Summer success for ballooners: spiders take the high road

New Zealand is renowned for the changes that have been wrought on it by humans.  First by Maori, then by Europeans.  One of the long term changes created by Maori have been the tussock grasslands of Canterbury, Southland and Otago.  The local fauna have adapted and created their own ecosystem.  Over the…

The invasion of Californian Thistle (and how to fight back!)

Since 1878, the dreaded Californian thistle has caused mayhem throughout New Zealand farms! It is very problematic to the country’s pastoral farming systems, costing close to $700 million each year. The invaders have been subjected to a continuous battle with herbicides. This has been an effective, if costly, method of control…

Turning industrial agriculture into eco-agriculture: a plea for more effort

Mara Neef is a postgraduate student who wrote this article as part of her Euroleague for Life Sciences course work at Lincoln University. Biodiversity is declining in countries with industrial agriculture, such as New Zealand and the European Union member states. An increase in food production and the protection of…