Modelling biocontrol of Varroa destructor using a benign haplotype as a competitive antagonist

The two haplotypes of Varroa destructor that have been identified as parasites of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) show disparate levels of virulence towards honeybee colonies. The Korea haplotype has been associated with severe colony mortality, whereas untreated colonies of European A. mellifera have survived long-term infestation by the Japan haplotype. The possible existence of a benign haplotype of V. destructor raises the prospect that it be used to “inoculate” colonies to provide biocontrol of the virulent haplotype.

Effect of exclosure on soils, biomass, plant nutrients, and vegetation, on unfertilised steeplands, Upper Waitaki District, South Island, New Zealand

We sampled soils and vegetation within and outside two sheep and rabbit exclosures, fenced in 1979, on steep sunny and shady slopes at 770 m altitude on seasonally-dry pastoral steeplands. The vegetation of sunny aspects was characterised by higher floristic diversity, annual species, and low plant cover. Here the exotic grass Anthoxanthum odoratum dominated on grazed treatments, and the exotic forb Hieracium pilosella on ungrazed. Shady aspects supported fewer, and almost entirely perennial, species.

A test of the humped-back theory of species richness in New Zealand native forest

The Humped-back theory of plant species richness, a theory related to Grime's C-S-R 'triangular' model, has been widely discussed, and some evidence has been claimed in support of it. The theory suggests that species richness is maximal at intermediate levels of productivity, i.e., at intermediate positions on a stress/favourability gradient. We sought evidence for the theory from 90 stands of native podocarp/broadleaved and beech forest in the Coastal Otago region, with an adjustment made for the effect of stand area on species richness.

Environmental correlates of species richness at Waipoua Forest Sanctuary, New Zealand

Descriptions of 247 forest stands at Waipoua Forest, Northland, were used to explore relationships between species richness (alpha-diversity) of the vascular flora and stand environmental characteristics, both in terms of total flora and within a number of the component synusiae. The Waipoua forests, with an average of 52 species per forest stand, are comparatively species-rich compared to other New Zealand forests.

Resilience of New Zealand indigenous forest fragments to impacts of livestock and pest mammals

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.