Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Measuring biodiversity change

Fieldwork in the high country

Improving the measurement, analysis and interpretation of change in the status of biodiversity at a range of spatial and temporal scales will benefit public and private conservation initiatives, and land management decisions.

Research in this Portfolio will increase our understanding of trends in biodiversity and, very importantly, how such trends relate to natural ecosystem dynamics, diverse climate and soils, land-use and invasive species (including effects of multiple weeds and pests interacting with each other). More robust measures of ecological integrity will also demonstrate the link to ecosystem services.  Research will specifically assess the effectiveness and difference made by management interventions. Other research in the Portfolio is using long-term data to evaluate how human activities affect biodiversity in Antarctica, and the impacts of climate change and fisheries on penguin populations.

An area of relevance to Māori is our work with Ngā Uri o Whakakii, a hapū of Ngāpuhi on measuring population trends in sea birds that breed on Ririwha, Northland, to support sustainable cultural harvesting.

Key research partners include the University of Queensland, the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, the University of Cambridge, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Stanford University, the University of Canterbury Waikato University (all are partners in various aspects of terrestrial biodiversity management); and NIWA and Antarctica New Zealand (sustaining the Ross Sea ecosystem).

Research priority areas:

  • Interpreting measures of ecological integrity
  • Measuring biodiversity outcomes
  • Developing standardised measures of biodiversity
  • NVS databank
  • Biodiversity condition & trend


All Publications