Panalatinga Creek, Reynella East
2008 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Significantly affected by urban development.
- Disrupted water flows.
- Increased deposits of organic material and fine sediment.
- Riparian zone dominated by exotic trees.
- Dry at time of inspection in November 2008.
About the location
Panalatinga Creek is a small, narrow urban stream that rises on the western slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges a few kilometres west of Clarendon, and flows only occasionally. It drains east through Happy Valley to Reynella East where it discharges into the Field River. Urban development covers about 75% of the catchment, with some livestock grazing (15%) and protected areas of native vegetation (9%) in the upper reaches.
The site selected for monitoring was located off Panalatinga Road in Reynella East.
The creek was given a Poor rating at this site because the ecosystem showed evidence of major changes in the animal community and plant life, and moderate changes to the way the ecosystem functions. Urban development has altered the pattern of water flows, lowered water quality, increased deposits of fine sediment and organic material, and promoted pest species. It is likely nutrient levels would also be high when the channel is wet.
The creek was dry when it was inspected in November 2008.
Decaying leaf matter, silt and clay covered the streambed, but there was no evidence of aquatic plants or algal growths. The sediments would probably become blackened and anaerobic when water pools in the creek, due to the decay of the large amount of organic matter present in the channel.
Vetch (Vicia), introduced willows and other deciduous trees grew along the banks, shading 95% of the entire creek. The riparian zone was less than five metres wide and the surrounding area was mainly urban gardens, with little remnant native vegetation remaining.
Special environmental features
Pressures and management responses
|Extensive deciduous tree growth in the riparian zone at the site and upstream (reducing habitat quality).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board has several pest plant (weed) mitigation and control programs. They work closely with landholders to control weeds on their property and to help stop the spread to other properties and waterways.|
|Limited riparian zone vegetation at the site and upstream, providing minimal buffer protection from catchment landuses (reducing habitat quality).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board’s land management program encourages and promotes managing land to improve water quality. This includes incentives for revegetation programs around waterways and wetlands and stock exclusion as well as educating landholders about the importance of riparian vegetation in managing soil erosion.|
|Stormwater runoff causing high water velocities, containing nutrients and sediments (causing habitat disturbance, algal growth and aquatic weeds).||The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board has a well developed stormwater quality improvement, harvesting and reuse program which has installed (and maintains) gross pollutant (and silt) traps in several watercourses across the region to catch litter, debris and silt in order to minimise impacts and damage to seagrass in the receiving marine environment. Stormwater captured is also treated through artificial wetlands across the region which act as suspended solid and nutrient filters; these wetlands also provide important habitat for many native species.|
This aquatic ecosystem condition report is based on monitoring data collected by the EPA and prepared in conjunction with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board.