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Weed management research

Our research team works to reduce the environmental, economic and social impacts of invasive plants by researching how best to manage them. We have a strong focus on developing biocontrol programmes for New Zealand weeds.

Our research encompasses a wide range of activities, from classic field surveys to innovative molecular techniques. With cutting-edge containment and research facilities around the country, we are able to work safely with a variety of organisms without risk to the New Zealand environment.

Beating environmental weeds

Invasive weeds include exotic grasses, woody shrubs, vines and trees. They can outcompete and smother native plants. In the long term, weeds may alter hydrological regimes, disturb the flow of energy and nutrients, and change the structure and composition of native communities. We estimate that, unless current weed control is improved, weeds will threaten over 575 000 ha of high priority conservation land within 10 to 15 years.

Our research ameliorates the threats of weeds

The Beating Environmental Weeds research programme (funded currently through Core Funding to Landcare Research from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and previously by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and before that the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology) aims to reduce the threats of weeds in NZ by:

  • Modelling to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of environmental weeds, and
  • Action to improve the abilities of land owners to take effective and environmentally safe action against weeds.

Biocontrol research by topic

A collection of newsletter articles written about various aspects of biocontrol of weeds in New Zealand.

  • Economics
  • Impact assessment
  • Multi-targeting
  • Mycoherbicides
  • Rearing
  • Safety

Weed biocontrol projects in New Zealand

A collection of fact sheets, newsletter articles and research papers about weeds that have been, or may be, targeted for biocontrol in New Zealand.

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