Effects of land use on freshwater ecosystems - freshwater invertebrates
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.