2015 innovation stories
Our Core Purpose is to drive innovation
Contaminant leaching through stony soils
Over the last decade land use on stony soils has intensified but there was relatively little data on vulnerability to contaminant leaching and hence the safe limits for effluent application.
How to tell our wetlands from our drylands … the wetland delineation tool
To provide greater clarity and consistency for determining boundaries of wetlands (e.g. for resource management purposes), we developed a delineation system for New Zealand, based on a similar system used in the USA for regulatory purposes.
Grape powdery mildew now having sex
Our preliminary genetic characterisation of the fungus in New Zealand indicates there are three genetically distinct populations, with one population consistently linked to difficult-to-control outbreaks of the disease.
'Hotspots' of endemism (biodiversity found only in NZ)
Herbarium records and the Biodiverse programme for quantifying areas and types of endemism, we identified key areas that should be important priorities for conservation planning and management, and environmental reporting.
Irrigated dairying can increase soil carbon
Research results suggest farm management decisions (e.g. irrigation and grazing) can be tuned to enhance dry matter production, water use efficiency and soil carbon all at the same time.
Cost-effective biodiversity monitoring
We developed a co-ordinated and consistent ‘big picture’ biodiversity monitoring framework that measures multiple components at the same sampling points, maximising interpretative power while minimising the cost to individual agencies of sourcing and merging data sources.
S-map 2014 and beyond
S-map is a comprehensive information system about soils of New Zealand. Over the last three years, the number of unique visitors to S-Map Online has increased by 52% p.a.; visits by 77% p.a.; and 100,000 soil fact sheets have been downloaded.
‘Mega-masts’, climate-change and the management of invasive mammals
Masting is triggered by relative summer temperatures over successive years, which enables us to use national climate data to predict where and when a mast will occur and the intensity and extent of the mast.
A transparent approach to setting biodiversity management targets and risk assessment framework was developed by integrating extensive existing national datasets for birds and woody vegetation cover.
Antarctic Environments Portal launch
We developed the open-access Antarctic Environments Portal, where high quality, apolitical, policy ready research summaries address issues for governance attention or further investigation.