This project aims to understand the factors shaping weed invasions in kānuka shrublands, examining edge effects at kānuka and grassland boundaries.
It involves surveys, field, and greenhouse experiments to test hypotheses, including whether fragmentation promotes weed invasion, variations in sensitivity to edge effects among shade-tolerant and intolerant weed species, and how soil and light conditions influence weed establishment in kānuka fragments.
This research will contribute valuable insights into weed management strategies and ecosystem protection.
Why This Matters
The outcomes of this project will contribute to the care and protection of Aotearoa New Zealand’s landscapes, offering guidance that will enhance weed management strategies that better protect local ecosystems and reduce the risk of weed invasions.
- Assessing alien plant community composition across grassland-edge-interior of kānuka shrubland in relation to ecosystem aspects and traits of weed species.
- Monitoring seed emergence and seedling establishment rates of different weed tree species along the exterior to edge to interior gradient of kānuka in relation to changes in microenvironmental factors (light intensity and soil moisture).
- Identifying which factors (light intensity, soil moisture, soil from different land-use types) affect germination and seedling establishment rate of different weed species in a glasshouse experiment.
- Assessing the potential allelopathy of kānuka rhizosphere soil on seed germination rate of weed species.