Oral Presentation 9th Australian Stream Management Conference 2018

Regular intervention monitoring providing valuable insights into vegetation responses to environmental flows on rivers (#2)

Chris S Jones 1 , Freya M Thomas 2
  1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia
  2. RMIT, Melbourne, Victoria, Aus

The Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP) was initiated by the Victorian Government in 2005 and is tasked with providing evidence for environmental flow benefits in Victoria. In 2016, the program was revised to provide more detailed evidence of the short-term effects of environmental flows on vegetation and fish. Evaluating the short-term responses of successive flow interventions improves the understanding of causality for responses to longer-term flow regimes. The first two years of this revised program have yielded new and valuable insights into the magnitude and extent of vegetation responses to flow management. Additionally, the updated and vastly expanded communication strategy and participatory nature of the research is allowing for direct input of findings into management of flows and strategies to further improve knowledge. Key results for vegetation responses across Victoria include recording of flow-induced mortality of undesirable species and growth of desirable species, recruitment and survival of different species under inundation and grazing, and the impacts of flows and grazing on native and exotic cover at different bank elevations.

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