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Auckland, New Zealand

Glen A.S.,Landcare Research | Atkinson R.,Charles Darwin Foundation | Campbell K.J.,Island Conservation | Campbell K.J.,University of Queensland | And 7 more authors.
Biological Invasions | Year: 2013

Invasive species are the greatest threat to island ecosystems, which harbour nearly half the world's endangered biodiversity. However, eradication is more feasible on islands than on continents. We present a global analysis of 1,224 successful eradications of invasive plants and animals on 808 islands. Most involve single vertebrate species on uninhabited islands, but plant and invertebrate eradications occur more often on inhabited islands. Inhabited islands are often highly modified and support numerous introduced species. Consequently, targeting a single invasive species can be ineffective or counterproductive. The impacts of other pests will continue and, in some cases, be exacerbated. The presence of people also creates regulatory, logistical and socio-political constraints. Real or perceived health risks to inhabitants, pets and livestock may restrict the use of some eradication tools, and communities or individuals sometimes oppose eradication. Despite such challenges, managing invasive species is vital to conserve and restore the unique biodiversity of many inhabited islands, and to maintain or improve the welfare and livelihoods of island residents. We present a brief case study of the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile, and discuss the feasibility of eradicating large suites of invasive plants and animals from inhabited islands while managing other invaders for which eradication is not feasible or desirable. Eradications must be planned to account for species interactions. Monitoring and contingency plans must detect and address any 'surprise effects'. Above all, it is important that the local community derives social, cultural and/or economic benefits, and that people support and are engaged in the restoration effort. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Lear G.,University of Auckland | Washington V.,University of Auckland | Neale M.,Auckland Council | Case B.,Lincoln University at Christchurch | And 2 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2013

The extent to which bacterial communities exhibit biogeographic patterns in their distribution remains unclear. We examined the relative influence of factors including geographic distance, latitude, elevation and catchment land use on the distribution and taxon richness of stream bacterial communities across New Zealand. Location: Bacterial communities were collected from biofilm growing on submerged rocks in 244 streams. Sample sites spanned a north-south gradient of over 970km, an elevational gradient of c. 750m and were collected from a variety of catchment types across New Zealand. Methods: We used automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, a DNA fingerprinting technique, to characterize the structure and taxon richness of each bacterial community. Key attributes relating to sample location, upstream catchment land use and a suite of additional environmental parameters were collected for every site using GIS procedures. Univariate correlations between measures of bacterial community structure and latitude, elevation and distance were examined. Variance partitioning was then used to assess the relative importance of purely spatial factors versus catchment land use and environmental attributes for determining bacterial community structure and taxon richness. Results: Bacterial taxon richness was related to the geographic location of the sample site, being significantly greater at latitudes closer to the equator and reduced at higher elevations. We observed distance decay patterns in bacterial community similarity related to geographic distance and latitudinal distance, but not to elevational distance. Overall, however, bacterial community similarity and taxon richness was more closely related to variability in catchment land use than to climatic variability or geographic location. Main conclusion: Our data suggest that stream biofilm communities across New Zealand are more influenced by catchment land use attributes than by dispersal limitation. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Tamura M.J.,MartinJenkins | Clarke L.B.,Auckland Council
Australian Coasts and Ports 2015 Conference | Year: 2015

The increase risk of coastal storm inundation as a result of global sea level rise and the increased frequency and severity of storm events is causing engineering, policy and planning practitioner to consider whether they have the right tools to respond effectively. Recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [1], New Zealand's Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment [2] and proposed changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 are only likely to increase the pressure to take decisive action. The Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) seeks to respond to the present day and future risk of coastal storm inundation. It maps the extent of coastal storm inundation under two sea level rise scenarios and requires minimum finished floor levels in existing urban areas. Further, it directs future urbanisation away from areas expected to be at risk well beyond 100 years. While the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel is yet to deliver its recommendations on this matter, it is worth reflecting on the conditions and setting surrounding the introduction of the proposed planning response. This paper identifies learnings from the PAUP experience and considers what groundwork may be required to create the right settings for a second generation of planning responses. This paper cautiously suggests stronger government direction, alternatives to current process for preparing and amending plans under the Resource Management Act 1991, and increased public/private sector collaboration may be needed to move beyond first generation planning responses to coastal storm inundation risk. Source

Townsend M.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Thrush S.F.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Carbines M.J.,Auckland Council
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2011

The ability to manage complex systems effectively must stem from simplifications of ecological knowledge. We present a technique called the 'Ecosystem Principles Approach' (EPA) as a progressive way of incorporating ecology into goods and services assessments. The EPA moves away from the complexity of ecosystem functions and focuses on general ecological principles. These principles more explicitly define key elements of system functioning, are not spatially or temporally confined, and can be utilised in assessment and decision-making processes. When applied to a coastal system in New Zealand, the EPA highlighted that services were primarily dependent on connectivity and that the maintenance of healthy intertidal areas was highly important for system functioning. The approach also demonstrated a separation between locations where ecosystem functions were generated and where services were valued. A high level of multi-functionality and connectivity between goods and services in marine coastal systems suggests services should be managed collectively rather than individually. The strength of the EPA is that it aligns to the principles of 'Ecosystem- Based Management'. This approach demonstrates how ecological information can be simplified into a format that can advise policy and better integrate with management. It highlights the need for greater trans-disciplinary integration of ecology and social science to better understand how human interactions result in critical community shifts and loss of resilience. © Inter-Research 2011. Source

Lim S.,University of Auckland | Dirks K.N.,University of Auckland | Salmond J.A.,University of Auckland | Xie S.,Auckland Council
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

This paper examines concentration of ultrafine particles (UFPs) based on data collected using high-resolution UFP monitors whilst travelling by bus during rush hour along three different urban routes in Auckland, New Zealand. The factors influencing in-bus UFP concentration were assessed using a combination of spatial, statistical and GIS analysis techniques to determine both spatial and temporal variability. Results from 68 bus trips showed that concentrations varied more within a route than between on a given day, despite differences in urban morphology, land use and traffic densities between routes. A number of trips were characterised by periods of very rapid increases in UFPs (concentration 'spikes'), followed by slow declines. Trips which recorded at least one spike (an increase of greater than 10,000pt/cm3) resulted in significantly higher mean concentrations. Spikes in UFPs were significantly more likely to occur when travelling at low speeds and when passengers were alighting and boarding at bus stops close to traffic light intersections. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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