Landcare Research

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Landcare Research

Manaaki Whenua
New lcr logo 200.png
Landcare Research logo
Agency overview
Headquarters Lincoln, Christchurch
Agency executives Dr Richard Gordon, Chief Executive
Jo Brosnahan, Chair
Website landcareresearch.co.nz

Landcare Research (Māori: Manaaki Whenua) is one of New Zealand's Crown Research Institutes. The focus of the research at this company is the environment, biodiversity, and sustainability.

History[edit]

Landcare Research was originally part of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), but was established as an independent organisation when the Crown Research Institutes were created in 1992. As part of that process, it was semi-commercialised, and now operates as a government-owned company rather than as a government department. The commercialisation has led to greater emphasis on financial viability, and Landcare Research is employed by various private groups to provide advice and information.

Locations[edit]

The main site is in Lincoln, near Christchurch. There are also other sites at Auckland on the Tamaki campus of Auckland University, Hamilton, Gisborne, Havelock North, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Alexandra, and Dunedin.

Collections[edit]

Landcare Research holds several collections of organisms that are of significant national importance to New Zealand. Detailed information on all the specimens can be found though the Systematics Collections Data (SCD) website.

International collection of microorganisms from plants[edit]

The International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants (ICMP) in Auckland holds live bacterial and fungal specimens that are preserved under liquid nitrogen or in freeze dried ampoules. Currently there are over 18,000 specimens in the collection.[1]

National fungal herbarium[edit]

The Auckland office also has the National Fungal Herbarium (PDD), a herbarium containing over 80,000 dried fungal specimens, including all the New Zealand fungal type species. This represents one of the most extensive compilations on the national fungal biota of any country.

New Zealand arthropod collection[edit]

A card mounted native ladybird (Coccinella leonina) at NZAC

The New Zealand Arthropod Collection (NZAC) or Ko te Aitanga Pepeke O Aotearoa in Māori. NZAC has the most complete coverage of terrestrial invertebrates of all the collections held in New Zealand. In addition to its fundamental systematics value, the collection underpins quarantine and border control decisions e.g., verifying the presence or absence of species in New Zealand. NZAC is held at Landcare Research's Tamaki site.

National nematode collection of New Zealand[edit]

The National Nematode Collection of New Zealand (NNCNZ) contains hundreds of nematode specimens. It is contained within the Arthropod Collection.

Landcare Research Allan Herbarium[edit]

The Landcare Research Allan Herbarium (CHR) at Lincoln, contains species from around the world but specialises in plants (indigenous and exotic) of the New Zealand region and the Pacific. It also has specialist collections of seed, fruit, wood, plant leaf cuticle, liquid-preserved specimens, and microscope slides. The oldest samples are the 91 duplicate specimens collected by Banks and Solander during Captain Cook's first voyage to New Zealand in 1769-1770.

There are currently over 550,000 specimens in the Allan Herbarium with 5,000–8,000 being added annually. Two-thirds of the specimens are of indigenous plants with the remainder divided between naturalised, cultivated, and foreign specimens. It was named the Allan Herbarium to acknowledge the contributions of H. H. Allan to New Zealand botany.

National New Zealand Flax Collection[edit]

Manaaki Whenua is kaitiaki of an ethnobotanical collection of traditional weaving varieties of harakeke (NZ flax, Phormium spp.) donated by Rene Orchiston of Gisborne. The 50 harakeke were selected long ago from natural stands and cultivated by Māori weavers for their special leaf and fibre properties. There are varieties specially suited to making kete, whariki, piupiu and cloaks.

Research[edit]

Science includes research into the processes that maintain New Zealand’s ecosystems, enable natural flora, fauna and fungi to flourish, and protect soil and catchments for a range of production and other purposes. The impacts of disruption to ecosystems; biosecurity risks from foreign weeds, pests and micro-organisms; and contamination to land, water and air caused by the production of natural, manufactured or waste compounds are investigated. Research is also untertaken to develop tools to help mitigate inefficient resource use and excess waste, and systems designed to improve resource use productivity, lifestyle and business viability. Research focuses on six key areas:

Base camp for the 2005 Auckland BioBlitz
Dr Peter Buchanan, organiser of the Auckland 2004 and 2005 BioBlitzes
  • Conserving and restoring our biodiversity and the healthy resilience of natural ecosystems
  • Reducing pest, disease and weed impacts in our natural and managed ecosystems
  • Understanding, mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change
  • Sustaining the long-term health of soils, waterways and landscapes for the continued viability of our rural environments
  • Enhancing urban biodiversity and developing low-impact approaches for built environments
  • Fostering environmentally sustainable and globally competitive business practices

BioBlitz[edit]

Landcare Research has organised BioBlitz events — a survey of all species in a given area — several times, including the first New Zealand event in 2004. In 2004, BioBlitz was held in the Auckland suburb of St Heliers on 30 April – 1 May 2004. In a remnant of native forest at Dingle Dell reserve, 925 separate species were found, and 631 species were found in a native bush gully at Meadowbank Primary School. A second BioBlitz in the Auckland Domain on 12 – 13 March 2005 found 1575 distinct species. Another BioBlitz occurred at Hagley Park, Christchurch on 8 – 9 April, here 1197 species were found. In 2006, BioBlitz was held in Hamilton. This event uncovered 948 species.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants (ICMP)". Landcare Research. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  2. ^ ‘BioBlitz’ Finding Nature in the City, Landcare Research BioBlitz web pages, accessed 28 March 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°38′27″S 172°28′32″E / 43.640709°S 172.475441°E / -43.640709; 172.475441