Applied research and monitoring
Applied research seeks to solve practical problems by filling key knowledge gaps to inform a management intervention. Another way of getting further information is by undertaking repeat assessments (monitoring) of both the site or the catchment area that influences it to determine if the system is degrading or improving.
If an aquatic ecosystem is allowed to recover without intervention and pressure reduction this is called ‘passive management’. This is not the ‘do nothing’ option and requires monitoring and evaluation to check that the objectives are being met and that there are no negative consequences.
Monitoring may be undertaken for different purposes, including:
Monitoring that occurs before an intervention has occurred include status, trend and investigative assessments and can provide a baseline dataset. Other types of monitoring that seek to evaluate the intervention are used following implementation as part of Step 7 (MMEAS).
If an intervention is undertaken with an inadequate understanding of the issues and risks, and without understanding the whole-of-system, there may be an unacceptably high risk of the project failing. For example, modelling of sediment within the catchment may reveal that a sand slug is migrating down the system. In this instance large wood placement in a channel, intended to increase bed diversity and provide fish habitat, would be buried. Where the rate of the slug migration is uncertain, monitoring may be required to establish whether it is likely to be an issue and what the appropriate management interventions are for both the sand and the original rehabilitation site.
Applied research can range from structured literature reviews and desktop studies, focused experimental work, to installation of long-term monitoring sites. This management theme promotes partnerships among universities, industry, natural resource management bodies and community groups to address knowledge gaps with evidence based, applied science outputs, including citizen science.
Synthesising the science about rehabilitation can include developing a conceptual model of the components and processes, and how the intervention will achieve the intended outcomes, with evidence for all the process links. Those links with limited, or no, evidence can be targeted for data collection either during the intervention or at other existing intervention sites.
Key considerations for applied research and monitoring approaches are:
Some applied research and monitoring intervention options can viewed through the Intervention options page using the filter.Links:
Last updated: 30 June 2022
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2022) Applied research and monitoring, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 April 2023. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/rehabilitation/rehab-process/step-4/applied-research.html