Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Urban ecology & biodiversity integration

Rain garden, Wellington waterfront. Image - Colin Muerk

Rain garden, Wellington waterfront. Image - Colin Muerk

Greening of cities is a vital ingredient in providing 'nature experience' to much of New Zealand's populace. This experience, in turn, will lead to better public decision-making about the environment.

Greater knowledge and appreciation of urban natural history among the citizenry must come from a combination of scientific analysis of the environment (catching up on 100 years of vegetation survey work in wild New Zealand); presenting this information in a digestible manner; and personal observation and experience of ecological patterns and processes in gardens and reserves.

Our research develops innovative approaches to integrating indigenous nature and biodiversity into the daily lives of urban dwellers - the bulk of the population. Research projects include:

  • analyses of ecological patterns and processes in gardens and reserves
  • an online natural-history recording system characterising urban vegetation
  • trials incorporating native plants in urban wastelands, greenroof plantings, and greenfield developments
  • development and demonstration of design and construction techniques for biodiverse parks, gardens, subdivisions, and greenroofs.

Publications

  • Meurk C 2012. [Book review] Old growth urban forests. New Zealand Ecological Society newsletter 140: 8. http://www.newzealandecology.org/sites/all/files/EcolNews_June_2012_140.pdf
  • Ignatieva M, Stewart GH, Meurk C 2011. Planning and design of ecological networks in urban areas. Landscape and ecological engineering 7(1): 17-25.
  • Meurk C 2011. Plant stories of the Port Hills - a pakeha plantsman's perspective. In: Forster G ed. Storyscapes : regeneration of the Port and Banks Peninsula Hills. Christchurch, Caxton Press. Pp. 37.
  • Meurk CD, Stewart G 2011. A greenprint for re-building a biodiverse garden city: post 2010/2011 earthquake. Proceedings: 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB): "Engaging Society in Conservation", Auckland, 5-9 December 2011. Pp. p. 93. http://www.conbio.org/Activities/Meetings/2011/program/ICCB2011_Programme_web.pdf
  • Meurk CD 2011. Recombinant ecology of urban areas: characterisation, context and creativity. 17 17 In: Douglas I, Goode D, Houck M, Wang R ed. The Routledge handbook of urban ecology. London, Routledge. Pp. 198-220.
  • Stewart G, Meurk CD 2011. Citizen involvement in urban biodiversity conservation - opportunities and obstacles in New Zealand. Proceedings: 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB): "Engaging Society in Conservation", Auckland, 5-9 December 2011. Pp. p. 93. http://www.conbio.org/Activities/Meetings/2011/program/ICCB2011_Programme_web.pdf
  • Doody BJ, Sullivan JJ, Meurk CD, Stewart GH, Perkins HC 2010. Urban realities: the contribution of residential gardens to the conservation of urban forest remnants. Biodiversity and conservation 19(5): 1385-1400.
All Publications