Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Searching for ecology’s Holy Grail


31 October 2012

Searching for ecology’s Holy Grail

A University of Waikato researcher is working on a model to predict where plant species grow and how they will react to climate change.

“The potential of predicting species abundances has generated tremendous interest, inspired vigorous debate, and has been heralded as the Holy Grail of ecology,” says Waikato ecologist Dr Daniel Laughlin.

“The litmus test of a scientific theory is its ability to predict what is observed in nature. Predicting species abundances is crucial given the urgent need to understand the rate and direction of species migration in a rapidly changing world.”

He received a $345,000 Marsden Fund research grant and will spend the next three-years collecting data in collaboration with Landcare Research.
His team will initially test the model at Puketī Forest, near Kerikeri, by measuring leaf and wood properties and then compare model predictions to what they observe in the bush.

In the second stage his team will collect leaf and wood trait data from common trees around the entire country, to gain a better understanding of how trees may respond to shifts in climate from the coasts to the mountains.

“The model will test fundamental assumptions about what we think we know about how plant communities assemble. This project will advance our understanding of the ecological processes that drive the distribution and abundance of organisms.”

The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Marsden Fund Council, and funded by the New Zealand Government. It supports projects in the sciences, technology, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities.

The University of Waikato won six Marsden Fund grants.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news