Title: A groundwater ecosystem classification - the next steps

Authors: Peter A. Serov; Laura Kuginis

Addresses: Stygoecologia, 174 Galloway St, Armidale, New South Wales 2350, Australia ' Ecosystem Management Science, Science Division, Office of Environment and Heritage, Dangar, New South Wales 2309, Australia

Abstract: To manage the diverse range of groundwater dependent ecosystems (or GDEs), they must first be grouped appropriately in a logical and meaningful manner. An ecohydrogeological classification system for GDEs is presented. This classification was developed to protect high value water dependent ecosystems including groundwater dependent ecosystems. The need for a new classification system for this specialised group of ecosystems became apparent when the existing classifications could not adequately encompass, characterise, order, or prioritise the large number of known GDEs. In this paper, we review the previous classification systems that have included groundwater ecosystems worldwide and discuss the attributes and ecological drivers used. This paper focuses particularly on GDEs occurring in Australia. A new, more comprehensive classification scheme for aquifers is also presented based on structure, lithology and degree of confinement.

Keywords: groundwater dependent ecosystems; GDE; classification; wetlands; phreatophytes; submarine groundwater discharge; SGD; stygofauna; caves; karsts; hyporheic; base flow; springs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2017.10008847

International Journal of Water, 2017 Vol.11 No.4, pp.328 - 362

Received: 15 Mar 2016
Accepted: 08 Sep 2016

Published online: 06 Nov 2017 *

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