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Applying conservation assessment to Australian rivers : a case study using macroinvertebrates


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Dunn, Helen 2001 , 'Applying conservation assessment to Australian rivers : a case study using macroinvertebrates', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Interest is growing among river managers in the conservation values of rivers, and in
the protection of rivers of high ecological value. But can the concepts of
conservation value established for terrestrial ecosystems be transferred to riverine
ecosystems? What special features of riverine systems should be addressed in
determining approaches to assessment and protection?
The thesis uses a case study of the assessment of conservation values of stream
macroinvertebrates to explore these questions. Four conservation criteria widely used
in the assessment of flora and fauna of terrestrial ecosystems were used. These
criteria are: rarity, diversity (richness), representativeness and biogeographic values.
A field survey of 44 sites in two regions of Tasmania provided data to test these
criteria and to evaluate implications for protection of high conservation value sites.
The thesis describes the macroinvertebrate assemblages using family level data, and
the Plecoptera are analysed at species level. The four conservation criteria are applied
to the data and the sites of high conservation value identified. The conservation assessment process is then subjected to evaluation. A number of
issues were identified including: limitations of site-based data; taxonomic issues;
distributional information, applying thresholds, integrating with existing data sources
including the Monitoring River Health database, and establishing representative
assemblages. The assessment process was determined to fulfill most quality standards
but fell notably short on an adequate assessment of the conservation values of
riverine systems. Implications of the study are discussed within the broader context
of conservation assessment and protection for riverine ecosystems in Australia.
Possible strategies available for the protection of sites of high value identified in the
field study are identified. A model for the assessment of riverine ecosystems is
proposed and future directions in protection are explored.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Dunn, Helen
Keywords: Freshwater invertebrates, Riparian areas, Riparian ecology, Environmental monitoring
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2001 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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