Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Project: Vegetation Theme Research Report

The EWKR vegetation theme sought to:
1. Provide a framework and guiding principles to help define the process of ‘what are we watering for and why?’ to help refine objectives, define function and value, and select indicators across a range of spatial and temporal scales, given the myriad of potential vegetation outcomes; and
2. Improve predictive capacity and the underlying knowledge base by determining drivers of responses to watering actions, for:
a. Existing understory communities
b. Seed bank diversity
c. Woody seedling establishment
d. Lignum structure
The EWKR vegetation theme shows that there is incredible variation in local plant communities and associated seed banks in space and time. This is even though many wetland and floodplain species have wide distributions, are largely cosmopolitan species and are rarely considered endemic. The vegetation theme looked at what causes this variation and how to predict it, and we are beginning to be able to determine community assembly rules. We’re starting to be able to: i) identify what the significant drivers are; ii) determine their relative importance; and iii) understand their interactions.