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Queensland Murray-Darling Freshwater Biogeographic Province

Queensland Murray-Darling Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Introduced fauna—riparian

Wet season (Jan-May) Average temperature (20°) Temperature varies along a west east gradient Evaporation exceeds rainfall Width of riparian zone (29m) Medium trees Grasses Low relief ratio Cracking clays Percentage of water which is base flow (9%) Annual spate duration (1 month) Annual no-flow duration (5 months) Clay Low macroinvertebrate richness High turbidity Large woody debris cover (8%) Submerged and emergent macrophyte growth forms dominant Concave bank shape category Convex bank shape category Dominant bank slope (10°-80°) Fauna Specific example – Life cycle of Golden Perch

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Water temperature Altered instream habitat Increased erosion Increasing turbidity Water temperature Increased erosion Increased erosion Grazing Grazing Dry stream beds Increased erosion Nutrients


Feral animals and livestock can damage riparian areas, stream banks and dry stream beds while accessing water and other resources. Pugging, rooting and trampling can accelerate erosion and alter instream sediment dynamics. Soil compaction can also occur along stock trails, reducing water infiltration while increasing run-off.


Grazing of vegetation by introduced fauna can alter the structural diversity of the riparian vegetation and decrease bank stability.


Urine and faeces in and around waterholes can change water quality and increase nutrients which can lead to increased algal growth, reduced oxygen levels and cause anoxic conditions.


Increased erosion produces fine sediment which can remain suspended (turbidity), while coarser sediment can settle and smother benthic habitat. This sedimentation can reduce waterhole persistence.



Dry stream beds provide habitat for invertebrates. These communities reflect the health of dry stream ecosystems.




Increasing turbidity can reduce the amount of light penetrating the water column (i.e. photic depth).This limits instream primary production.



Disturbed areas are more susceptible to weed invasion. Animals can aid in the transport of weeds by transporting them on hair, fur or in faeces.



Water temperature can increase due to suspended particles absorbing heat. Dissolved oxygen decreases with increasing water temperature.



Altered instream habitat can lead to changes in the structure and function of ecological communities and ecosystem processes.


Last updated: 22 May 2014

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2014) Queensland Murray-Darling Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Introduced fauna—riparian, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation