The Importance of Vegetation Along Waterways

Native vegetation along banks plays a very important role in:

  • the lifecycle of many native animals
  • improves productivity of surrounding land
  • decreased erosion
  • improved water quality
  • healthy ecosystems and restored biodiversity
  • reduced flood damage
  • increased property value
  • food source for native animals and refuge during times of drought and fire
  • improved soil fertility
  • sediment control and filtration of nutrients

The land that adjoins, or directly influences a body of water is also known as riparian land and includes:

  • land immediately alongside small creeks and rivers, including the river bank itself
  • gullies and dips which sometimes run with water
  • areas surrounding lakes and dams
  • wetlands and river floodplains which interact with the river in times of flood

The vegetation that grows in this area is called Riparian Vegetation and is also known as a Riparian Corridor.  These vegetated corridors act as the 'skin' that provides protection to a waterway, acting as a buffer between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and maintaining the health and viability of the waterway, by:

  • holding bank soil in place and reducing the risk of bed and bank erosion
  • filtering sediments and nutrients from surface run-off and groundwater
  • regulating water temperature
  • providing shade, shelter and organic matter for aquatic organisms, and
  • 'shading out' exotic weed species

Riparian corridors are also an important socio-economic asset, providing an integral link between suburbs, supporting people movement, offering recreational opportunities and improving the visual amenity of the surrounding area.

Below are some helpful guides and links to improve waterways and riparian vegetation:

The following series of Landholder Booklets is also available, to obtain a copy please contact Council on (07) 3810 6550:

  • Living Cities - A Guide for Urban Landholders
  • Living Acreage - A Guide for Rural Residential Landholders
  • Living Country - A Guide for Rural Landholders