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About regional ecosystems

Regional ecosystems are vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil (Sattler and Williams 1999, Vegetation Management Act 1999).

Descriptions presented in Sattler and Williams (1999) were derived from a broad range of existing information sources including land system, vegetation and geology mapping and reports.

The development and refinement of the regional ecosystem classification and mapping of Queensland is described in Queensland’s Regional Ecosystems. Building and maintaining a biodiversity inventory, planning framework and information system for Queensland.

The Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD) supersedes the regional ecosystem descriptions in Sattler and Williams (1999). REDD includes updated descriptions, to improve clarity, and also includes additional regional ecosystems and vegetation communities recognised since 1999.

The Queensland Herbarium has developed a methodology for mapping regional ecosystems across Queensland. This results in regular reviews to the descriptions and status of regional ecosystems.

Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD)

Regional ecosystem descriptions are maintained in the Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD). It accompanies the Queensland Herbarium regional ecosystem mapping.

Recommended citation

Please reference information contained in the database as:

Queensland Herbarium (2016) Regional Ecosystem Description Database (REDD). Version 10.0 (December 2016) (Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation: Brisbane).

All versions include updates to regional ecosystem descriptions and other information as this becomes available including taxonomic name changes (Census of the Queensland Flora), fire guidelines, broad vegetation group, species listed in the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation, July 2012, VM Regulation Class.

REDD version history

  • REDD Version 10.0 – December 2016
  • REDD Version 9.0 – April 2015
  • REDD Version 8.1 – April 2014
  • REDD Version 8.0 – November 2013
  • REDD Version 6.1 – February 2013
  • REDD Version 6.0b – August 2012
  • REDD Version 6.0b – January 2011
  • REDD version 6.0b – November 2009
  • REDD Version 5.2 – November 2007
  • REDD Version 5.1 – June 2007
  • REDD Version 5.0 – December 2005
  • REDD Version 4.2 – March 2005
  • REDD Version 4.1 – August 2004
  • REDD Version 4.0 – September 2003
  • REDD Version 3.2 – March 2003
  • REDD Version 3.1 – October 2002
  • REDD Version 3.0 – October 2001.
Regional Ecosystem mapping version history:
14 December 2016 10.0 - 2015 remnant and pre-clearing regional ecosystem (RE) mapping
30 April 2015 9.0 - 2013 remnant and pre-clearing regional ecosystem (RE) mapping and Remnant Vegetation Cover (RVC13) for incomplete areas.
2 December 2013 8.0 - 2011 remnant and pre-clearing regional ecosystem (RE) mapping and Remnant Vegetation Cover (RVC11) for incomplete areas. Continues to be current base for VMA vegetation supporting map.
31 August 2012 7.0 – 2009 remnant and pre-clearing RE with ‘Biodiversity Status’ ONLY – not for VMA usage.
16 September 2011 6.1 – released by Vegetation Management (DERM) – correction to the 2006b remnant RE for VMA. – continues to be current base for remnant extent for VMA regulated vegetation map
9 November 2009 6.0b (Ballot) – 2006b remnant RE and pre-clearing (where RE mapping complete)
9 December 2005 5.0 - 2003 remnant RE and pre-clearing (where RE mapping complete)
4 April 2005 4.3 – update
4 April 2005 4.2 – update
4 April 2005 4.1 – additional RE mapping completed
15 December 2004 4.2 – update
15 December 2004 4.1 – additional RE mapping completed
2 August 2004 4.2 – update
2 August 2004 4.1 – additional RE mapping completed
21 May 2004 4.1 – additional RE mapping completed
5 March 2004 4.1 – additional RE mapping completed
2 September 2003 4.0 - 2001 remnant RE and pre-clearing (where RE mapping complete) Biodiversity Status added for the first time.
25 July 2002 3.2 – update
25 July 2002 3.1 – additional RE mapping completed
30 April 2002 3.1 – additional RE mapping completed
12 April 2002 3.1 – additional RE mapping completed
22 March 2002 3.1 – SEQ released
7 June 2001 3.0 - 1999 remnant RE and pre-clearing (where RE mapping complete)
  2.1 – additional RE mapping completed
  2.2 – additional RE mapping completed
15 September 2000 2.0 - 1997 remnant RE and pre-clearing (where RE mapping complete)

 

Draft Regional Ecosystem pre-clear version history:

30 April 2015 Draft pre-clearing – (updated where RE mapping incomplete – Final release)
2 December 2013 Draft pre-clearing – (updated where RE mapping incomplete)
31 August 2012 Draft pre-clearing – (updated where RE mapping incomplete)
February 2012 Draft pre-clearing – (updated where RE mapping incomplete)
August 2010 Draft pre-clearing – (updated where RE mapping incomplete)
November 2009 Draft pre-clearing – (where RE mapping incomplete)
October 2008 and June 2009 Uncertified pre-clearing RE mapping (CYP, GUP, western Qld) – Incorporated in version 6.0b
Broad Vegetation Group (BVG) version history:
14 December 2016 Version 3 – Broad Vegetation Groups of Queensland
30 April 2015 Version 2 – Broad Vegetation Groups of Queensland
November 2014 Version 1.1 – Broad Vegetation Groups of Queensland
October 2014 Version 1 – Broad Vegetation Groups of Queensland

Bioregions and bioregional coordinators

For expert advice contact the coordinator for the relevant bioregion (listed below) by contacting the Queensland Herbarium on (07) 3896 9326 or Queensland.Herbarium@qld.gov.au.

Bioregion

Bioregional coordinator

1

Northwest Highlands

Dan Kelman

2

Gulf Plains

Hans Dillewaard and Chris Appelman

3

Cape York Peninsula

Eda Addicott

4

Mitchell Grass Downs

Chris Appelman

5

Channel Country

Dale Richter and Chris Pennay

6

Mulga Lands

Don Butler

7

Wet Tropics

Hans Dillewaard and Eda Addicott

8

Central Queensland Coast

Tim Ryan

9

Einasleigh Uplands

Eda Addicott

10

Desert Uplands

Sandy Pollock

11

Brigalow Belt (North)

Brigalow Belt (South)

Sandy Pollock

Hans Dillewaard

12

South East Queensland

Tim Ryan

13

New England Tableland

Kerstin Jones

The regional ecosystem classification scheme information and products are used for planning and management by state and local government, business and landholders.

The framework has been incorporated into several planning initiatives including:

  • development of guidelines for clearing on leasehold lands under the Lands Act 1994 and the Vegetation Management Act 1999
  • preparation of, or amendments to, local government planning schemes
  • assessment of the reserve network (comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness)
  • as a guide for environmental actions by government and non-government organisations.

Read more about the regional ecosystem framework including land zone definitions and explanation of fields.

Vegetation communities are amalgamated into the higher level classification of broad vegetation groups (BVGs). There are 3 levels of broad vegetation groups, which reflect the approximate scale at which they are designed to be used:

  • 1:5,000,000 (national)
  • 1:2,000,000 (state)
  • 1:1,000,000 (regional).

Biodiversity status regional ecosystem and BVG maps

The biodiversity status listed on this database is based on an assessment of the condition of remnant vegetation in addition to the pre-clearing and remnant extent of a regional ecosystem (RE).

You can request a map showing the biodiversity status and/or the BVG. These maps are not statutory. Additionally, a report identifying the regional ecosystems, their biodiversity status and more for a specific location can be generated through the Environmental reports online page.

Maps can be requested using property details or central coordinates and returned by email as a PDF.

The maps do not replace the vegetation management maps.

Technical descriptions

Technical descriptions provide more detailed information about the structure and floristic composition of regional ecosystems including the variability within an ecosystem.

The descriptions are based on quantitative site survey data from field information and the Queensland Herbarium CORVEG database. The technical descriptions are subject to review and are updated as additional data becomes available.

BioCondition benchmarks

BioCondition assessment provides a measure of vegetation condition from an ecological perspective to show how well a terrestrial ecosystem is functioning for the maintenance of biodiversity values at a local or property scale.

BioCondition involves the assessment of a range of attributes known to be important surrogates of biodiversity.

BioCondition benchmarks facilitate the comparison of biodiversity condition within and across a regional ecosystem.

They are quantitative values for each attribute that is assessed in BioCondition and are based on the average or median values of these attributes sourced from mature and long undisturbed ‘reference’ site.

Benchmarks are available for a subset of regional ecosystems, with their development ongoing and are subject to review based on additional data and expert opinion. Benchmarks are based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative information.

Remnant vegetation in Queensland

Regional ecosystem data is reported every 2 years to provide statistics on the extent of Queensland's remnant vegetation and regional ecosystems. Remnant vegetation in Queensland provides breakdowns by subregions and other areas, such as local government, of the amount of pre-clearing and remnant vegetation, for each regional ecosystem.

It also provides information and maps to support biodiversity planning and management by state and local government, natural resource management agencies, business and landholders.

Regional ecosystem data sources

Use the Queensland Government data portal to download:

  • pre-clearing and remnant regional ecosystem mapping data in shapefile format (search for ‘regional ecosystem’)
  • certified vegetation management data for larger areas (search for ‘vegetation management’)
  • draft data for areas where regional ecosystem mapping is in progress.

Definitions

Pre-clearing vegetation is the vegetation present before clearing.

Remnant woody vegetation is vegetation that has not been cleared or vegetation that has been cleared but where the dominant canopy has greater than 70% of the height and greater than 50% of the cover relative to the undisturbed height and cover of that stratum and is dominated by species characteristic of the vegetation's undisturbed canopy. View the Queensland Herbarium mapping methodology for further clarification of the definition and mapping methods of remnant vegetation.

Related data sets

  • Biodiversity planning assessments—The Biodiversity Assessment and Mapping Methodology provides a consistent approach for assessing biodiversity values at the landscape scale in Queensland.
  • Wetlands—Wetland regional ecosystems have been combined with other information, including water body mapping from satellite imagery and point location databases, to map the extent and type of wetlands across Queensland. WetlandInfo includes access to the latest version of wetland maps and data.
  • National vegetation mapping products—Regional ecosystems have been aligned with the National Vegetation information System and incorporated into maps of major vegetation groups. This information has subsequently been incorporated into the Australia’s State of the Forests Report 2013.
  • Land types for grazing land management—Regional ecosystems have been broadly equated with grazing land types across 16 grazing land management regions in Queensland. These land types describe areas of land with characteristic patterns of soil, vegetation, and landform to be used for grazing land management.
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)—Fifteen ecological communities listed under this Act occur in Queensland. The Regional ecosystems corresponding to ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act provides guidance to those regional ecosystems that best correspond to the national listed ecological communities. For each community the link to the specific details on the Species Profile and Threats Database should be consulted for a fuller definition of the ecological community, key diagnostic characteristics, condition thresholds and aspects for additional consideration.
Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
7 June 2017
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