- Technical descriptions
- BioCondition benchmarks
- Remnant vegetation in Queensland
- Regional ecosystem data sources
- Related data sets
Regional ecosystems were originally defined by Sattler and Williams (1999) as vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil. Descriptions presented in Sattler and Williams (1999) were derived from a broad range of existing information sources including land system, vegetation and geology mapping and reports. The framework is dynamic and is regularly reviewed as new information becomes available.
The Queensland Herbarium has developed a methodology for mapping regional ecosystems across Queensland. This results in regular updates to the descriptions and status of regional ecosystems. Regional ecosystem descriptions in the format of Sattler and Williams (1999) are maintained in the Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD). Vegetation communities are amalgamated into the higher level classification of broad vegetation groups (BVGs).
The regional ecosystem classification scheme and the associated Biodiversity Planning Assessments are part of the framework developed in Queensland to assist planning for biodiversity both on and off reserve. The framework has been incorporated into several planning initiatives including the development of guidelines for clearing on leasehold lands under the Lands Act 1994 and the Vegetation Management Act 1999, the preparation of, or amendments to, local government planning schemes, the assessment of the comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness of the conservation reserve network and as a guide for proactive conservation actions by government and non-government organisations.
Technical descriptions provide more detailed information about the structure and floristic composition of regional ecosystems including the variability within an ecosystem. The descriptions are based on quantitative site survey data from the Queensland Herbarium’s CORVEG database and field notes.
The technical descriptions are subject to review and are updated as additional data becomes available.
BioCondition assessment provides a measure of vegetation condition from a biodiversity perspective, providing a measure of how well a terrestrial ecosystem is functioning for the maintenance of biodiversity values at a local or property scale. BioCondition involves the assessment of a range of attributes known to be important surrogates of biodiversity.
BioCondition benchmarks are the most practical method of objectively comparing condition for biodiversity within and between regional ecosystems or land types. They are quantitative values for each attribute that is assessed in BioCondition and are based on the average or median values of these attributes sourced from mature and long undisturbed ‘reference’ site.
Benchmarks are available for a subset of regional ecosystems, with their development ongoing and are subject to review based on additional data and expert opinion. Benchmarks are based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative information.
Remnant vegetation in Queensland
The current regional ecosystem data have been analysed to provide statistics on the extent of Queensland's remnant vegetation, and regional ecosystems. The report, available online, provides analyses by subregions and other areas, such as local government boundaries, of the amount of pre-clearing and remnant vegetation, based on individual regional ecosystems.
The report provides essential information and maps to support state and local government, natural resource management agencies, business and landholders in biodiversity planning and management.
Regional ecosystem data sources
The QGIS data download service provides data for larger areas.
- Certified Vegetation Management data for larger areas are available from the QGIS. Use the Search Term = "Vegetation Management Act Regional Ecosystems" (in quotes).
- Pre-clearing and remnant regional ecosystem mapping data are available for most of Queensland in shapefile format from the QGIS data download service. Use the Search Term = "Biodiversity status" (in quotes).
- Some draft data for areas where regional ecosystem mapping is in progress are also available from the QGIS data download service.
- Pre-clearing vegetation is defined as the vegetation present before clearing.
- Remnant woody vegetation is defined as vegetation that has not been cleared or vegetation that has been cleared but where the dominant canopy has >70% of the height and >50% of the cover relative to the undisturbed height and cover of that stratum and is dominated by species characteristic of the vegetation's undisturbed canopy. For further clarification of the definition and mapping methods of remnant vegetation see Neldner et al. (2012).
Related data sets
The regional ecosystem mapping has been incorporated into a range of other national and state datasets.
- Biodiversity Planning Assessments (BPA) - The Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Methodology (BAMM) has been developed to provide a consistent approach for assessing biodiversity values at the landscape scale in Queensland.
- Wetlands - Wetland regional ecosystems have been combined with other information including water body mapping from satellite imagery and point location databases to map the extent and type of wetlands across Queensland. WetlandInfo includes access to the latest version of wetland maps and data.
- National vegetation mapping products - Regional Ecosystems have been coded with attributes from the National Vegetation information System (NVIS) and incorporated into map of Major Vegetation Groups. This information has subsequently been incorporated into a map and report on the Australia’s State of the Forests.
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