Mānuka dominated ecosystems to improve water quality in the Lake Wairarapa catchment

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Scientists from CIBR and ESR, worked in collaboration with Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Masters student based at Victoria University of Wellington to find a field site based in the Wairarapa region to use as a field trial for exploring the ability of native plants to help improve quality entering the lake. Lake Wairarapa is currently classed as being supertrophic, so efforts to improve the water quality in the catchment are much needed. The level of eutrophication is largely influenced by the re-suspension of lakebed sediments and recent studies show that the water quality has stayed in a poor yet relatively stable state since 1994. 

For more information, contact Maria Gutierrez Gines

Field site One

The site is adjacent to Lake Wairarapa situated on a sheep and beef farm, there are two planted areas on the farm that were planted with over 4000 mānukas and also >1000 cabbage trees and flax plants in August 2017. Baseline soil samples were taken prior to planting by scientists at ESR. The first soil samples (after planting) were taken in November 2018 to look at changes in nitrogen, E. coli levels and other biophysical parameters, with the site also used as a field experiment for our masters student in November - December 2018.

Field site one picture

Field site Two

Field site two is located close to field site one on a dairy farm, which has one planted area that is split into sections containing; mixed native plants (horopito,rātā, black beech, matai, flax, cabbage tree, mānuka and kānuka), mānuka and kānuka, and mānuka only sections. This area was planted in September 2018 and plant monitoring for survival and plant growth was undertaken in March 2019

field site two pictures planting

Native Plants for improving water quality

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