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Wetland connectivity: understanding the dispersal of organisms that occur in Victoria’s wetlands
DRAFT










K. Morris



March 2012

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research

Technical Report Series No. 225
























Wetland connectivity: understanding the dispersal of organisms that occur in Victoria’s wetlands


Kay Morris

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084

March 2012





Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
Department of Sustainability and Environment
Heidelberg, Victoria


Report produced by: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research
Department of Sustainability and Environment
PO Box 137
Heidelberg, Victoria 3084
Phone (03) 9450 8600
Website: www.dse.vic.gov.au/ari

© State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment 2012

This publication is copyright. Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced, copied, transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical or graphic) without the prior written permission of the State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment. All requests and enquiries should be directed to the Customer Service Centre, 136 186 or email customer.service@dse.vic.gov.au

Citation: Morris, K. (2012) Wetland connectivity: understanding the dispersal of organisms that occur in Victoria’s wetlands. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 225. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Victoria

ISSN 1835-3827 (print)

ISSN 1835-3835 (online)

ISBN 978-1-74287-384-8 (print)

ISBN 978-1-74287-385-5 (online)

Disclaimer: This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

Front cover photo: Wetland vegetation, DSE Library

Authorised by: Victorian Government, Melbourne

Printed by: NMIT Printroom, Preston

Contents


K. Morris i

March 2012 i

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research i

Technical Report Series No. 225 i

Kay Morris ii

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research


123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084 ii

March 2012 ii

Contents 1

Acknowledgements 3

Summary 4

1 Overview and objectives 6

2 Landscape connectivity 7

2.1 What is connectivity? 7

2.2 The importance of biological connectivity 7

3 Connectivity of wetland habitats 9

3.1 Introduction 9

3.2 A conceptual model of dispersal 10

4 Measuring dispersal 12

4.1 Mark–recapture studies 12

4.2 Stable isotopes 12

4.3 Genetic markers 13

4.4 Radio-tracking 13

4.5 Radar 14



5 Dispersal of wetland taxa 15

5.1 Amphibians 15

5.1.1 Habitat preferences 15

5.1.2 Movement 16

5.2 Waterbirds 18

5.2.1 Habitat preferences 18

5.2.2 Movement 18

5.3 Freshwater fish 21

5.3.1 Habitat preferences 21

5.3.2 Movement 21

5.4 Aquatic invertebrates 23

5.4.1 Active dispersal in winged invertebrates 23

5.4.2 Passive dispersal of invertebrates 25

5.5 Wetland plants 27

5.5.1 Wind-mediated dispersal 27

5.5.2 Water-mediated dispersal 29

5.5.3 Waterbird-mediated dispersal 31

6 Assessing landscape connectivity 35

6.1 Structural connectivity 35

6.2 Potential connectivity 35

6.2.1 Graph theory 36

6.2.2 Least cost analysis and circuit theory 37

6.2.3 GIS approaches 37

6.3 Conclusion 37

7 References 39

Appendix 1. Description of amphibians recorded in Victoria 51

Appendix 2. Waterbirds recorded in Victoria that are associated with wetlands 52

Appendix 3. Native Victorian fish that occur in wetlands 57

ISSN 1835-3827 (print) 58

ISSN 1835-3835 (online) 58

ISBN 978-1-74287-384-8 (print) 58

ISBN 978-1-74287-385-5 (online) 58


Acknowledgements


An expert panel provided valuable advice on the dispersal of different groups of wetland organisms:

  • waterbirds — Richard Loyn (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

  • amphibians — Dr Michael Scroggie, Nick Clemann and Katie Howard (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

  • fish — Stephen Saddlier and Tarmo Raadik (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

  • invertebrates — Di Crowther and Phil Papas (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

  • plants — Dr Elisa Raulings (Monash University).

Comments on drafts were provided by Phil Papas, Dr Leah Beesley and Janet Holmes (Department of Sustainability and Environment). The document was edited by David Meagher.
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