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

 


Windblown logging detrimental to forest ecosystems

Windblown logging detrimental to forest ecosystems

Plans to allow removal of windblown trees in West Coast forests will have a detrimental impact on forest health and remove a potential food source for native species including kiwi, says terrestrial ecology senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Margaret Stanley.

Plans to allow removal of windblown trees in West Coast forests will have a detrimental impact on forest health and remove a potential food source for native species including kiwi, says terrestrial ecology senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Margaret Stanley.

Conservation Minister Nick Smith is expected to introduce legislation into Parliament tomorrow to allow windblown logging on the West Coast after large areas of forest were damaged by Cyclone Ita in April this year. It is likely the Bill will be passed under Urgency.

Dr Stanley says while it may seem sensible to allow removal of dead trees, they are a vital part of the forest ecosystem. There is a rich biodiversity of species that live only on forest deadwood and decaying wood in turn acts as a “slow release” fertiliser - the main source of nutrients for new seedlings.

Many native species, from microbes and bacteria to fungi, lichens, reptiles, bats and birds rely on decaying wood on the forest floor.

“Kiwi and many other species eat insects that rely on decaying wood and vegetation so everything is interlinked in a forest ecosystem and removal of windblown trees will affect those linkages and inhibit forest growth,” she says.

Dr Stanley says there is also a significant knowledge gap about the biological importance of decaying wood to native species which in turn has implications for biodiversity.

“Less than half of New Zealand’s approximately 70,000 native species have been scientifically described so there is a question over whether we actually know what we might be losing if we continue to degrade native forest.”

Removing logs could further degrade forests by inadvertently damaging healthy trees as well as increasing the likelihood of disease and weed seeds being introduced by heavy equipment. Dead tree removal is also likely to target larger trees which contribute the most to biodiversity.

The Minister’s proposed law change will focus on the effects of Cyclone Ita but will set a precedent for removing dead wood on conservation land, Dr Stanley says.

While he has assured New Zealanders that no removal will take place within national parks, much of the area proposed for windblown logging is of high conservation value but has not been formally assessed for protection and so remains as ‘stewardship land’.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news