SAC # 58

Do corridors promote invertebrate colonisation of native trees on farms?



TIME | 25 February 2009, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | Seminar Room, Centre for Innovation, 87 St. David St.

SPEAKER | Dr.Yuki Fukuda


This study experimentally tested the impact of habitat isolation on the invertebrate community associated with Melicytus ramiflorus, a common indigenous plant species in New Zealand native forests. M. ramiflorus plants were exposed to invertebrates up to 180 m from native bush patches (the source population) on four Waikato farms over 21 weeks. We compared the effects of three planting intervals (20, 60 and 180 m) on invertebrate colonisation of M. ramiflorus plants. M. ramiflorus were also planted 0, -5 m into bush patches as experimental controls. Both prey (herbivores and detritivores) and predators rapidly colonised the experimental plants within source bush patches during the first seven weeks. However, there was a significant decline in prey abundance on the plants as the distance away from the source increased. Predator colonisation was far more limited than prey colonisation. The shortest planting intervals (20 m) facilitated prey colonisation in comparison with the medium intervals (60 m), and no colonisation was recorded at all with the largest planting interval (180 m). Therefore, it appears that in restoration areas the degree of isolation from native bush patches (the source) has a major impact on the patterns of recovery in the invertebrate community structure. Native plants should be planted close (<20 m) to remnant bush patches to facilitate plant-invertebrate interactions.

About the Speaker

Dr Yuki Fukuda is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the ARGOS environment team. She is interested in increasing native biodiversity through greening production landscapes. After finishing her high school in Tokyo, Japan, Yuki completed a BSc with Honours (Ecology and Conservation) at Lincoln University. During her honours, she studied pest bird management using visual birdscarers in Canterbury vineyards. She wanted experience much richer biodiversity, so she went to the University of Queensland for her PhD. Yuki used various ecological indicators (soil, vegetation & ants) to determine the process of landscape restoration in a western Queensland national park that was previously pastoral farmland. Yuki is based at Landcare Research in Hamilton to be close to her study sites in the Waikato. She enjoys the challenge of solving ecological problems, while accommodating social and economical needs in ARGOS projects and working with the people that matter the most – the farmers.



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