This project aims to understand the characteristics of a plant microbiome that contributes to its health, even in the presence of pathogens. The project considers interactions at different spatial scales, including the plant’s microbiome, neighbouring plant communities, and environmental conditions.
Research is conducted across Horomaka (Banks Peninsula) using 30 field sites which range in elevation and rainfall. Multiple physiological measurements relating to plant health and the microbiome composition of leaves, roots, and soil are being taken in this region.
This research will also investigate the transferability of microbiome traits across native tree species. The long-term goal is to tie in with restoration efforts, and to transplant healthy microbiomes to facilitate native forest regeneration. This research aims to provide valuable insights into enhancing plant health and ecosystem restoration.
Why This Matters
At a fundamental level, the success of reforestation efforts hinges on the survival, establishment, and health of planted trees. This project aims to identify microbiomes linked to healthy plants and use these beneficial microbes to increase restoration planting success.
- Characterise the microbiome of Kānuka trees at 30 sites across Horomaka.
- Test the impacts of these microbiomes on the ability of Kānuka to cope with drought stress.