The first national assessment of ecosystems services in New Zealand was recently released (Ecosystem Services in New Zealand – Conditions and Trends, 2013. Manaaki Whenua Press).
This work provided an understanding of the science that underpins the functioning of our ecosystems, so that their management can be based on knowledge. I’m delighted to see that the National Land Resource Centre has provided the opportunity to further showcase developments in the field of ecosystem science.
The increasing interdisciplinary nature of ecosystem services is reflected in this year’s Soil Horizons magazine. In this issue, scientists have come together from across the Crown Research Institutes and Universities to bring you current understanding of soil services in New Zealand. This includes AgResearch describing research on soil erosion and riparian management; Plant and Food on ecosystem services of orchards; SCION on ecosystem services in forests; NIWA on land use and water quality; ESR and Lincoln University on organic waste; Auckland University and Auckland Council on soil health; Universities of Otago and Auckland with Landcare Research on impacts of climate change on ecosystem services; and Landcare Research on soil microbes, urban soils, plant selection, land use, and catchment-scale ecosystem services.
The work progressing in this area indicates positive contributions to soil management. It highlights increasing value in promoting a broader perspective of all the soil services that contribute to human well-being.
Principal Scientist, Landcare Research