Monitoring the effects of Willow removal - M/BUS/274 (Related to Development of a Willow Removal monitoring program - M/BUS/115)
MDFRC Technical Report
9 pages. 1 of 3 reports associated with project see (Effects of Willow (Salix spp.) Removal on Freshwater Ecosystem Dynamics. Autumn/Spring Monitoring 2007 & 2008) and (Effects of Willow (Salix spp.) Removal on Freshwater Ecosystem Dynamics: Spring and Autumn Monitoring 2009/2010).
In March 2006, The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) was commissioned by the North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA) to develop a literature review and a long term monitoring program detailing the effects of willow removal on freshwater aquatic systems and to monitor these effects. The literature review was completed in June 2006. This review demonstrated that although anecdotal evidence suggests an overall increase in ‘stream health’ in the long term following willow removal, there is a consistent lack of data describing the effects of willows and willow removal on Australian aquatic environments. This made accurate predictions about short and long term effects of willow removal difficult and led to the second phase of the project that identified key issues and recommended a monitoring program. The monitoring and key issues report developed a protocol for identifying key issues and a monitoring program associated with potential long term effects of willow removal on aquatic systems. These key issues were based on the knowledge available and their importance to stream ecology. The third phase of the project was the implementation of the monitoring program at willow removal and control sites to ascertain the key long term effects of willow removal on aquatic systems. Willow removal was undertaken in sites along a 600m reach of Little Snowy Creek, Eskdale (Victoria), during April 2007. Monitoring was undertaken before (March 07), one week (May 07) and six months (October 07) after willow removal in control and willow removal sites along Little Snowy Creek. A report outlining the first years monitoring results was produced in November 2007. Monitoring was continued and undertaken bi-annually at one year (May 08) and one and a half years (October 08) intervals, after willow removal in control and willow removal sites along Little Snowy Creek and is planned to continue in 2009 and 2010. Discussions between MDFRC and NECMA in November 2008 identified the need for more sites to be included in the monitoring program. It was agreed that along with the existing willow removal and control sites being monitored on Little Snowy Creek, the 2009-10 monitoring would also include two additional willowed sites (one that it expected to be dewillowed within the next 12 months and one that will not, acting as a control) and two sites with only native riparian vegetation, to give a benchmark for the health of non-impacted sites in the same catchment. This report details the selection of these four new additional monitoring sites.
MDFRC funding agency: North East Catchment Management Authority
MDFRC client: North East Catchment Management Authority