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Groundwater dependent ecosystem – system types

Ecosystems dependent on the surface expression of groundwater ('Surface Expression GDEs')

Lacustrine GDE

Lacustrine groundwater dependent ecosystems are lacustrine wetlands which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Lacustrine wetland GDEs are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the surface expression of groundwater ('Surface Expression GDEs'). Lacustrine wetland GDEs are characterised by lakes with gaining or variable gaining/losing aquifer connectivity indicated by maintained lake water availability regardless of surface water availability[1].

Palustrine wetland GDE

Palustrine wetland groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are palustrine wetlands which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Palustrine Wetland GDEs are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the surface expression of groundwater ('Surface Expression GDEs'). Palustrine Wetland GDEs are characterised by palustrine wetlands with either a gaining or variable gaining/losing aquifer connectivity[1].

Riverine wetland GDE

Riverine wetland groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are riverine wetlands which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Riverine Wetland GDEs are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the surface expression of groundwater ('Surface Expression GDEs'). Riverine Wetland GDEs are characterised by either a gaining or variable gaining/losing aquifer connectivity.

Ecosystems dependent on the sub-surface presence of groundwater ('Terrestrial GDEs')

Riverine regional ecosystem GDE

Riverine regional ecosystem groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are riverine wetland regional ecosystems which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services[1]. Riverine wetland regional ecosystem GDEs are terrestrial riparian ecosystems dependent on the subsurface presence of groundwater (‘Terrestrial GDEs’).

Terrestrial GDE

Terrestrial groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are terrestrial ecosystems which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. ‘Terrestrial GDEs’ are terrestrial ecosystems dependent on the subsurface presence of groundwater. Terrestrial GDEs are characterised by vegetation with access to groundwater within their rooting zone and is indicated by maintained vegetation vigour regardless of surface water availability[1].

Aquifer and Cave Ecosystems ('Subterranean GDEs')

Cave GDE

Cave groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are cave ecosystems which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Cave GDEs are caves dependent on the subterranean presence of groundwater (‘Subterranean GDEs’). Cave GDEs have some degree of groundwater connectivity and are indicated by high moisture levels and/or the presence of stygofauna[1].

Aquifer GDE

Aquifer groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services[1]. All aquifers are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the subterranean presence of groundwater (‘Subterranean GDEs’). Aquifer ecosystems are composed of those species that inhabit the void between sediment grains in groundwater systems.

Other ecosystems dependent on the expression and/or presence of groundwater

Estuarine GDE

Estuarine groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are estuarine ecosystems which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Estuarine GDEs are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the submarine discharge of groundwater.

Marine GDE

Marine groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are marine ecosystems which require access to groundwater on a permanent or intermittent basis to meet all or some of their water requirements so as to maintain their communities of plants and animals, ecological processes and ecosystem services. Marine GDEs are aquatic ecosystems dependent on the submarine discharge of groundwater.


References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Richardson, E, Irvine, E, Froend, R, Book, P, Barber, S & Bonneville, B (2011), Australian groundwater dependent ecosystems toolbox part 1: assessment framework, National Water Commission, Canberra.

Last updated: 22 March 2013

This page should be cited as:

Queensland Government, Queensland (2013) Groundwater dependent ecosystem – system types, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2024. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/groundwater-dependent/systems/

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation