Inclusion of ecological communities in the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains (EC 97)

Link to law: https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2012L00686
Published: 2012-03-26

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Commonwealth of Australia
 
Inclusion of ecological communities in the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC97)
 
 
I, TONY BURKE, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, pursuant to paragraph 184(1)(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, hereby amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by:
 
including in the list in the critically endangered category
Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains
as described in the Schedule to this instrument.
                                              
 
 
 
Dated this…........14th ............day of…..........March.............2012.
 
 
 
 
 
signed
 
 
 
TONY BURKE
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities  


SCHEDULE
 
Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains
 
The Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains is an ecological community that comprises a type of freshwater wetland. They form on isolated drainage lines and depressions that are not connected to riverine systems but fill by local rainfall. They usually are seasonally inundated, and then dry out, so surface water is not permanently present. The ecological community remains present in both wet and dry stages. When standing water is present, native wetland plants and animals are evident, however during drought or during extended dry periods native plants and animals may not be visible, but persist as desiccated material or propagules (seeds, spores and eggs) in the ground. The ecological community can rapidly revert to its wet stage upon inundation.
The Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains ecological community exhibits the following key diagnostic characteristics.
Landscape
•         Limited to the temperate zone of mainland south-eastern Australia. The ecological community occurs in southeast South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales.
•         Occurs on flat plains grading into slopes, below 500 m asl.
•         Associated soils are generally fertile but poorly draining clays derived from a range of geologies.
•         Occurs in rainfall zones with a typically Winter seasonal rainfall pattern, to a Uniform seasonal rainfall pattern at the edge of its range. The mean annual rainfall is usually 400 to 800 mm/year but can be lower at the northern edge of its range.
Hydrology
•       On isolated drainage lines or depressions which are seasonally inundated (typically during winter-spring) and subsequently dry (typically by late summer).
•       Rainfall is the main water source. These wetlands are not dependent on overbank flooding from riverine systems.
•       Salinity of the water is fresh to slightly brackish. Salinity mostly lies within the range, 0 to 1000 mg/L but can be up to 3000 mg/L, typically exhibiting a progressive increase in salinity as wetlands dry.
Biota
•         Trees and shrubs are sparse to absent. When present, they mostly occur as fringing or scattered individuals. Woody cover accounts for no more than 10% projective foliage cover across the wetland.
•         The vegetative cover of the ecological community is dominated by a ground layer of native wetland graminoids and/or native wetland forbs.
•         A range of graminoids is often present and typically includes one or more of the following taxa: Amphibromus spp., Carex tereticaulis, Deyeuxia spp., Glyceria spp., Lachnagrostis spp., Poa labillardieri, and Rytidosperma duttonianum. Note that other graminoid taxa may also occur, though are not necessarily common.
•         At least one native wetland forb species must be present (preferably more) after the ecological community is inundated. The suite of forbs that may occur within the ecological community’s range is variable and potentially large.
•         Freshwater algae often are present when the wetland is, or recently has been, wet. The most evident representatives are green algae from the groups Charales (stoneworts) and Zygnematales (pond scums).
•         Characteristic fauna that may be associated with the ecological community include invertebrate groups that are temporary water specialists. The types of fauna present can be highly variable, depending on the inundation history, current conditions and other factors.
Modified wetlands
•         Modifications to other types of wetland may result in the ecological community being present where it was formerly absent. These modified wetland sites are included as part of the national ecological community, if they remain a functional natural wetland and conform to the description of the ecological community.