Uses of LakeSPI
LakeSPI can be used in many ways depending on what the interests or management needs are for a lake.
LakeSPI assessments are currently being used by lake mangers to:
- Describe the ecological condition of a lake.
- Assess and compare the ecological condition of different lakes within or between regions.
- Monitor trends and assess changes occurring over time within a lake or group of lakes.
- Rank the state of the lakes in a region or nationally.
- Prioritise lake management actions (e.g. protection, surveillance or management).
- Help assess the effectiveness of catchment and lake management initiatives.
- Contribute towards regional and national reporting requirements.
See the LakeSPI Reporting guidelines for information on how to report on LakeSPI condition.
Questions LakeSPI can help answer
General lake condition
- What is the overall condition or 'status' of this lake?
- Is the overall condition of this lake stable, improving or deteriorating?
- How does this lake compare to others in the region or nationally?
- Is water clarity improving or declining?
- What lakes (either by region or lake type) are in the best condition and provide the best prospect for implementing protective management?
Invasive weed species
- How pervasive has alien weed invasion been in this lake?
- How many invasive weed species are there?
- Which weed species are present?
- What further impacts are possible from invasive weed species?
Native plant communities
- What is the status of the native plant communities in this lake?
- Is there a high diversity of native plant communities?
- Have native communities been largely or entirely replaced by invasive weed species?
- How do the present-day plant communities in a lake/group of lakes compare to the expected pre-European / pre-human condition?
- How can management strategies be prioritised according to current lake ecological condition.
- How can restoration goals be set and progress monitored towards outcomes?
- How can the ecological condition of lakes within a region be reported on in a nationally standardised and user friendly format?
- Where can tools and supporting resources for assessing lake ecological condition be found?
Not all lakes are suitable for assessment using the LakeSPI method.
- Lakes need to have submerged plants present.
- Lakes must not be influenced by brackish or estuarine conditions.
- Submerged vegetation communities must not be affected by unusual physical or chemical variables.
- The LakeSPI method has not yet been evaluated for its application in high altitude tarns.
More about these limitations can be viewed in the LakeSPI Technical Report.