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About regional ecosystems

Regional ecosystems were originally defined by Sattler and Williams (1999) as vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a particular combination of geology, landform and soil.

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.

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.

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; online 2 December 2013
  • REDD Version 7.1 – February 2013 – Not for vegetation management purposes
  • REDD Version 6.1 – February 2013
  • REDD Version 7.0 – August 2012 – Not for vegetation management purposes
  • 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.

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
3 January 2017

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