Advancing the inland saline ecosystem

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 16th of August 2023, 05:20 PM (6 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz | 0210658497

Speaker: Cathy Rufaut; joint work with Dave Craw, Dhana Pillai and Steve Read (Geology Department University of Otago, QEII National Trust).   Early botanists surveying Otago’s inland saline sites for potential reserves noted their association with disturbance. Initial studies that followed made reference to replicating erosional processes to improve habitat condition. Some years later, DOC Alexandra set up scalped trial plots that had peeled back the layer of weedy vegetation. In 2021, we picked up the baton and developed the concept of induced erosion further as a method for rejuvenating inland saline habitat and controlling weed threats to native halophytes. This talk will present the rationale behind “scraping” saline sites, the processes involved in Otago surfaces developing high salinity and alkalinity, and an update from the trial sites we have established on private land.