Step 2: Gather and analyse background information
Things to think about
Understanding the location by gathering and analysing the background information is an important step to enable the development of actions that will work.
To know what actions need to be undertaken, which will have the biggest impact and when they should be implemented often depends on the landscape, where it is in the catchment, the hydrology, geology, soil, the fire regime, the wetland type, the species being encouraged and more. A background report should include the sites ecological character which includes the sum of the individual biological, chemical, and physical components of the ecosystem and their interactions which maintain the wetland and its products, functions and attributes (Ramsar 1999). A background report helps identify and provide information in one place and can be used to support permit and funding applications.A table of data links is provided to help with the gathering of background information.
When gathering information remember to think outside the box. Look for studies that have already been undertaken by others before undertaking new ones. Not all information is available on-line (although much is these days) gathering of historical data may call for a trip or call to the library. Local government often provide information on their websites including, but not limited to, information on permits, catchments plans, rehabilitation suggestions and species lists.
Before finalising the purpose or developing the rehabilitation plan, undertake site visits and ensure that the surrounding area and current site condition is understood and linked to the constraints which prevent natural recovery of wetlands e.g.:
Some examples of constraints which prevent natural recovery of wetlands:
Components and processes - interactions
To manage an ecosystem, it is important to understand what it is made of and how its various parts work and interact. Appreciating how the various parts or components work and interact (the processes) helps us identify, plan for and manage all those aspects of a wetland that enables it to deliver the many services that we depend on and value.
Wetland components refer to the parts that comprise an ecosystem and include things such as plants, animals, soil and water. While the processes relate to the interactions between the components. The drivers are the reason these interactions occur. So it is not only important to know the parts that come together to make the wetland but also how those parts/influences interact.
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Last updated: 10 September 2018
This page should be cited as:
Step 2: Gather and analyse background information, WetlandInfo 2018, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland, viewed 14 December 2018, .