Freshwater Slightly to Moderately Disturbed condition (SD)

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Slightly to moderately disturbed (SMD) condition of freshwater ecosystems is defined by ANZECC 2000 as ecosystems in which “aquatic biological diversity may have been adversely affected to a relatively small but measurable degree by human activity. The biological communities remain in a healthy condition and ecosystem integrity is largely retained. Typically, freshwater systems would have slightly to moderately cleared catchments and/or reasonably intact riparian vegetation; marine systems would have largely intact habitats and associated biological communities. Slightly to moderately disturbed systems could include rural streams receiving runoff from land disturbed to varying degrees by grazing or pastoralism, or marine ecosystems lying immediately adjacent to metropolitan areas.” (ANZECC 2000; 3.1–10)

SD – Slightly Disturbed ecosystems Freshwater wetland locations (e.g. mapped as ‘Riverine’, ‘Lacustrine’ or ‘Palustirne’ wetland in the Qld EPA Wetland mapping) identified by technical panel or other information sources as having a small degree of change.

The technical panel will also identify significant conservation values/remnant natural assets in SD waterways (so that these can be recognised for protection/improvement)

Depending on availability of information, additional sub categories may be identified: SD a – Slightly Disturbed waterways identified as having relatively less disturbance than other slightly modified systems (with greater capacity for improvement to HEV condition). SD b – Slightly Disturbed waterways identified as having other significant conservation values/remnant natural assets 5. SD c – Other Slightly Disturbed waterways.

Management intent for SMD aquatic ecosystems

Protect natural condition/values and improve any slightly modified components towards natural condition

(ANZECC, 2000: p 3.3-7: “stakeholders may also decide to… improve or restore the ecosystem to a substantially unmodified condition, depending on the situation”)

MD - Moderately disturbed ecosystems Freshwater wetland locations (e.g. mapped as ‘Riverine’, ‘Lacustrine’ or ‘Palustirne’ wetland in the Qld EPA Wetland mapping) identified by technical panel or other information sources as having a moderate degree of change (eg not identified as HEV, SD, or HD).

The technical panel will also identify significant conservation values/remnant natural assets5 in MD waterways (so that these can be recognised for protection/improvement).

Depending on availability of information, additional sub categories may be identified: MD a – Moderately Disturbed waterways identified as having relatively less disturbance than other slightly modified systems (with greater capacity for improvement to SD condition). MD b – Moderately Disturbed waterways identified as having other significant conservation values/remnant natural assets 5. MD c – Other Moderately Disturbed waterways.

Management intent for MD aquatic ecosystems

Maintain/improve water quality - Protect any remnant values/assets (with some allowance for development)

(ANZECC 2000; 3.1-11: “An increased level of change might be acceptable…maintenance of biological diversity relative to a suitable reference condition should be a key management goal”)

References

Running River © NQ Dry Tropics 2014
Running River © NQ Dry Tropics 2014

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