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’.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news