Determining the soil characteristics influencing the distribution of perennial vegetation communities across the Cooper Creek floodplain system in South Australia
The Cooper Creek floodplain system is a unique, internationally significant and increasingly rare example of a naturally functioning unregulated dryland river system. Associated with the iconic "Cooper" is a series of nationally significant wetlands such as those of the Coongie lakes and Kanowana systems in far north east South Australia. The hydrologically dynamic and productive floodplain system supports a rich and diverse biota. Intermittent "hydrological pulses" in association with productive floodplain soils together with subtle variations in land relief result in a myriad of nutrient enriched niches. The research aims to determine the characteristics of the soils associated with the main perennial vegetation communities within the region. The research builds upon prior research conducted in the region during the period 1986-1992. This prior research, using multivariate analyses, revealed the range of vegetation communities in the region and tentatively identified the principal environmental parameters influencing their distribution.