Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Key initiatives

<em>Agrotis admirationis</em> and <em>Aletia falsidica falsidica</em>, nocutid moths. Image - Birgit Rhode

Agrotis admirationis and Aletia falsidica falsidica, nocutid moths. Image- Birgit Rhode

National e-Science Initiative (NeSI)

We are partners in the $48 million NeSI investment by a consortium of government and some universities and CRIs to build and operate three High Performance Computing facilities. NeSI enables us to carry out advanced modelling in support of all of Landcare Research’s Outcome areas. Processing time is 10–100 times faster with NeSI; datasets up to 100x larger can be analysed; and in some projects, 1000 jobs can be processed concurrently. Examples of projects made possible through the NeSI investment include:

  • Analysis of the bird and pest mammal data from DOC's Tier 1 monitoring programme, a national-level broadscale inventory and monitoring programme (see: Impact 1.1)
  • Weta and stick insect genome assembly (see: Impact 1.1)
  • Designing a biodiversity monitoring and reporting system for Greater Wellington Regional Council
  • Understanding the effects of disturbances on the functioning and biodiversity of the world's ecosystems
  • Modelling options to maximise biodiversity gains
  • Metagenomic analysis for pathogen discovery in wildlife diseases
  • Processing remote sensing data (e.g. for LCDB v4.0, see: Impact 2.1)
  • Analysis of a soil carbon stock inventory model for New Zealand (see: Impact 3.2)
  • Developing the spatial and temporal models to forecast mouse plagues in Australia (see: International partnership examples)
  • Environmental Domain Analysis for the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica
  • Identifying change from time-series analysis of a 15-yr stack of >350 satellite images/scenes

Land and soils databases

Strong increase in usage of both the Land Resource Information Systems (LRIS) Portal and S-map Online demonstrates our land and soils data are in demand by key stakeholders. LRIS is also now being used for data archiving by our staff and external stakeholders (e.g. ECan and the National Rural Fire Authority), which demonstrates LRIS’ value well beyond its initial purpose as a public data portal. S-map Online’s connection with the S-map database and its use with OVERSEER ensure ongoing demand for this service and highlight its value to the wider agricultural and environmental community.

Land Resource Information Systems (LRIS)

LRIS provides access to the Land Resource Inventory (NZLRI), the Land Cover Database (LCDB), the National Soils Database (NSD), S-map, digital elevation models (DEMs), and more

  2012 2013 2014
Visits 12,816 17,258 21,865
Page views 128,956 180,245 198,614
Total registered users 1143 1956 2996
Data downloads 2976 3941 4909

S-map Online

Tthe national soils database that provides access to digital soil information, including maps and factsheets (2012 data cover 11 months only)

  2012 2013 2014
Visits 11,061 18,845 28,898
Application loads* 9254 16,129 32,974
Soil factsheets 10,385 20,437 32,265
Point queries 13,391 25,931 48,841
Maps printed 724 1541 2051

Our Environment

Provides access to a wide range of environmental data. (** 2012 data cover 7 months only)

  2012 2013 2014
Visits 4487 6226 8444
Application loads* 2633 2949 4304
Point queries 1280 2175 2165
Maps printed NA 844 747

* Each application load equates to clicking the button on the homepage to start the mapping software

LRIS, S-map Online and Our Environment are part of the Characterising Land Resources Portfolio, and are supported by Core funding.

National Vegetation Survey Databank (NVS)

NVS incorporates 3770 datasets containing nearly 9.3 million records (includes tree diameters, sapling counts, species cover scores, and other plant community and ecosystem attributes). The main users are DOC, MfE, MPI, councils, CRIs, universities and consultants; 17 peer-reviewed papers (including our contribution to a significant global study published in Nature), 3 conference presentations, 6 contract reports and 3 theses were based on NVS data this financial year.

  2012 20131 20141
Datasets provided on request 1195 3362 36792
Datasets added 45 100 203

1 There were 15,983 page views in 2013/14.
2 48 requests involving 3679 datasets
3 20 new datasets with 1927 plots were added, most with data derived from multiple methods for each plot.

A workshop for DOC, regional councils and community end-users to improve their access to and use of the biodiversity data stored in the National Vegetation Survey Databank (NVS), a nationally significant database. The workshop included training on how to use the NVS website to discover, request and download data, as well as upload data.

NVS is managed by the Measuring Biodiversity Change Portfolio, and is supported by Core funding.

Biological collections

Specimens are loaned on request to researchers, both nationally and internationally.

These collections are part of the Defining Land Biota Portfolio, and are supported by Core funding.

Specimens loaned or gifted1 2012 2013 2014
NZ Arthropod Collection (NZAC), including nematodes – specimens 4785 6693 537
International Collection of Micro- Organisms from Plants (ICMP) – cultures 598 1289 914
NZ Fungal Herbarium (PDD) – specimens 263 599 567
Allan Herbarium (CHR) – specimens 4063 3734 3941
NZ flax & living plant collections – sets of divisions supplied 25 17 21

1 Data are for outward specimens and do not include incoming loans, exchanges or additions to collections

An increasingly range of specimen data are available online through our information portals that relate to our biological collections (such as e-Flora, our systematics databases, the NZ Virtual Herbarium and the NZ Organisms Register, as well as through international portals such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Updates to Threat Classifications

DOC’s Threat Classification System is central to its conservation strategies. Our invertebrate systematics staff worked with DOC to revise the listings for key invertebrate groups – Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), Hemiptera (bugs, cicadas, etc.), Phasmatodea (stick insects) and Oligochaeta (earthworms). Our mycologists are currently working on an update on the status of fungal conservation in New Zealand, and its integration with global initiatives including a concerted effort to meet IUCN's Red Listing criteria for threatened fungi. DOC also uses the rankings to prioritise future research for many ‘Data Deficient’ species requiring more understanding of their distribution and abundance.

Ngā Tipu Whakaoranga

This ethnobotany database contains fully-referenced, detailed information on how Māori used plants, particularly before the arrival of Europeans.

  2012 2013 2014
Page views 22,640 36,529 53,175

This is part of the Defining Land Biota Portfolio, and is supported by Core funding.