Team: Eda Addicott (ATH), Peter Bannink (ATH), John Neldner (DERM), Mark Newton (ATH), Gerry Turpin (ATH), Gary Wilson (ATH).
As part of the Queensland Herbarium’s State-wide Regional Ecosystems (RE) Mapping Programme, ATH staff are mapping (at 1:100,000 scale) REs for the Cape York Peninsula and Einasleigh Uplands bioregions and parts of the Channel Country bioregion (highlighted in the map below) and the Gulf Plains bioregion. Mapping and survey is being done in blocks of 1:250,000 scale map sheets.
The photo shows the Regional Ecosystem 9.11.8 - Semi-deciduous vine thicket – at Chillagoe (photo © G.W Wilson).
These maps have accurate spatial and point data on the distribution and species composition of vegetation communities and regional ecosystems. Survey data are compiled between scales of 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 and the mapping is prepared at a scale of 1:100,000. The survey and mapping includes a pre-clearing coverage, as well as remnant vegetation data for the years 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
The regional ecosystem maps are an essential component for the administration of the Vegetation Management Act 1999 and define category B environmentally sensitive areas under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. They are an important tool for land management, including conservation and planning. The Vegetation Management Act status of these ecosystems is determined from the Herbarium regional ecosystem mapping and are included in the digital mapping data. The maps are freely available from the DERM website.
The Herbarium's botanical information and ongoing research into plants and plant communities is complemented by the extensive survey and mapping program. The Herbarium's plant specimen collection is essential to the survey and mapping program and is enhanced as field survey collections are incorporated in the Herbarium's collections.
Bioregions are an area of land that is dominated by similar broad landscape patterns that reflect major structural geologies & climate, as well as major floristic and faunal assemblages.
Regional ecosystems are vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil.
Pre-clearing vegetation is defined as the vegetation present before clearing.
Remnant vegetation, for mapping purposes, is defined as vegetation where the predominant stratum of the vegetation is still intact, i.e. has at least 50% of the cover and more than 70% of the height, and is composed of species characteristic of the vegetation's undisturbed predominant stratum. This definition includes all woody structural formations as well as those dominated by shrubs, grasses and other life forms.