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The Saltmarsh bushcare working bees have been removing weeds in the saltmarsh at Gough Whitlam Park since 2011. There have been quarterly monitoring sessions to document the changes to the saltmarsh in this time. These changes include weed abundance, saltmarsh plant distribution, and biodiversity indicators such as crabs.
The Saltmarsh monitoring bees use quadrants across a transect from the outer (landward) to the inner (river side) saltmarsh. This transect tracks changes in vegetation with the ground level. A major factor in vegetation spread is the level of tidal innudation with each high and king tide.
The principal saltmarsh plants are
Suaeda australis, and
Triglochin striatum. A recent arrival since working at the site is the native Creeping Brookweed (Samolus repens). We are also seeing the spread of
Sarcarcornia toward the outer saltmash due to bushcare efforts. This indicates fantastic progress.
In general, the outer saltmarsh is more weedy. The weeds are mostly common couch, and occasionally flea bane, dock. The most serious weed is
acutus. The monthly volunteer bushcare working bees have been vigilant in preventing it establishing.
Other points of interest such as the presence of crab holes are also noted. The data from 2012-13 and 2013-14 is available here, with a map sourced from google maps. This graphical data was compiled by Russell Cail.
Saltmarsh monitoring graph 2012-13
The inner (quadrant 1) and the outer quadrants ( 7 and 8 ) remained consistent across the yearly sampling period, however changes to species occurrence can be seen in quadrant 2, 3 and 4. These quadrants represent a change to species distribution over a relatively small area of the saltmarsh, including
Suaeda, marine couch and exotic couch.
Saltmarsh monitoring graph 2013-14
In this sampling period 2013-14, an increase in
Sarcorcornia in quadrants 2 and 4 is seen. Changes in the occurrence of
Triglochin is also noted in quadrant 5. A seasonal increase of Suaeda and marine couch is also evident in quadrant 10.
Saltmarsh monitoring graph 2014-15
In the sampling period 2014-15, continued increases of
Sarcorcornia , Suaeda and marine couch are evident.
For more information, or If you would like to be involved in monitoring, please contact the
Biodiversity Projects Officer on