To describe the vegetation, each wetland was divided into up to seven habitat zones across the elevation gradient: buffer, bank (high water mark to buffer), shore (low water to high water), emergent (damp to < 0.2m depth), aquatic submerged/emergent (0.2 to 1m depth), aquatic (depth > 1m) and open water (no vegetation). For each zone present the dominant and co-dominant plant species (i.e. those with a cover/abundance score - 2) were recorded. Non-dominant plant species (i.e. those with a cover/abundance score < 2) were recorded opportunistically but there was no attempt made to compile a comprehensive flora list for each wetland. Plant species regularly occurred within more than one zone. The score for a given species was therefore assigned for the zone within which it's cover/abundance was maximal. For small wetlands, where the perimeter could be quickly walked, scores for a species reflect its cover/abundance around the entire wetland perimeter. For larger wetlands the vegetation was described along a radial transect of up to 100m width and of length adequate to include all zones present. Surface water, when present at the time of survey, was measured for temperature and dissolved oxygen using a YSI-5739 field probe attached to a TPS-WP-82Y dissolved oxygen meter. The conductivity and pH of surface water was also measured using a TPS(c) k=1 conductivity sensor and TPS pH electrode respectively, both attached to a TPS(c) WP-81 meter. All readings were taken at approximately 5cm depth unless wetland depth was less than 5cm. Turbidity was measured using a nephelometer filled with surface water.
Using the existing "DEH GIS database" a layer was created of all biological survey flora sites within the lower south east (LSE), i.e. south of the Kingston to Naracoorte railway line. Survey sites within wetlands (with a 30m buffer to overcome GPS error) were then selected using the LANDSCAPE_wetlands layer. Additionally, survey sites within wetland vegetation (similarly buffered) were selected using the VEG_SthEast layer. Wetland vegetation was identified by selecting polygons with MU_250, MU_250(X) or MU_250(XX) values of 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 73, 74, 75, 81, 82, 83, 85, 90, 93, 95 or 98. Plant species cover/abundance data for the resultant list of survey sites were then obtained from the FLORA_SURVEYSITES_SPECIES table within the DEH database. The existing LANDSCAPE_wetlands layer included the field 'water regime'. The term 'temporary' in this layer was substituted with the term 'seasonal' for entry in the SAWID.