A guide to water regime, salinity ranges and bioregional conservation status of Victorian wetland Ecological Vegetation Classes

The guide presents water regime and salinity ranges for the wetland Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) that have been described in Victoria. Water regime information includes the frequency of inundation, the maximum range of duration of waterlogging and inundation, and the maximum depth usually experienced by the EVC. The guide also includes the conservation status of the wetland EVCs in each Victorian bioregion.

This guide is designed for use by natural resource management (NRM) practitioners, environmental consultants, and researchers with expertise in NRM to inform wetland management on private and public land. As well as outlining the natural water regimes of Victorian wetland EVCs, the document is intended to help inform decision making and implementation of water deliveries for environmental outcomes.

Download the guide from the Arthur Rylah Institute.

Carbon sequestration in inland wetlands

A project managed by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and undertaken by Deakin University with funding from DELWP examined the carbon sequestration capacity of Victoria's inland wetlands. Carbon densities were measured in 103 wetlands, demonstrating that inland wetlands represent significant carbon sinks. The project report outlines methods and results and recommends approaches that may be used to maximize wetland carbon stocks and suggests future research projects.

Conceptual models for managing wetlands 

The department has developed a series of threat-management intervention models to identify the management strategies and activities that may be undertaken to reduce the threats to wetlands. These are documented in a report by Morris, K. and Papas, P. (2012) or Word version.

Cropping in wetlands

Cropping has the potential to impact on the condition and values of wetlands in Victoria, including wetland biodiversity. A review of the knowledge related to wetland values and cropping in the Victorian landscape was undertaken to inform policy development, prioritise research and develop management guidance for natural resource managers and landholders.

Casanova M.T. and Casanova A.J. 2016. Current and Future Risks of Cropping Wetlands in Victoria: Technical Report. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, East Melbourne

Current and Future Risks of Cropping Wetlands in Victoria: Technical Report (PDF, 4.8 MB).

Managing invasive species in wetlands

Invasive plants and animals are one of the main threats to wetland values. The impact of rabbits, foxes, pigs and carp on wetlands is outlined in four flyers.

The impact of weeds on wetland values are outlined to two reports. The first documents how 28 weeds were selected as priority wetland weeds from an initial list of 174 species. The second describes the impacts of the 30 priority weeds on wetland values, including information about knowledge gaps.

Wetland managers can complete a course in pest animal management. The course covers the essential knowledge and practical skills required to control pest animals in wetlands:

Managing livestock grazing in wetlands

Livestock grazing is a common practice in wetlands on private land. Two resources assist in understanding the ecological responses of wetlands to grazing and in making decisions about managing grazing in wetlands. The first describes how wetland ecosystems respond to livestock grazing. It identifies management practices used to reduce the negative impacts of grazing and reports on evidence of their effectiveness. It also provides recommendations for further research to reduce uncertainties in predicting the effects of grazing management on wetland condition. The second (PDF, 2.5 MB) uses an understanding of the potential benefits and impacts of grazing in wetlands to assist wetland managers to identify grazing options that maintain or improve wetland vegetation condition.

Predicting the occurrence of seasonal herbaceous wetlands in south-east Australia

Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains are listed as a critically endangered ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Management and prioritisation of these wetlands for conservation or rehabilitation requires good knowledge of their location. A project was undertaken to improve knowledge on the distribution of these wetlands across Victoria.

Predicting the occurrence of seasonal herbaceous wetlands in south-east Australia (PDF, 2.3 MB)

Download model datasets from the Datavic website

Vegetation recovery in inland wetlands

This resource on vegetation recovery in wetlands presents a useful and accessible summary of ecological understanding about wetland vegetation recovery in the Australian context.

Roberts, J., Casanova, M.T., Morris, K.  and Papas, P. (2017).  Vegetation recovery in inland wetlands: an Australian perspective. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Technical Report Series No. 270. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Download the report

A Decision Support Tool (DST) has been developed to help wetland managers determine whether proposed plans to re-establish native vegetation in a wetland are likely to be successful.

Roberts, J., Casanova, M.T., Morris, K. and Papas, P. (2017). Feasibility of wetland recovery: Decision Support Tool, version 1.0. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Series No. 283, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Download the report or Word version.

Vulnerability assessment and adaptation potential of coastal wetlands

This project investigated the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of coastal wetland systems in Victoria to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, decreased freshwater inflows and increased frequency and severity of extreme events. A decision support framework (DSF) was developed to identify management options and objectives and to help guide investment. The framework has two volumes: volume one is a step by step guide on how to apply the DSF, volume two provides the technical information that supports the DSF.

Climate change and coastal wetlands decision support framework:

Wetlands and Climate Change

The range of impacts that climate change may have on wetlands is wide and varied. Climate change is predicted to alter patterns of rainfall, river flow, groundwater level and sea level and result in changes to other variables such as temperature and evaporation. These are all important drivers of wetland structure and function. An assessment of the climate change vulnerability of Victoria’s wetlands with a particular emphasis on understanding the likely changes in hydrological regimes and the regional distribution of these changes across Victoria was undertaken to support the development of policy and strategic planning for wetlands.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (2013). Indicative Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability for Wetlands in Victoria. Department of Sustainability and Environment, East Melbourne, Victoria.

Wetland Vulnerability to Climate Change (PDF, 2.9 MB) or Word version (DOC, 3.8 MB)

Wetland Connectivity

Connectivity broadly refers to the ability of plants and animals to move across the landscape and reach suitable habitats. This movement helps sustain wetland biodiversity as it enables species to colonise new habitats, escape adverse conditions, and recolonise sites after local extinctions. An assessment of wetland habitat connectivity at the state-wide scale was undertaken to inform wetland policy development. Wetland connectivity can also be used to identify sites where restoration activities will have flow on benefits to other wetlands through improved animals and plant dispersal.

More information and the reports are available from the Arthur Rylah Institute.

Wetland Tender

Wetland Tender is a market based instrument used in Victoria to assess and compare proposed works to improve condition of wetlands on private land. It identifies projects that represent the best value for money, while ensuring that the wetlands in the best condition and/or supporting threatened species or vegetation communities get priority for funding.

The Wetland Tender Field Officer Manual was developed for use when implementing the method. The manual provides a guide to the key tasks associated with the role of the field officer, guidance on management of wetlands and the threats to wetland condition, and information on the relative improvement expected from one management action compared to another.

Wetland Tender Field Officer Manual (PDF, 1.7 MB) or Word version (DOCX, 1.4 MB)

Page last updated: 20/06/22