Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Effects of land use on freshwater ecosystems - freshwater invertebrates

Image - Stephen Moore

The biology of streams, rivers and lakes can be strongly affected by land or water use.

This research area includes projects in which detailed understanding of freshwater invertebrate taxa and habitats inform environmental impact assessments and community education programmes. We survey freshwater invertebrates in programmes designed to assess the state of stream and river habitats in New Zealand, Brunei and Papua New Guinea.

The Resource Management Act requires an assessment of environmental effects as part of resource consent applications for activities that could significantly modify stream habitats (including stream realignment, piping, damming or creating new urban stormwater discharges). We use invertebrate species composition and abundance, with information about stream ecology, as indicators of environmental health, land use impact, and the performance of stormwater management systems.


  • Blakely TJ, Harding JS, Clews E, Winterbourn MJ, [photographs by Stephen Moore] 2010. An illustrated guide to the freshwater macroinvertebrates of Singapore. Christchurch, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury. 74 p.
  • Collier KJ, Moore SC 2010. Box 9.2 Alien macroinvertebrates. In: Collier KJ, Hamilton DP, Vant WN, Howard-Williams C ed. The waters of Waikato : ecology of New Zealand's longest river. [Hamilton], Environment Waikato and the Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research (The University of Waikato). Pp. 177.
  • Rowe DK, Parkyn S, Quinn J, Collier K, Hatton C, Joy MK, Maxted J, Moore S 2009. A Rapid Method to Score Stream Reaches Based on the Overall Performance of Their Main Ecological Functions. Environmental management 43(6): 1287-1300.
  • Moore S 2006. Creatures of the streams and pools. In: Harvey B, Harvey T ed. Waitakere ranges: ranges of inspiration: nature history culture. Waitakere City, Waitakere Ranges Protection Society. Pp. 160-165.
  • Moore SJ, Battley PF, Henderson IM, Webb CJ 2006. The diet of brown teal (Anus chlorotis). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 30(3): 397-403.
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