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

 


UC research ways to reduce impact of vehicles on beaches

UC research suggests ways to reduce impact of vehicles on beaches

December 20, 2012


Click for big version.

A University of Canterbury (UC) student who received his doctorate at graduation this week has provided management options to authorities to minimise the impacts of beach users on shellfish resources.

Beaches are increasingly under pressure from a growing population and people’s activities on beaches. As the festiveholidays approach, more people will be driving their cars on sandy beaches for a range of activities.

Driving cars on beaches or riding horses on beaches pose a significant threat to shellfish living and feeding in shallow beach water, UC researcher Dr Gareth Taylor says.

``My study looked at the impacts of vehicle driving and horse riding on shellfish beds within Pegasus Bay in Canterbury.  Tuatua were found to be immediately impacted by both users, and extrapolative modelling predicted that continued disturbance could be highly detrimental to the population.

``The results were then used to evaluate current beach management techniques and provide management options to Environment Canterbury to minimise the impacts of beach users on shellfish resources.’’

While most light leisure activities, such as sunbathing and running, will have no impact on the environment, other heavier activities could. Dr Taylor looked at how beaches can be managed to reduce the impact on shellfish.

The intertidal zone, where most people drive their cars on a beach, contains a wide range of shellfish including juvenile tuatua. In addition to being a food source, tuatua naturally filter the water reducing turbidity. This helps to keep water clear and clean for us to enjoy when visiting the beach.

``While adult tuatua are in the subtidal area, juvenile tuatua sit in the top 5 to 10 cm of sediment about 30 metres below the high tide line. This is also where vehicles and horses are frequently are used.’’

``As a vehicle driver on the beach, what can people do to stop this damage occurring? The easiest way is to not drive on the beach; however, if a vehicle is required there are other ways to mitigate impacts.’’

``Driving within the same tracks made by other vehicles will significantly reduce tuatua mortality caused by vehicles. The initial vehicle will cause about five percent mortality, but if motorists drive through the same tracks this will increase by just 0.27 percent. This is in stark contrast to causing five percent mortality when creating new tracks.’’

A heavy four wheel drive vehicle will penetrate deeper into the sediment than a light vehicle. Tyres designed to grab into the terrain such as off-road tyres also displace more sediment, so more mortality may occur, Dr Taylor says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news