The Murray-Darling Basin covers 250,000 square kilometers of flat plains in a basin made up of quaternary and tertiary sediments and salt on an impervious rock base
Fresh water: Ecosystems play a vital role in the global hydrological cycle, as they regulate the flow and purification of water. Vegetation and forests influence the quantity of water available locally.
Moderation of extreme events: Extreme weather events or natural hazards include floods, storms, tsunamis, avalanches and landslides. Ecosystems and living organisms create buffers against natural disasters, thereby preventing possible damage. For example, wetlands can soak up flood water whilst trees can stabilize slopes. Coral reefs and mangroves help protect coastlines from storm damage.
Erosion prevention and maintenance of soil fertility: Soil erosion is a key factor in the process of land degradation and desertification. Vegetation cover provides a vital regulating service by preventing soil erosion. Soil fertility is essential for plant growth and agriculture and well functioning ecosystems supply the soil with nutrients required to support plant growth.
Habitats for species: Habitats provide everything that an individual plant or animal needs to survive: food; water; and shelter. Each ecosystem provides different habitats that can be essential for a species’ lifecycle. Migratory species including birds, fish, mammals and insects all depend upon different ecosystems during their movements.
Recreation and mental and physical health: Walking and playing sports in green space is not only a good form of physical exercise but also lets people relax. The role that green space plays in maintaining mental and physical health is increasingly being recognized, despite difficulties of measurement.
Tourism: Ecosystems and biodiversity play an important role for many kinds of tourism which in turn provides considerable economic benefits and is a vital source of income for many countries. In 2008 global earnings from tourism summed up to US$ 944 billion. Cultural and eco-tourism can also educate people about the importance of biological diversity.
Aesthetic appreciation and inspiration for culture, art and design: Language, knowledge and the natural environment have been intimately related throughout human history. Biodiversity, ecosystems and natural landscapes have been the source of inspiration for much of our art, culture and increasingly for science.
Spiritual experience and sense of place: In many parts of the world natural features such as specific forests, caves or mountains are considered sacred or have a religious meaning. Nature is a common element of all major religions and traditional knowledge, and associated custos are important for creating a sense of belonging.
Salt accumulation model
Flooplain inundation model (FIM, fig.1)
Water requirements model.
Vegetation health model