Landscape and field-based riverine vegetation condition assessment in the Namoi Catchment

Murray-Darling Basin Commission

We are currently developing and applying a condition assessment and monitoring program for riverine vegetation (riparian and floodplain) in the Namoi Catchment, which will ultimately map the spatial distribution of vegetation condition classes within the riverine zone.

Specific tasks include:

  • Delineation of the Namoi riverine footprint (floodplain and riparian mapping down to third order streams) into about 1,400 River Assessment Units (RAUs) and 40 Floodplain Assessment Units (FAUs)
  • Mapping vegetation types within the riverine zone of the Namoi
  • Undertaking GIS-based landscape assessment of riparian vegetation condition by generating surfaces such as percentage cleared, percentage cropped, patch size distribution, river reach connectivity and landscape connectivity
  • Undertaking plot assessment (and training government staff to undertake such assessment) to capture ecological field attributes including native species richness, canopy cover and groundcovers
  • Development of vegetation ‘benchmarks’ and designing a vegetation condition scoring system
  • Development of a vegetation condition scoring system in Microsoft Access into which data can be compiled and stored, and from which condition and other reports can be generated.