E3S Web Conf.
Volume 40, 2018River Flow 2018 - Ninth International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||River morphodynamics and restoration|
|Published online||05 September 2018|
Predicting floodplain inundation and vegetation dynamics in arid wetlands
School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
2 Science Division, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney, NSW, Australia
3 Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, Australia
* Corresponding author: Steven.SandiRojas@newcastle.edu.au
The Macquarie Marshes is a freshwater wetland system located in semiarid Australia. The ecological importance of this site has been recognized under the Ramsar convention. Plant associations in the marshes has shown a complex dynamic where some wetland vegetation patches have transitioned to terrestrial vegetation during severe drought, but also quickly responded to increased inflows due to record and near record rainfall accompanied by water releases from an upstream reservoir. Management decisions regarding the environmental flows require the use of predictive tools in order to assess the response of the vegetation. We have developed a vegetation response model that couples hydrodynamic modelling of the northern Macquarie Marshes with watering requirements of different plant associations and vegetation succession rules. The model simulates floods in the wetland during a series of years, after which patches of vegetation are analysed according to water depth, percent exceedance time and frequencies of inundation. During the simulated period, the patch can have adequate watering conditions, or it can have critical conditions that would lead to a succession to another type of vegetation. The predicted vegetation is reintroduced in the model, providing feedbacks for the next simulation period. In this contribution, we implemented the model to simulate changes of wetland understory during the period 1991 to 2014.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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