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…

Understanding tree-species richness in New Zealand’s Forests

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Thomas Wabnig as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Thomas revisits a Lincoln University research area on the use of toxins for possum control published since the early 1990s. Looking at a picture from one of New Zealand’s…

Surviving in the big city

Humans have a lot of impacts on the world. While many types of habitat are in decline, there is one that continues to expand – urban areas. Here at Lincoln, even though we are 14 kms from the edge of Christchurch, there is a lot of development. Subdivisions with names…

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…

How many? Where-abouts?

In order to estimate the total population of a species you need to know the mean size of local populations and where the populations are. Numbers and amount of sites where species are present are usually linked and this is referred to as the abundance-occupancy relationship. However, there are many…

Change under our toes

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Moritz Wenning as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Grazed tussocklandOriginally uploaded by pluckytree Tussock dominated grasslands are an integral part of New Zealand’s native vegetation. Ecologically, they do not only harbor a large diversity of grasses, shrubs,…

On the beach: plant communities in dune systems

Sand dune habitats are found all around the world. Sandy coasts are ever-changing with the interactions between climate, geology and vegetation. Dune habitats have to contend with storm surges, wind and rain and human impacts. Considering how important these areas are to human activities it is surprising that so little…

Is Rangatira Island’s status as a wildlife sanctuary threatened by burrowing seabirds?

This blog post was written by postgraduate student Ian Phillips as part of the course, Research Methods in Ecology (Ecol 608). Rangatira Island, part of the Chatham Islands group situated off the east coast of New Zealand, is a conservation priority in New Zealand due to its importance as a…