Issue: Land condition - Hydrology
This is an issue under the Land theme of the Data Reporting System.
The quality of quantity of water available to vegetation and other terrestrial biodiversity is crucial to the condition of that vegetation and therefore to the condition of the land. The condition of the land is both crucial to and dependent on its relationship with freshwater movements. Salinity, acidity, nutrient loads, sediment and other pollutants can affect those movements.
- LD-06 Area and proportion of land affected by dryland salinity and acidity
Dryland salinity in Australia has significant implications for the condition of terrestrial biodiversity. Australia’s soils are naturally saline, but perennial deep-rooted vegetation helps prevent salt from surfacing. Removal of this vegetation allows the salt to surface and, having surfaced, its presence there can prevent vegetation from re-establishing.
The problem is compounded by the high acidity/ low alkaline condition of the soils.
Change in area affected is a straightforward indicator of change of land condition resulting from salinity.
- IW-26 Forested streamlength
Riparian vegetation protects waterbodies from pollutants by filtering catchment runoff, reducing bank erosion, providing instream and bank habitats and food for terrestrial as well as aquatic biota.
- IW-05 Average annual groundwater depth
Groundwater at an appropriate depth is essential to the health of vegetation. Depth of groundwater is a direct measure of the land’s condition.
In the absence of data on groundwater depth, estimates of sustainable yield provide little insight into this issue.
- BD-14 Examples of impacts of changed hydrology on biodiversity
Changes in hydrology impact on the land both directly and indirectly via their impact on terrestrial species.
- Land - Land condition- Condition of terrestrial genetic diversity
- Land - Land condition- Soil stability and quality
- Land - Land condition- Condition of terrestrial species and ecological communities
- Land - Land condition- Land cover
- Land - Direct pressure of human activities on the land- Salinity
- Land - Contributions and pressures between the land and inland water- Pressures of changes to inland waters on land
- Land - Contributions and pressures between the land and inland water- Pressures of changes to the land on inland waters
- Inland Waters - Habitat scale influences- Riparian vegetation
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Links to data in the DRS
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