Australia has a diverse array of ecosystems including wetlands, deserts, tropical rainforest and alpine woodlands. Each component of an ecosystem interacts with the environment and contributes to the function and health of the ecosystem. In a wetland, soils and vegetation filter water flowing into the area, thereby maintaining water quality. Good water quality is important for the germination of seeds present in the wetland sediments.
Healthy, fully functioning ecosystems can help reduce the impacts of salinity by maintaining water quality as well as reducing recharge and soil erosion, but they are also susceptible to the effects of salinity. Salinity is closely linked to a whole range of environmental issues such as vegetation decline, loss of biodiversity, soil acidity, erosion, and poor water quality. It is difficult to consider salinity in isolation of these issues because they impact on, and are impacted by, salinity.
It is important to remember that ecosystems such as salt lakes, brackish streams and coastal salt marshes are well adapted to a saline environment. They form an important part of Australia's naturally diverse ecosystems.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011