Species richness and composition of farm dams in southeast Tasmania

Mr Fang Zhao1, Prof James Kirkpatrick2, Dr Peter McQuillan3

1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

2University of Tasmania, Hobart , Australia

3University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


This study determined the relationships between environment and use of farm dams and their biota There were 261 species recorded from 104 farm dams in southeast Tasmania from 2016 to 2017, including 114 macroinvertebrates, six frogs and 141 vascular plants. Most dams were non-seasonal small dams that were built more than ten years ago and used for domestic and stocking purposes. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was used to ordinate species composition data in four dimensions. Nine cluster groups were identified in the agglomeration classification, with the input of the ordination scores for the four aces. Age, bank height, altitude, and frog species composition significantly impacted the composition of all species, plant species and macroinvertebrate species. There was no relationship between frog species composition and environmental variables. No variables affected the richness of all species groups. It is thus hard to define a perfect dam that maximize the diversity of all of plant, macroinvertebrate and frog species. However, it is still possible to design dams which maximise overall diversity in the three groups as a whole, or diversity within macroinvertebrates or plants.


Fang Zhao, BIS, MAS, PhD candidate in University of Tasmania, currently research on the potential conservation values of farm dams in southeast Tasmania. Also interested in wetland ecosystem services, freshwater ecology and dam development and management.

Email: Fang.Zhao@utas.edu.au

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