Tributary of Kersbrook Creek, 2 km north-east from Kersbrook
2011 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report
- Dry in autumn and spring 2011
- Likely to be enriched with nutrients when wet due to the surrounding land uses
- Riparian and surrounding terrestrial vegetation dominated by a native canopy over a range of woody weeds and grasses
About the location
Tributary of Kersbrook Creek is a small, first-order stream in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges that rises north from Kersbrook and flows in a southerly direction into Kersbrook Creek. The monitoring site was located off Kersbrook Forest Road, about 2 km NNE from Kersbrook. The major land uses in the 16 hectare catchment are stock grazing and irrigated horticulture.
The tributary was given a Good rating because the site sampled showed evidence of relatively minor changes in ecosystem structure and function. There was evidence of human disturbance including a riparian zone with a weedy understorey and probable nutrient enrichment due to the extent of aquatic plant growth in the creekbed. However, the high proportion of native vegetative cover near the creek warranted the assigned condition rating for this site.
The sediments were dominated by detritus, with clay, gravel, silt and sand also present. Samples taken from below the surface were grey in colour and showed no evidence that the sediments were anaerobic or lacked oxygen.
Over 65% of the channel was covered by dense growths of rushes (Juncus) and small patches of sedge (Isolepis) and dock (Rumex). The riparian vegetation consisted of a narrow band of River Red Gums over tea trees, yaccas, rushes, blackberries and introduced grasses. The surrounding vegetation extended into the riparian zone and was dominated by gums and wattles over yaccas and rushes.
Special environmental features
None detected apart from the extensive cover of native vegetation near the creekline.
Pressures and management responses
|Livestock having direct access at the site and upstream (causing sediment erosion and adding excessive nutrients).||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 waterway and wetland fencing to exclude or limit stock from entering riparian zones.|
|Widespread introduced weeds 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.|
This aquatic ecosystem condition report is based on monitoring data collected by the EPA. It was prepared with and co-funded by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board.