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Study reveals floods aiding wetlands recovery

Thursday July 25, 2013 - 14:14 EST

Riverland wetlands have shown significant signs of recovery in the wake of flooding in recent years.

The Natural Resource Management Board has been monitoring local wetland conditions, including salinity, aquatic life and groundwater levels, for up to 10 years.

It says ecosystems were severely affected during the drought but flooding from 2009 to 2011 has helped improve conditions.

Project officer Emily Hoffmann says wetlands are highly productive ecosystems and the data it has recently collected is very positive.

"Many people I'm sure would've noticed the large numbers of red gums and black box seedlings that have emerged on the flood plains," she said.

"As well as flora, we've seen a great response with some of the native fauna.

"We've observed water breeding events in some wetlands and we've also recorded really high abundances and good diversity of frog breeding, that includes the nationally threatened southern bell frog."

She says river red gums are still struggling to recover in some areas.

"We didn't see a response in a lot of those or we saw a negative response in some that were already in poor health, so they might have died at those initial stages of flooding because they were so far gone," she said.

"It's great to see the recruitment of lots of new seedlings coming up but it's a long time before they get to the stage of being mature and being able to reproduce."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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