A Compendium of Ecological Information on Australia's Northern Tropical Rivers

2008

Sub project 1 of Australia's Tropical Rivers - an integrated data assessment and analysis (DET18)

A report to Land & Water Australia
G Lukacs and M Finlayson (eds)
Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research, Townsville, Queensland, 2008

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About the compendium

The final compendium is composed of nine technical reports with an accompanying introductory report and summary report:

  • General Introduction provides background and context of the sub-project, study area, description of the inventory approach, project objectives and scope, linkages to other Tropical Rivers Inventory and Assessment Project (TRIAP) sub-projects and report outline.
  • Technical Report 1 describes a geomporphic classification scheme for the whole northern tropical rivers scale (9 classes) and focus catchment scale (12 classes).
  • Technical Report 2 presents a review of regional classifications applied to north Australian estuaries, focusing on estuarine morphology and dynamics.
  • Technical Report 3 presents flow data collected throughout the tropical rivers region; estimates the general flow statistics, such as mean annual and monthly runoff and annual variability, of streams throughout the entire region; and describes the flow regime of streams within three focus catchments using hydrological variables derived from long-term flow data.
  • Technical Report 4 evaluates and analyses the available distribution data for riparian plant species across Australia’s northern tropical rivers to determine ecological attributes and preferences of the species with relation to rainfall, lithology, soils, geomorphology, and to determine patterns of distribution.
  • Technical Report 5 identifies the key biophysical processes that govern relationships between water quality and the ecological functioning of the northern tropical river systems; considers indicator parameters and/or monitoring methods that could potentially be used to assess the variability of these natural processes, over local, regional and/or continental scales; and, explains how the data generated by such assessments provide an ecologically meaningful basis for reach-scale classification of river systems.
  • Technical Report 6 assesses what is currently known about aquatic macroinvertebrates across the northern tropical rivers and examines relationships between macroinvertebrates and environmental variables.
  • Technical Report 7 assesses what is currently known about the distribution of freshwater fish across the northern tropical rivers, including rare, endangered and threatened species.
  • Technical Report 8 assesses what is currently known about the distribution of aquatic reptiles across the northern tropical rivers, including rare, endangered and threatened species.
  • Technical Report 9 assesses what is currently known about the distribution of waterbirds across the northern tropical rivers, including rare, endangered and threatened species, and presents a preliminary assessment of relationships between waterbird distribution and several key environmental variables.
  • General Summary provides a synposis of the key results of the sub-project and identified areas where further research effort is required