping rule-set to provide decision-makers with valuable information about where, how and why GDEs exist in a landscape.


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