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Typology

The Queensland Wetland Classification Scheme applies wetland attributes from which various wetland types can be derived for a range of wetland management purposes. Grouping wetlands into meaningful, discrete types can be challenging. The grouping of wetlands into relevant types that are more like each other than others is necessary and very useful for a variety of reasons, e.g. for management, monitoring and regulation.

Arid saline lake conceptual model. Image by Queensland Government

Quick facts

One size
does not fit all when dividing wetlands into types. Wetland types developed for one purpose will not necessarily be the same types as those developed for other purposes. A primary focus on biodiversity might provide types which recognise the importance for biodiversity. These would not be the types a farmer might need for assessing the grazing potential of wetlands.

Queensland Wetland Types

Purpose and scale

The Queensland wetland classification scheme includes a typology for swamps (palustrine wetlands), lakes (lacustrine wetlands), rivers (riverine wetlands), and vegetated intertidal wetlands above mean sea level. This typology is designed to support general management and planning purposes at a habitat level.

Development of the typology

To develop general management guidelines and conceptual models for broad wetland types in Queensland, several workshops were held with key stakeholders to determine how to select, combine and split attributes to result in ecologically meaningful wetland types. Not all attributes were needed for this typology and different attributes can be combined and split for different typology outcomes. 

Note: Determination of wetland habitat is a hierarchical process. Where a wetland may have characteristics of more than one wetland habitat type, use the 'Priority determination' to identify the appropriate wetland habitat type. Multiple wetland habitat types with the same priority determination represent types with mutually exclusive categories.

Lacustrine / Arid and semi-arid

Wetland system Lacustrine
Climate region Arid and semi-arid
Wetland habitat types
LA17 LA14 LA15 LA16b LA16a
Situated on a floodplain Any Any Floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain
Flora composition Any Any Any Any Any
Flora growth form Any Any Any Any Any
Groundwater flow system Any Any Any Any Any
Salinity of water Any Saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline
Source aquifer Any Any Any Any Any
Substrate composition Any Any Any Any Any
Substrate grain size Any Any Any Clay Other
Permanence of water Permanent Non-permanent Non-permanent Non-permanent Non-permanent
Priority determination 1 2 3 4 5
Wetland habitat codes
Code Wetland habitat name Description
LA17 Arid and semi-arid permanently inundated lakes Arid and semi-arid permanently inundated lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; and permanent inundation.
LA14 Arid and semi-arid saline lakes Arid and semi-arid saline lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; non-permanent inundation; and saline water.
LA15 Arid and semi-arid floodplain lakes Arid and semi-arid floodplain lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; non-permanent inundation; non-saline water; and situated on a floodplain.
LA16b Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain clay pan lakes Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain clay pan lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; non-permanent inundation; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and clay substrate.
LA16a Arid and semi-arid other non-floodplain lakes Arid and semi-arid other non-floodplain lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; non-permanent inundation; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and non-clay substrate.

Lacustrine / Coastal and sub-coastal

Wetland system Lacustrine
Climate region Coastal and sub-coastal
Wetland habitat types
LC06 LC07 LC08 LC08b LC08a LC09
Situated on a floodplain Floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain
Flora composition Any Any Any Any Any Any
Flora growth form Any Any Any Any Any Any
Groundwater flow system Any Any Unknown Perched flow system Other flow system Any
Salinity of water Any Any Any Any Any Any
Source aquifer Any Any Any Any Any Any
Substrate composition Any Non-soil - rock Non-soil - sand or Organic Non-soil - sand or Organic Non-soil - sand or Organic Soil
Substrate grain size Any Any Any Any Any Any
Permanence of water Any Any Any Any Any Any
Priority determination 1 2 3 3 4 2
Wetland habitat codes
Code Wetland habitat name Description
LC06 Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain lakes Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; and situated on a floodplain.
LC07 Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain rock lakes Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain rock lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; not situated on a floodplain; and rock substrate composition.
LC08 Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand lakes Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand lakess refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; not situated on a floodplain; sand or organic substrate composition; and an unknown groundwater flow system.
LC08b Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand (perched) lakes Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand (perched) lakess refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; not situated on a floodplain; sand or organic substrate composition; and a perched groundwater flow system.
LC08a Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand (window) lakes Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain sand (window) lakess refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; not situated on a floodplain; sand or organic substrate composition; and a local, intermediate or regional groundwater flow system.
LC09 Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain soil lakes Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain rock lakes refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: lacustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; not situated on a floodplain; and soil substrate composition.

Palustrine / Arid and semi-arid

Wetland system Palustrine
Climate region Arid and semi-arid
Wetland habitat types
PA13 PA10 PA11a PA11b PA11c PA11d PA12a PA12b PA12c PA12d
Situated on a floodplain Any Any Floodplain Floodplain Floodplain Floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain
Flora composition Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Flora growth form Any Any Trees Shrubs Grasses, Sedges, and Herbs Other Trees Shrubs Grasses, Sedges, and Herbs Other
Groundwater flow system Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Salinity of water Any Saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline
Source aquifer Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin
Substrate composition Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Substrate grain size Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Permanence of water Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Priority determination 1 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Wetland habitat codes
Code Wetland habitat name Description
PA13 Arid and semi-arid Great Artesian Basin fed spring swamps Arid and semi-arid Great Artesian Basin fed spring swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; and groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin.
PA10 Arid and semi-arid saline swamps Arid and semi-arid saline swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; and saline water.
PA11a Arid and semi-arid floodplain tree swamps Arid and semi-arid floodplain tree swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a tree growth form.
PA11b Arid and semi-arid floodplain shrub swamps Arid and semi-arid floodplain shrub swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a shrub growth form.
PA11c Arid and semi-arid floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps Arid and semi-arid floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a grass, sedge, or herb growth form.
PA11d Arid and semi-arid other floodplain swamps Arid and semi-arid other floodplain swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have other growth form.
PA12a Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain tree swamps Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain tree swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a tree growth form.
PA12b Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain shrub swamps Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain shrub swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a shrub growth form.
PA12c Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps Arid and semi-arid non-floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a grass, sedge, or herb growth form.
PA12d Arid and semi-arid other non-floodplain swamps Arid and semi-arid other non-floodplain swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; arid and semi-arid climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have other growth form.

Palustrine / Coastal and sub-coastal

Wetland system Palustrine
Climate region Coastal and sub-coastal
Wetland habitat types
PC03 PC01 PC05 PC04a PC04d PC04c PC04e PC02a PC02b PC02c PC02d
Situated on a floodplain Any Any Any Floodplain Floodplain Floodplain Floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain Non-floodplain
Flora composition Any Any Palm Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Flora growth form Any Any Any Trees Shrubs Grasses, Sedges, and Herbs Other Trees Shrubs Grasses, Sedges, and Herbs Other
Groundwater flow system Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Salinity of water Any Saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline Non-saline
Source aquifer Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin Non-Great Artesian Basin
Substrate composition Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Substrate grain size Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Permanence of water Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any Any
Priority determination 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Wetland habitat codes
Code Wetland habitat name Description
PC03 Coastal and sub-coastal Great Artesian Basin fed spring swamps Coastal and sub-coastal Great Artesian Basin fed spring swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; and groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin.
PC01 Coastal and sub-coastal saline swamps Coastal and sub-coastal saline swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; and saline water.
PC05 Coastal and sub-coastal tree (palm) swamps Coastal and sub-coastal tree (palm) swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; and the dominant flora is a palm genera.
PC04a Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain tree (Melaleuca and Eucalypt) swamps Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain tree (Melaleuca and Eucalypt) swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a tree growth form.
PC04d Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain wet heath swamps Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain wet heath swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a shrub growth form.
PC04c Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain, grass, sedge, and herb swamps Coastal and sub-coastal floodplain, grass, sedge, and herb swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a grass, sedge, or herb growth form.
PC04e Coastal and sub-coastal other floodplain swamps Coastal and sub-coastal other floodplain swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; situated on a floodplain; and where flora have other growth form.
PC02a Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain tree (Melaleuca and Eucalypt) swamps Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain tree (Melaleuca and Eucalypt) swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a tree growth form.
PC02b Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain wet heath swamps Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain wet heath swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a shrub growth form.
PC02c Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps Coastal and sub-coastal non-floodplain grass, sedge, and herb swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have a grass, sedge, or herb growth form.
PC02d Coastal and sub-coastal other non-floodplain swamps Coastal and sub-coastal other non-floodplain swamps refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: palustrine wetland system; coastal and sub-coastal climate; no groundwater sourced from the Great Artesian Basin; non-saline water; the dominant flora is not a palm genera; not situated on a floodplain; and where flora have other growth form.

Intertidal

Wetland habitat codes
Code Wetland habitat name Description
INT01 Mangroves Mangroves refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: intertidal wetland system; and the dominant structural macrobiota composition is mangroves or Casuarina.
INT01a
Mangroves - Casuarina
Mangroves - Casuarina refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: intertidal wetland system; and the dominant structural macrobiota composition is Casuarina.
INT01b
Mangroves - other
Mangroves - other refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: intertidal wetland system; and the dominant structural macrobiota composition is grass, herb and/or sedge.
INT02 Salt marsh and salt flats Salt marsh and salt flats refers to wetland habitats with the following characteristics: intertidal wetland system; and the dominant structural macrobiota composition is grass, herb, and/or sedge.

Riverine

Riverine wetlands are not classified into different habitat types. The table below shows the riverine system code.

Wetland system code
Code Wetland system name Description
RIV Riverine Riverine refers to wetlands and deepwater habitats within a channel.

Last updated: 12 October 2023

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2023) Typology, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2024. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/what-are-wetlands/definitions-classification/classification-systems-background/qld-wetland-classification/typology.html

Queensland Government
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