Humans help aliens invade!

Alien species are also known as invasive species. They can be any kind of organism that is not native to an ecosystem, which causes harm to the environment, the economy, human health or conservation and biodiversity. When an alien species is introduced to an ecosystem it may not have any natural predators…

A risky business: predicting invasive species

In which we talk about identifying risk of pest species in light of climate change. Consider these events: a violent home invasion, a major earthquake, and being hit by a ball on a cricket boundary. Which of these are you most at risk from? Obviously this may depend a little…

An invasion of no consequence? Hieracium in tussock grasslands

Robbie Deans has been sacked as the coach of the Wallabies. Deans lost his job because he did not get the outcome that his employers, Australian rugby, sponsors or the Aussie rugby public wanted, namely a series win over the British and Irish Lions (in the first instance) and more…

Lantana: a fuel’s paradise?

Given the sheer number of invasive species in New Zealand and the difficulties that we have with them it often feels like things couldn’t get much worse for our native ecosystems. Of course things can always get worse and there are some prominent invasive pest species in other parts of…

The long invasion

New Zealand has worried about invasion for the last 200 years. Dotted around our major harbours are gun emplacements built to repel Russian and Japanese imperial designs in the late nineteenth and mid twentieth century’s, respectively. Of course neither of these invasions eventuated but there have actually been enormous numbers…

Turning up the volume on nature

Whitewash head, awash with weedsOriginally uploaded by Mollivan Jon Most environmental problems of today are caused by people super-sizing nature. Too much CO2. Too much nitrate in lakes and streams. Too many fires. Too many invasions. These things are all part of nature’s music but we’ve turned up the volume…

Kānuka vs. gorse, the battle is on!

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Mark Parker as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Ulex europaeusPhoto by Mollivan Jon There is a struggle going on in the New Zealand forest, and it’s a battle for ultimate (plant) domination. Kānuka (Kunzea ericoides) and mānuka…

BioBlitz Lincoln 2009: 1637 species in 24 hours!

On the 3–4 April 2009 hundreds of people gathered at the Liffey Stream in Lincoln to experience the chaos of exploration and discovery that is a BioBlitz. This 24 hour scientific race against time and educational event was held in conjunction with Lincoln Envirotown, Lincoln University and Landcare Research. The…