Natural regeneration of new forests has significant potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but how strong is the potential biodiversity co-benefit? We quantified carbon accumulation and biodiversity gain during secondary succession of two New Zealand lowland forests. The rate of carbon sequestration was the same for the kanuka–red beech succession as for the coastal broadleaved succession (c. 2.3 Mg C ha–1 year–1) over the first 50 years of succession.
Invasive mammalian herbivores (e.g. deer, feral goats and brushtail possums; hereafter ‘herbivores’) are widespread throughout New Zealand and their control is important for conservation. In addition to known biodiversity benefits, it has recently been suggested that herbivore control could lead to measureable carbon gains when aggregated across a large area of conservation land. However, a significant amount of uncertainty exists regarding the potential effects of herbivore control on carbon, and the practicalities of successfully implementing such projects.
A number of factors have combined to diminish ecosystem integrity in New Zealand indigenous lowland forest fragments surrounded by intensively grazed pasture. Livestock grazing, mammalian pests, adventive weeds and altered nutrient input regimes are important drivers compounding the changes in fragment structure and function due to historical deforestation and fragmentation.
Urban streams globally are characterised by degraded habitat conditions and low aquatic biodiversity, but are increasingly becoming the focus of restoration activities. We investigated habitat quality, ecological function, and fish and macroinvertebrate community composition of gully streams in Hamilton City, New Zealand, and compared these with a selection of periurban sites surrounded by rural land. A similar complement of fish species was found at urban and periurban sites, including two threatened species, with only one introduced fish widespread (Gambusia affinis).
Productivity data on the New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) were collected from 87 nest sites in Kaingaroa pine plantation during three breeding seasons, 2003 to 2006. On average, 1.81 chicks were successfully fledged per nest, with young reared successfully at 71% of nests. Breeding occurred between August and March, with most eggs laid before December and most chicks fledged by February. Fifteen percent of nests were depredated, 9% contained eggs that failed to develop and 4% failed owing to forestry operations disturbing or destroying nests.
Small isolated patches of native forest surrounded by extensive pastoral grasslands, characteristic of many New Zealand rural landscapes, represent an important reservoir of lowland biodiversity. Improved management of them is a major focus of biodiversity conservation initiatives in New Zealand. We quantified the long-term impacts of grazing on indigenous forest remnants in hill country at Whatawhata, western Waikato, North Island. Structure and composition were compared between forest fragments grazed for >50 years and nearby ungrazed continuous forest.