Skip links and keyboard navigation

Explanation of fields

When using the Regional Ecosystem Description Database, you may be confused by some of the terminology.

Supplementary description

Published sources, that were used to derive, or which are equivalent to, each regional ecosystem are listed so that more detailed information can be readily obtained.

This reference list has details of these sources and should be used for more detailed descriptions and examples of the variation of regional ecosystems.

Wetland code

A regional ecosystem is denoted as a wetland if it meets the definition of a wetland in the Queensland wetland mapping and classification methodology. Each wetland regional ecosystem is classified into the following wetland classes:


Riverine wetland or fringing riverine wetland. These are wetlands with an open, non-vegetated channel.


Lacustrine (lakes). These are generally larger than 8ha, situated in a topographic depression or dammed river channel and lack vegetation cover (<30%).


Palustrine (swamps, marshes etc.). These are generally non-tidal areas dominated by vegetation (>30% cover) or if lacking vegetation area <8ha.


Estuarine wetlands. Intertidal areas such as mangroves and saltflats.

Non wetland regional ecosystems are classified into the following classes:


Floodplain areas that do not generally retain water after flooding. These do not generally meet the definition of wetlands although often contain unmapped areas of wetlands.


Areas that are frequently wet that are not wetlands or floodplains (e.g. areas that receive water from higher in landscape such as 3.3.33).


Contains a palustrine/lacustrine wetland.


Contains a fringing riverine wetland.

Estimated extent

The area covered by each regional ecosystem is estimated from the latest published regional ecosystem mapping. Pre-clearing extent is the area covered prior to clearing. Remnant extent is the area supporting remnant vegetation in the specified year. Figures are rounded for simplicity.

Short description

A concise summary of the central concept for the regional ecosystem.

Structure category

Categories of vegetation density (dense, mid-dense, sparse, very sparse, grassland) used in regulations and codes under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.


The geology, landform, soil and vegetation that characterise each regional ecosystem are briefly described. This description is not intended to be exclusive, but is the typical expression of the ecosystem based on the best available knowledge.

Variation on a theme is to be expected, particularly in the relative dominance of characteristic plant species. You can get more information from the supplementary sources listed or from the bioregional coordinator for the relevant region.

Plant names follow those listed in the Census of the Queensland Flora. Non-native species are denoted by an asterisk (*) and are generally included under the comments field. The 1:1million broad vegetation group is shown in brackets for each vegetation community.


The subregions that each regional ecosystem occurs in are listed by subregion number, in order of significance. Minor occurrences (1 to <5% of the total pre-clearing extent) are denoted by bracketed subregion numbers, e.g. (3). Very minor occurrences (<1% of the total pre-clearing extent) are not listed. Outliers are denoted by both the bioregion and subregion, e.g. 11.3.

Protected areas

To broadly assess comprehensiveness, adequacy, and representativeness of the protected area system, regional ecosystems are listed for each protected area defined under section 28 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992. This includes national parks (including scientific and recovery), conservation parks and resource reserves, but excludes nature refuges or voluntary conservation agreement areas on private lands.

Generally speaking, only protected areas of greater than 1000ha are included, in recognition of the difficulty of ensuring the viability of ecosystems and species in very small reserves. Some protected areas of less than 1000ha are important in conserving specific elements of biodiversity (e.g. the mound springs on Elizabeth Springs Conservation Park) and are therefore identified.

Extent in reserves

The extent of regional ecosystems within protected areas is classified as high, medium or low.

The high category, greater than 10% of pre-clearing extent, is based on the IUCN (1994) guideline within the CARACAS Declaration that identified that 10% of each biome should be preserved. The medium category, 4–10%, merely reflects that this level would exceed proportionally the total area that is currently reserved in the protected area estate in Queensland (3.8%). The low category, less than 4%, reflects that representation proportionally less than the total park area in the state is low indeed.

Where data are available, the area of each regional ecosystem in protected areas is given. Data associated with protected areas, including the representation of regional ecosystems within reserves is updated as new mapping is completed, although in several bioregions this has not being updated from that listed in Sattler and Williams (1999).

Special values

Identifies values associated with the regional ecosystem. This includes species listed under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 with high fidelity for the regional ecosystem. Outstanding geomorphic or other attributes may also be noted.

Fire management guidelines

Fire management guidelines, including optimal season, intensity, interval and fire strategy, for regional ecosystems are presented from an ecological perspective, designed to enhance biodiversity.

The best available published and expert information has been used in formulating these guidelines, however further research and monitoring is required.

At present only a few bioregions have fire management guidelines compiled. Other bioregions will be progressively completed and added.


Including additional notes on the distribution, condition, commonly associated non-native species, diagnostic and other characteristics of the regional ecosystem.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
9 March 2018
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.