Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual
Native Vegetation Information for Victoria | Revegetation Planting Standards | Vegetation Gain Approach | Gain Calculator | Referred Guide | Wetland Vegetation Assessment
The Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual describes the application of the habitat hectares method for assessing native vegetation quality. It provides a step-by-step approach to conducting assessments in the field and useful tips for ensuring consistency of application. The method involves the assessment of a number of site-based habitat and landscape components against a pre-determined EVC benchmark.
The habitat hectares method described is the result of an on-going research and development phase that has been implemented by DEPI over a number of years. The described approach has been developed following user-feedback on previous versions and as a result of a research project undertaken by DEPI Arthur Rylah Institute that recommended a number of options for refining the approach described by Parkes et al. (2003).
Version 1.3 described in the manual supercedes all previous versions including Parkes et al. (2003) and is the DEPI-recognised method for assessing native vegetation in accordance with Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management Framework: A Framework for Action, NRE 2002. Link to VQA field sheet.
Wetland vegetation assessment
If you are interested in assessing a wetland area for the purpose of implementing 'Victoria's Native Vegetation Management - A Framework for Action, 2002', you must use an EVC Benchmark for Vegetation Quality Assessment (VQA) in conjunction with the VQA methodology.
If a wetland EVC benchmark for the VQA is unavailable, please use the wetlands default habitat score of 0.45 as outlined in the 'Guide for Assessment of Referred Planning Permit Applications, 2007'.
If you are interested in undertaking a wetland vegetation assessment which is not for the purpose of implementing "Victoria's Native Vegetation Management - A Framework for Action, 2002', then the Index of Wetland Condition (IWC) methodology may be appropriate. The IWC method uses a set of dedicated wetland EVC benchmarks that you will find on the IWC webpage.
Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual
Chapters 1 -11
3. Information Requirements
4. Useful Field Tools
5. Site Inspection
6. Habitat Hectares Scoring System
7. Assessing 'Site Condition' Components
8. Assessing ‘Local Landscape Context’ Components
9. Assessing Treeless Vegetation
10. Final Habitat Score
Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual V1_3 Chapters 1-11
Appendix 1: Expertise Level of Assessors
Appendix 2: Development of the habitat hectares approach and its application in various projects
Appendix 3: Vegetation Quality Assessment – Quick Reference Guide
Appendix 4: Proportion of expected healthy cover present
Appendix 5: Canopy projective foliage cover guide
Appendix 6: Understorey life form categories applied in vegetation quality assessments
Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual V1_3 Appendix 1-6
Appendix 7: Examples of vegetation quality assessment life forms
Appendix 8: Vegetation Quality Field Assessment Sheet
Appendix 9: Worked example of a Vegetation Quality Field Assessment Sheet.
Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual V1_3 Appendix 7-9
Vegetation Quality Field Assessment Sheets
If you have a query relating to the Habitat Hectares method for assessing vegetation quality that is not addressed in the Vegetation Quality Assessment Manual, please email: email@example.com. If you have a query regarding an EVC benchmark go to the Feedback and Enquiries page for Vegetation Information Products.
Assessor’s wishing to be deemed "Competent" in using the VQA Habitat Hectare Approach should contact DEPI via the following email in order to complete a VQA Competency Check. Please go to the Vegetation Quality Assessment Competency Check web page for further information.
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