Past Events

BSO Annual General Meeting and Photographic Competition

Wednesday 11th of May 2022, 05:30 PM (2 weeks ago)

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

The photographic competition is a popular and eagerly anticipated event for anyone interested in botanical photography. Enter your best photos and learn what makes a good photograph and how to improve your photographic skills from our panel of expert judges. Your photographs may be chosen for the BSO Calendar so this is your opportunity to have one month of fame. Start organising your entries now and don’t wait until the last minute.

NOTE: New meeting location! Talks are now held at the Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Assn., Inc., Building, 362 Moray Place, Dunedin Central.

108 years on – revisiting the great Dunedin-Waititi fire of 1914

Saturday 7th of May 2022, 08:30 AM (2 weeks ago)

Contact: Matt Larcombe | matt.larcombe@otago.ac.nz | 027 919 9709

This trip will look at the vegetation change 108 years after a large fire burned through Libocedrus bidwillii cloud forest near Leith Saddle. We will walk up Leith saddle track and look at the nature of vegetation on either side of the fire boundary and I’ll talk about some student projects that have been investigating the demographic effects of the fire; and the longer-term consequences of the fire on the flammability of plant communities in the area.

Field trip to Okia Reserve

Saturday 30th of April 2022, 09:00 AM (3 weeks ago)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

Okia is a large coastal reserve on the Otago Peninsula that is jointly owned by the DCC and Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. It comprises an old dune system that is rapidly changing from its dominant bracken fern cover to woody coastal species. There are also interesting hollows between the dunes that hold a variety of wetlands that include turf, bogs and ponds. On this trip we’ll focus on taking photos and making observations for iNaturalist https://inaturalist.nz/observations. The trip coincides with the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge where cities around the world compete to gather the most nature observations. Participants will find it helpful to download the iNaturalist app to their phone before the trip. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am or the Okia Reserve carpark at the end of Dick Road at 9.40 am. Bring lunch and expect to be back in Dunedin by 4 pm.

Botanical Quiz

Wednesday 13th of April 2022, 05:20 PM (1 month ago)

Contact: Lydia Turley | lydiamturley@gmail.com

Instead of a talk, this month we are hosting a botanically themed quiz! It’s about more than just identifying plants, so brush up on your general (planty) knowledge and come have some fun. Come as a team, or join one on the night.

Dune Slacks species check Kaikai Beach, Heyward’s Point

Saturday 12th of March 2022, 09:00 AM (2 months ago)

Contact: Robyn Bridges | 021 235 8997

The Botanical Society has been approached to help with species identification in an area of dune slacks which border Kaikai Beach near Heyward’s Point. Sue Chapman, the landowner, wants to place a covenant on the area adjacent to the beach. To do this she requires an idea of what species are growing there and in particular if there are any threatened species. We have permission to drive to the headland above Kaikai where we will park, and then it’s a shortish walk down through the farm to the dunes. Of interest to those who have not visited this area before is a large cave with historical links to early Otago whalers and that is still in use today. Meet 9am, Botany Department carpark. Rain date Sunday 13 March.

Tautuku weekend field trip

Saturday 12th of February 2022, 08:30 AM (3 months ago)

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

Join us for a weekend exploring the varied vegetation around the Lenz Reserve and Tautuku. The reserve is 550 hectares of conservation land owned and managed by Forest and Bird. There is something for everyone here: old growth podocarp forests, beech forests, peat bogs, and estuaries. In February the ratas should be flowering, the fungi popping up and, if it happens to drizzle, the lichens and bryophytes will be at their best. There are numerous adventurous tracks or easy paths to ramble along and, for the aquatically inclined, a kayak option to explore the estuary. Gavin White, trapper for the reserve, will be our guide for the weekend. Gavin will show us the hidden gems he had found over many years of working the reserve. There are options for all fitness levels: from well-formed tracks on level ground to rough routes up the hills. We will stay at the Forest and Bird Lodge on Saturday night (costs $22 pp). BYO bedding, towels, etc. (more information about the lodge here: https://www.forestandbird.org.nz/our-community/lodges/tautuku-forest-cabins). You will need to bring your own breakfast, lunch and snacks. Bring a dish to share at the Saturday night potluck dinner. Space in the lodge is limited to 14 people, so book your spot early! Contact Gretchen Brownstein brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz for more information and to book.

A Vegetation Map for Dunedin City

Wednesday 9th of February 2022, 05:20 PM (3 months ago)

Contact: Taylor Davies-Colley | taylordaviescolley@gmail.com

Speaker: Richard Ewans, Biodiversity Advisor, Dunedin City Council.

In 2019, Dunedin City Council commissioned a vegetation cover map for Dunedin City which was completed in 2020. The map provides a detailed picture of vegetation cover across Dunedin City that compliments and enhances data sets from regional and national agencies. Together this information will be used to identify priority areas for ecological restoration and protection, and for district-wide monitoring of the extent of indigenous ecosystems to support improved outcomes for indigenous biodiversity in the city. I will give an overview of the map and its potential utility for a range of users, show how the map is an improvement on what was previously available, and describe some of the limitations to be aware of when interpreting or using the map and underlying data.

NOTE: New meeting location! Talks are now held at the Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Assn., Inc., Building, 362 Moray Place, Dunedin Central.

Truby King Recreation Reserve, Seacliff – tree mapping

Saturday 20th of November 2021, 09:00 AM (6 months ago)

Contact: Maia Mistral | mistral.maia@gmail.com

The Truby King Recreation Reserve comprises much of the landscaped grounds of the former Seacliff Psychiatric Hospital. The Reserve is made up open grassed areas, mixed plantings of exotic deciduous and coniferous species, along with elements of the original coastal forest, and contains many great examples of significant specimen trees. The earliest plantings have been added to through successive plantings and, as such, provide a living record of changes in horticultural fashions spanning from the 1890s to the 1960s when the last major plantings were made. In 1991, a map and DBH measurements of the significant trees was made by Euan Cadzow. His map was partially updated in 2004 by Chuck Landis to include plantings post-dating those included in the original map. On this BSO trip we will be working with Truby King Reserve Committee to begin re-mapping and measuring the significant trees and assessing tree health. This will be a great trip to use and/or gain skills in tree measurement and GPS / mapping. The information we gather will be used by Truby King Reserve Committee to assist with the ongoing maintenance and management of this wonderful reserve. The reserve has a number of well formed grass walking tracks on slopes. Only part of the tree collection is bordering relatively flat ground; some of the mapping will be of trees off track and on uneven terrain. Moderate fitness required. For more details, contact Maia Mistral mistral.maia@gmail.com. The trip will depart from the Botany Department Carpark at 9am. Bring lunch.

Modelling Niches and Phylogeny in Celmisiinae (Asteraceae)

Wednesday 10th of November 2021, 05:20 PM (6 months ago)

Contact: Lydia Turley | lydiamturley@gmail.com

Speaker: Duncan Nicol. This research is part of ongoing systematic, biogeographic, and ecological studies aiming to deepen the understanding of biodiversity. The subtribe Celmisiinae Saldivia (Asteraceae: Astereae) is a hypothesis of relationships between a number of unresolved genera in the Tasman region and contains ca. 159 species. These genera have a range from New Guinea through Australia and New Zealand. Celmisiinae has a number of interesting features making it useful as a study group to investigate questions with implications for biodiversity more broadly.

Full day field trip to Herbert Forest

Saturday 9th of October 2021, 09:00 AM (7 months ago)

Contact: John Barkla | 027 423 7917

Please note new date

Herbert Forest is a predominantly exotic plantation forest in north Otago managed by Blakely Pacific Limited. Within its matrix, however, are significant native forest remnants that include some magnificent podocarp stands. We will do a loop track of about 10 km that links together these varied and interesting blocks of native forest. The tracks are well maintained by the North Otago Tramping & Mountaineering Club, but be prepared for numerous stream crossings. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am.

Field trip to Portobello QEII Covenant

Saturday 25th of September 2021, 09:00 AM (8 months ago)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

We have been invited to visit the QEII Covenant on the property of Peter and Jeannie Hayden at Portobello on the Otago Peninsula. The Covenant encompasses a mix of regenerating natives (it is approx. 35 years since sheep were excluded), with broadleaf species pushing up among mainly kanuka forest. Peter has a great network of tracks that take you through various ages and stages of Peninsula vegetation. The other part of the property has a mix of native and exotic species planted over last 25-30 years by a previous owner. Over the last 5 years Peter and Jeannie have been planting additional fruit trees, berry bushes and permaculture garden plots on the balance of the 22 hectare property. They are now actively involved in predator and weed control and 14 rifleman boxes were placed around property in 2020 to encourage these rare birds to breed locally. There are interesting outcrops and boulder banks as well that have a diverse assemblage of bryophytes and lichens. We will meet at the Botany Department carpark at 9.00 and travel to Portobello. Bring lunch, warm clothing, rain gear and suitable footwear. Rain day option 26th September.

Seaweeds at the doorstep: the diversity of coastal habitats and the species that are found in the Otago region

Wednesday 11th of August 2021, 05:20 PM (9 months ago)

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

This talk will be held via zoom. A link to the meeting will be sent to members a few days before.

Speaker: Wendy Nelson. The Otago region has a great diversity of marine habitats and about 300 species of macroalgae have been reported from the region. I will talk about the seaweed flora of Otago – the major habitat forming species as well as some of the less well known members - and some of the human induced changes and stressors that are influencing native seaweed communities.

Racemans Track

Saturday 7th of August 2021, 09:00 AM (9 months ago)

Contact: John Steel | john.steel@botany.otago.ac.nz | 021 2133170

The last field trip of the winter is a trip to the Racemans Track at Whare flat, 20 minutes south of Dunedin. This is a chance to become familiar with using the Dunedin Fern Key to identify some of our local ferns. It will also provide an opportunity to work on those groups, the mosses, liverworts, and hornworts, plants which so enrich our environment yet are largely ignored. A checklist of species for the area will be provided and with the extra pairs of eyes hopefully added to. The start (and end) of the track involves crossing the Silverstream weir so if wet feet are to be avoided, boots will be needed. If water flow is high the start of the McLeans Falls track may be taken as far as the swing bridge which will avoid wet feet, but this track is not in a good state at the moment and its condition will be assessed nearer the time. Leave from Botany Department car park at 9.00 a.m.

The vegetation of some local volcanic domes

Saturday 24th of July 2021, 09:00 AM (10 months ago)

Contact: Robyn Bridges | 021 235 8997

Mt Kettle (545m) and Mt Cutten (530m) are both phonolitic lava domes formed by the third eruption of the Dunedin volcanic massif. Mt Kettle is named after Charles Kettle, Otago’s first surveyor and Mt Cutten after William Cutten, MP and co-founder of the Otago Daily Times. The vegetation around both domes has been extensively modified by early twentieth century settlement when much of the area was divided up into small farms. In the early 1950s an area below Mt Kettle was dammed to form the Cedar Farm reservoir. A good patch of mature and regenerating cedars, Libocedrus bidwillii, can be seen from the summit of Mt Kettle. The trip will follow tracks recently restored by the WEA Walking Group. Meet 9am Botany Department carpark 464 Great King Street North. Rain day will be Sunday 25 July.

Almost an island - the remarkable flora and habitats of Banks Peninsula

Wednesday 14th of July 2021, 05:20 PM (10 months ago)

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

Speaker: Melissa Hutchison. Banks Peninsula comprises approximately 100,000 hectares of volcanic hill country, rising to a height of 920 metres above sea level at its highest point (Mt Herbert-Te Ahu Pātiki). The vegetation pattern is influenced by varied altitudinal and climatic gradients, which have contributed to a unique and diverse indigenous flora (>550 vascular plant species and >200 lichen species), including a number of endemic species. Prior to human arrival in New Zealand, the Peninsula was largely covered in indigenous forest, but this was rapidly cleared following European colonisation, and by 1920 was reduced to relatively small, isolated fragments, mainly on steep slopes at higher altitudes. Indigenous woody vegetation cover has increased in recent years through natural succession, with primary forest, secondary growth forest and shrubland now covering about 15% of the Peninsula. More than 2200 hectares of land is currently protected in Department of Conservation and Christchurch City Council reserves, with a further 1500 hectares on private land protected through conservation covenants (>120 covenants). The vegetation and flora of the Peninsula has been by well-documented by legendary botanist Hugh Wilson, but recent ecological surveys have shown that there are still exciting botanical (and lichenological) discoveries waiting to be found!