Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Susan Wiser

Susan Wiser
Position: Programme Leader/Capability Leader
Team: Ecosystems & Global Change
Location: Lincoln
P.O. Box 69040
Lincoln 7640
Phone: +64 3 321 9839
Fax: +64 3 321 9998

Contact Susan

Research Interests

Research Interests

Role at Landcare Research

Scientist Plant ecology
IO leader: Maintaining threatened rare ecosystems (SARB OBI)
  National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank (Ecosystem Resilience OBI)

Research interests

  • Ecology of naturally rare ecosystems and habitat islands
  • Environmentally sustainable indigenous forestry
  • Ecoinformatics
  • Ecology of weed invasions
  • Vegetation classification and description

Professional affiliations/recognition

2007— ARC-NZ Working Group on an International Exchange Schema for Vegetation data
2005— ARC-NZ Working Group on Standard Site Measurements for Ecologists
2003— International Association for Vegetation Science Working Group on Ecoinformatics
2003–2007 Associate Editor Journal of Vegetation Science
2001–2003 Councillor New Zealand Ecological Society
2001–2003 Councillor Canterbury Botanical Society
2000–2003 Editorial Board Journal of Vegetation Science
Member: New Zealand Ecological Society
  International Association of Vegetation Science
  New Zealand Farm Forestry Association


Wiser, S.K., N. Spencer, M. De Cáceras, M. Kleikamp, R.K. Peet.  Veg-X -- An exchange standard for plot-based vegetation data.  Journal of Vegetation Science. In press


Clarkson, B.R., Smale, M.C., Williams, P.A., Wiser, S.K., Buxton, R.P. 2011. Vegetation ecology of gumland heaths in northern New Zealand.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology 35: 96-113.


Wiser, S. K., R.P. Buxton, B.R. Clarkson, S.J. Richardson, G.M. Rogers, M.C. Smale, P.A. Williams. 2010. Climate, landscape, and microenvironments interact to determine plant composition in naturally discrete gravel beach communities.  Journal of Vegetation Science 21(4): 657-671.


Rogers, G.M., Wiser, S.K. Environment, composition, and conservation of coastal turfs of mainland New Zealand.  2010. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 48(1): 1-14


Bellingham, P.J., S.K. Wiser, A.E. Wright, E.K. Cameron, L.J. Forester.  2010. Disperser communities and legacies of goat grazing determine forest succession on the remote Three Kings Islands, New Zealand.  Biological Conservation 143: 926-938.


Russo, S.E., Jenkins, K.L., Wiser, S.K., Uriarte, M., Duncan, R.P., Coomes, D.A. Interspecific relationships among growth, mortality, and xylem traits of 59 woody species from New Zealand.  2010. Functional Ecology 24 (2): 253-262.


Kelly, D., Ladley, J.J., Robertson, A.W., Anderson, S.H, Wotton, D, Wiser, S.K.  2010. Mutualisms with the wreckage of an avifauna: the status of bird pollination and fruit-dispersal in New Zealand.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology  34: 66–85.


Richardson, S.J., Peltzer, D.A., Hurst, J.M., Allen, R.B., Bellingham, P.J., Carswell, F.E., Clinton, P.W., Griffiths, A.D., Wiser, S.K., Wright, E.F.  2009.  Deadwood in New Zealand’s indigenous forests.  Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2456-2466.


Wiser, S.K., Buxton R.P.  2009. Montane outcrop vegetation of Banks Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology 33(2) 164-176.


Dickie, I. A., S. J. Richardson, S. K. Wiser. 2009. Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in two temperate Nothofagus rainforests respond to changes in soil chemistry after small-scale timber harvesting. Canadian Journal of Forest Research  39: 1069-1079.


Russo, S.E., S.K. Wiser, D.A. Coomes. 2008. A re-analysis of growth-size scaling relationships of woody plant species. Ecology Letters 11:(3)311-312


Wardle, D.A., S.K. Wiser, R.B. Allen, J.E. Doherty, K.I. Bonner, W.M. Williamson . 2008. Aboveground and belowground effects of single tree removals after forty years in a New Zealand temperate rainforest. Ecology, 89(5): 1232–1245.


Wiser, S.K., R.P. Buxton. 2008. Context matters: matrix vegetation influences native and exotic species composition on habitat islands. Ecology 89(2): 380–391.


Wiser, S.K., Baker, G., Benecke, U. 2007. Regeneration of red and silver beech: How important is the size of harvested area. New Zealand Journal of Forestry. August: 31-36.


Williams, P.A., S.K. Wiser, B. Clarkson, M. Stanley. 2007. New Zealand’s historically rare terrestrial ecosystems set in a physical and physiognomic framework. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 31: 119-128.


Carswell F; Richardson S; Doherty J; Allen R; Wiser S. 2007. Where do conifers regenerate after selective harvest?: A case study from a New Zealand conifer-angiosperm forest. Forest Ecology & Management. 253:138–147.


Russo, S.E., S.K. Wiser, D.A. Coomes. 2007. Growth-size scaling relationships of woody plant species differ from predictions of the Metabolic Ecology Model. Ecology Letters 10: 889–901.


Jiménez-Castillo1, M., Wiser, S., Lusk, C.H. 2007. Liana representation in woody floras of temperate rainforests declines with increasing altitude. J. Biogeography 34: 163–168.


Franklin, J., Wiser, S.K., Drake, D. R., Burrows, L.E. and Sykes, W. 2006. Environment, disturbance history and rain forest composition across the islands of Tonga, Western Polynesia. Journal of Vegetation Science 17:233-244.


Wiser, S.K. and R.B. Allen. 2006. What controls invasion of forest understories by alien plants? Chapter 13 in Allen, R.B. and W.G. Lee (eds.) Ecological Studies vol. 186: 195-209. Biological Invasions in New Zealand. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.


Wiser, S.K., Allen, R.B., Benecke, U., Baker, G. and D. Peltzer. 2005. Tree growth and mortality after small-group harvesting in New Zealand old-growth Nothofagus forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35: 2323-2331.


Williams, P.A. and S.K. Wiser. 2004. Determinants of regional and local patterns in the floras of braided riverbeds in New Zealand. Journal of Biogeography 31: 1355-1372


Platt, K.H., Allen, R.B, Coomes, D.A. and S.K. Wiser. 2004. Mountain beech seedling responses to removal of below-ground competition and fertiliser addition. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 28(2): 289-293.


Allen, R.B., Bellingham, P.J. and Wiser, S.K.  2003.  Forest biodiversity assessment for reporting conservation performance.  Science for Conservation 216. 37 p.


Wilmshurst, J.M., S.K. Wiser and D.J. Charman.  2003.  Reconstructing Holocene water tables using testate amoebae assemblages: differential preservation of tests and implications for the use of transfer functions.  The Holocene 13(1): 61-72.


Allen, R.B., Bellingham, P.J. and S.K. Wiser.  2003.  Developing a forest biodiversity monitoring approach for New Zealand.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology 207-220.


Wiser, Susan K., Drake, Donald R., Burrows, Larry E., & Sykes, William R.  2002. The potential for long-term persistence of forest fragments on Tongatapu, a large island in western Polynesia. Journal of Biogeography 29:  767-787.


Wiser, S.K. 2001.  Exotic plants forests managed sustainably for timber production in New Zealand.  p. 88-95 in G.H. Stewart, U. Benecke and J. Hickey (eds.) Sustainable Management of Indigenous Forest.  Proceedings of a Symposium held at Southern Connections Congress III, Lincoln University, 17-22 January 2000. Wickliffe Press Ltd, Christchurch.


Hall, G.M.J., S.K.Wiser, R.B. Allen, P.N. Beets and C.J. Goulding.  2001.  Strategies to estimate national carbon biomass from forest inventory data:  the 1990 New Zealand baseline.  Global Change Biology. 7: 389-403.


Wiser, S.K., P.J. Bellingham and L. Burrows.  2001.  Managing biodiversity information:  development of the National Vegetation Survey Databank.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology 25(2): 1-17. 


Bellingham, P.J., S.K. Wiser, D.A. Coomes and A. Dunningham.  2000.  A review of permanent plots for long-term monitoring of New Zealand’s indigenous forests.  Science for Conservation 151.  Department of Conservation, Wellington.  75 pp.


McGlone, M.S., J.M. Wilmshurst and S.K. Wiser.  2000.  Late-glacial and Holocene vegetation and climate change on Auckland Island, subantarctic New Zealand.  The Holocene.  10: 719-728.


Allen, R.B., P.J. Bellingham and S.K. Wiser.  2000.  An earthquake’s impact on the structure and dynamics of a New Zealand Nothofagus forest.  Proceedings IAVS Symposium pp 84-86.


Allen, R.B., P.J. Bellingham, and S.K. Wiser.  1999.  Immediate damage by an earthquake to a temperate montane forest.  Ecology 80: 708-714.


Bellingham, P.J., S.K. Wiser, G.M.J. Hall, J.C. Alley, R.B. Allen and P.A. Suisted.  1999.  Impacts of possum browsing on the long-term maintenance of forest biodiversity. New Zealand Department of Conservation science and research series 103.  60 p.


Wiser, S.K. and P.S. White.  1999.  High-elevation outcrops and barrens of the southern Appalachian Mountains.  In Anderson, R.C., J. Fralish, and J. Baskin (eds.) The Savanna, Barren, and Rock Outcrop Communities of North America.  Cambridge University Press.  p. 119-132.


Wiser, S. K., R. B. Allen, P. W. Clinton, and K. H. Platt.  1998.  Community structure and forest invasion by an exotic herb over 23 years.  Ecology  79(6): 2071-2081.


Wiser, S.K.  1998.  A comparison of Southern Appalachian high-elevation outcrop communities and their Northern Appalachian counterparts.  Journal of Biogeography 25: 501-513.


Wiser, S.K., R.K. Peet and P.S. White.  1998.  Prediction of rare plant occurrence:  a Southern Appalachian example.  Ecological Applications.  8: 909-920.


Rose, A.B., L.R. Basher, S.K. Wiser, K.H. Platt, and I.H. Lynn.  1998.  Factors predisposing short-tussock grasslands to Hieracium invasion in Marlborough, New Zealand.  New Zealand Journal of Ecology  22(2): 121-140.


Wiser, S.K. and A.B. Rose.  1997.  Two permanent plot methods for monitoring changes in grasslands:  a field manual.  Manaaki Whenua Press.  51 p.


Cogbill, C.V., P.S. White and S.K. Wiser.  1997.  Predicting treeline in the Southern Appalachian high peaks.  Castanea 62 (3): 137 146.


Wiser, S. K., R. B. Allen, and K. H. Platt.  1997.  Mountain beech forest succession after a fire at Mount Thomas Forest, Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 35: 505-515.


Wiser, S.K., R.K. Peet and P.S. White.  1996.  High-elevation rock outcrop vegetation of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  Journal of Vegetation Science 7(5): 703-722.


Allen, R.B., Platt, K.H. and S.K. Wiser.  1995.  Biodiversity in New Zealand plantations.  New Zealand Forestry 39(4): 26-29.


Allen, R.B., Platt, K.H. and S.K. Wiser.  1995.  Effects of plantation forest development and management on understory species composition.  Pp. 158-160 In: Gaskin, R.E. & Zabkiewicz, J.A. (comp.), Second International Conference on Forest Vegetation Management.  Forest Research Institute Bulletin No. 192.  326 p.


Wiser, S.K. 1994.  High-elevation cliffs and outcrops of the Southern Appalachians:  vascular plants and biogeography.  Castanea 59(2): 85-116. 


Wiser, S. K. 1991.  Two North Carolina locations for Calamagrostis cainii Hitch., previously considered endemic to Mt. LeConte, Tennessee.  Castanea 56(2): 147-149.


Shetler, S.G. and S.K. Wiser. 1987. First flowering dates for spring-blooming plants of the Washington, D.C., area for the years 1970 to 1983. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 100(4): 993-1017.







  • North Carolina
    PhD Biology
  • Cornell
    BA (Hons) Biology



  • Wiser SK, De Cáceres M 2013. Updating vegetation classifications: an example with New Zealand's woody vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science 24(1): 80-93. (Journal Article, 2013)
  • Forgie SA, St John MG, Wiser SK 2013. Invertebrate communities and drivers of their composition on gravel beaches in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 37(1): 95-104. (Journal Article, 2013)
  • Wiser S 2012. Council member guest editorial. Trilepidea: Newsletter of the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network 99: 1. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • Hurst JM, Stewart GH, Perry GLW, Wiser SK, Norton DA 2012. Determinants of tree mortality in mixed old-growth Nothofagus forest. Forest Ecology and Management 270(0): 189-199. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • Carswell FE, Doherty JE, Allen RB, Brignall-Theyer ME, Richardson SJ, Wiser SK 2012. Quantification of the effects of aboveground and belowground competition on growth of seedlings in a conifer-angiosperm forest. Forest ecology and management 269: 188-196. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • Wright DM, Tanentzap AJ, Flores O, Husheer SW, Duncan RP, Wiser SK, Coomes DA 2012. Impacts of culling and exclusion of browsers on vegetation recovery across New Zealand forests. Biological conservation 153(0): 64-71. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • Holdaway RJ, Wiser SK, Williams PA 2012. Status assessment of New Zealand's naturally uncommon ecosystems. Conservation biology 26(4): 619-629. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • De Caceres M, Wiser SK 2012. Towards consistency in vegetation classification. Journal of vegetation science 23(2): 387-393. (Journal Article, 2012)
  • Richardson SJ, Williams PA, Mason NWH, Buxton RP, Courtney SP, Rance BD, Clarkson BR, Hoare RJB, St. John MG, Wiser SK 2012. Rare species drive local trait diversity in two geographically disjunct examples of a naturally rare alpine ecosystem in New Zealand. Journal of vegetation science 23(4): 626-639. (Journal Article, 2012)



  • Secretary, International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS)
  • Chair, Business & Management Special Committee, International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS)



  • Botany
  • Database Systems
  • Ecological Research
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Forest and Grassland Ecology
  • Forest Ecology
  • Plant Community Ecology
  • Plant Ecology