Understanding the spatial distribution and physical attributes of upland swamps in the Sydney Basin as a template for their conservation and management

Kirstie A. Fryirs*, Will Farebrother, Grant C. Hose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone (THPSS) and Coastal Upland Swamps in the Sydney Basin (CUSSB) are listed as endangered ecological communities under Australia's national and state legislation. They are threatened by a range of human and climate impacts. Across the region there are 3208 individual, valley-bottom, elongate-shaped, upland swamps that drain first- or second-order drainage lines and small catchment areas (mean = 0.25 km2). They occur at a median distance of 57 km from the coast in areas with an average annual rainfall of 1505 mm/year and average annual temperature of 15°C. Those closer to the coast occur on elevations as low as 160 m a.s.l., and those further from the coast, on plateau country, occur up to 1172 m a.s.l. (median 634 m a.s.l.). The valleys that contain these swamps terminate downstream at a valley constriction or bedrock step, behind which alluvial materials have accumulated, and peat has formed to produce relatively steep swamps (median slope 6.2 per cent). Understanding the spatial distribution and physical attributes of these systems, and having the accompanying maps as a resource, is critical for development of sound, well-informed conservation, rehabilitation and monitoring programs, and for analysing the ecosystem services they provide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Geographer
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online date29 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • ecosystem services
  • environmental monitoring
  • geomorphic mapping
  • physical template
  • rehabilitation
  • Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone (THPSS)
  • wetland

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