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There are a number of frameworks for assessing the impacts of pressures on riverine wetlands in Queensland. One of the assessment frameworks is The Stream and Estuary Assessment Program (SEAP) which has produced a list of statewide generic stressor threats to riverine ecosystems. Common stressor threats represent biological, physical, and chemical changes that result from one or more pressures and elicit ecosystem responses. This generic list can be further split into sub-threats e.g. sediments can be split into suspended and deposited.

Water Holding Frog–Litoria platycephala (previously Cyclorana platycephala) Photo by Peter Negus

Quick facts

Many creeks and rivers in Queensland flow irregularly and some only during rainfall events. Animals living in riverine areas have adaptations that cope with the lack of water, e.g. water holding frogs of Western Queensland and crustacean eggs that are resistant to desiccation for long periods.

SEAP uses a risk assessment process to prioitise those threats that are important to a reporting area. Priority threats are then used to determine further research and monitoring investigations.

The entire generic list of threats may not be relevant to riverine ecosystems at smaller scales, but the list provides a starting point for all riverine investigations and includes:

  • acid soil run-off
  • climate change
  • direct biota removal or disturbance (e.g. fishing)
  • flow management
  • aquatic habitat disturbance (including connectivity)
  • aquatic pest species (flora and fauna) - see specific conceptual models for Murray Darling Basin and Lake Eyre and Bulloo Basins
  • nutrients
  • organic matter
  • pathogens
  • riparian habitat disturbance (including connectivity)
  • introduced riparian species (flora and fauna; including pests) - see specific conceptual models for Murray Darling Basin and Lake Eyre and Bulloo Basins
  • salinity
  • sediments (suspended and deposited)
  • thermal alteration
  • toxicants (including pesticides).

Additional information

Last updated: 22 March 2013

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2013) Riverine, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 April 2023. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science