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Developing a Regional Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study of a Tasmanian Agricultural Catchment


Walker, R and Landis, W and Brown, PH, Developing a Regional Ecological Risk Assessment: A Case Study of a Tasmanian Agricultural Catchment, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 7, (2) pp. 417-439. ISSN 1080-7039 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/20018091094439


A regional ecological risk assessment was conducted for the Mountain River catchment in Tasmania, Australia. The Relative Risk Model was used in conjunction with geographic information systems interpretations. Stakeholder values were used to develop assessment endpoints, and regional stressors and habitats were identified. The risk hypotheses expressed in the conceptual model were that agriculture and land clearing for rural residential are producing multiple stressors that have potential for contamination of local waterbodies, eutrophication, changes in hydrology, reduction in the habitat of native flora and fauna, reductions in populations of beneficial insects in agricultural production systems, increased weed competition in pastures, and loss of aesthetic value in residential areas. In the risk analysis the catchment was divided into risk regions based on topography and land use. Stressors were ranked on likelihood of occurrence, while habitats were ranked on percentage land area. Risk characterization showed risks to the maintenance of productive primary industries were highest across all risk regions, followed by maintenance of a good residential environment and maintenance of fish populations. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to show the variability in risk outcomes stemming from uncertainty about stressors and habitats. Outcomes from this assessment provide a basis for planning regional environmental monitoring programs. © 2001 by ASP.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agriculture, land and farm management not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Environmentally sustainable plant production
Objective Field:Environmentally sustainable plant production not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Walker, R (Miss Rachel Walker)
UTAS Author:Brown, PH (Professor Phil Brown)
ID Code:34841
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:59
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2005-07-29
Last Modified:2011-10-07

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