Past Events

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 15th of February 2023, 05:20 PM (1 year ago)

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

Come join us for a botanical trip through Tūhura Otago Museum on Wednesday evening. We will get to spend some time after hours with the museum’s gardener for a private look around Tūhura Tropical Forest which features over 70 mostly tropical plant species, plus butterflies and birds. Smaller groups (10 at a time) will get a further behind-the-scenes look at Otago Museum’s dry collections store which holds internationally significant collections of birds, marine mammals, invertebrates, and a small botanical collection which the museum staff is working to digitize and eventually make available online. Meet at Otago Museum foyer at 5:20pm.

Contact Gretchen Brownstein brownsteingATlandcareresearch.co.nz to RSVP. Space is limited to 30 people, so a lottery may come into play.

Tūhura Tropical Forest has been featured in recent programmes from Radio New Zealand (www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018810238/caring-for-the-forest) and has been a frequent news maker in the Otago Daily Times since the space opened in 2007.

Field Trip on Saturday 11th of February 2023, 09:00 AM (1 year ago)

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

This trip is to a privately owned bush block above Hampden on Kuriiti Creek. This 36ha block was recently purchased and the new family is keen to figure out what is present so they can look after it. Kuriiti creek runs through middle of the block, with the steep slopes containing a mix kanuka and broadleaf/podocarp forest. The understory is damp, with potential for interesting ferns, mosses, and lichens.

Grade: the edges of the kanuka bush are accessible from the road. To access the stream and broadleaf/podocarp require a walk down a steep and very rough track. Good walking shoes and willingness to climb back up a 100m hill a must! Contact Gretchen Brownstein brownsteingATlandcareresearch.co.nz. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Botany Dept car park 9am. Return time: 3pm 80km / 1hr drive time each way.

Field Trip on Saturday 19th of November 2022, 09:00 AM (1 year ago)

Contact: Robyn Bridges | 021 235 8997

It’s going to be botanising on the hoof so to speak as we follow Gold Miners Direct from Steep Hill Road down to the north branch of the Waikouaiti River, then swing left following the river to Possum Hut (now a relic). Climbing up a steepish spur from the hut, we will connect with the Green Hut/Pulpit Rock track which will lead us back to the cars. It’s a good track, quite steep in places both downwards and upwards, but only for short bursts. The vegetation is quite modified comprising of regenerating coastal bush.

Good footwear and appropriate clothing needed as the Silver Peaks is exposed. About a 4 hour trip. Contact Robyn Bridges 021 235 8997. If raining on Saturday we will go on Sunday 20th Nov.

TRIP CANCELLED DUE TO HEAVY RAIN WATCH WARNINGS FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

Social Event on Wednesday 9th of November 2022, 05:20 PM (1 year ago)

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

Come along to see botanical artwork from our drawing competition. Entries close October 10th. There will be an art auction, so come prepared! Contact Gretchen Brownstein brownsteingATlandcareresearch.co.nz and Sharon Jones sharon.jones388ATgmail.com

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 12th of October 2022, 05:20 PM (1 year ago)

Contact: Stella Fish | sls.fish@outlook.com

Come along to hear Aimee, Stella and Kacey open your eyes to the often forgotten world of mosses, liverworts and lichens. Aimee will give an overview of bryophyte ecology and the importance for different ecosystems, with a New Zealand focus. Stella will introduce you to the 'phyllosphere,' where her talk on epiphyllous liverworts will be sure to excite you into the microscopic world! Kacey will bring you into the vast world of lichens, how they can be utilised (in our world), and some of the main features used for identification.

Field Trip on Saturday 1st of October 2022, 08:00 AM (1 year ago)

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

Mahaka Katia Scientific Reserve (Pisa Flats) is situated on an elevated terrace above Lake Dunstan just north of Cromwell. It is a unique example of Central Otago dryland habitat that has mostly been lost to agricultural development and residential subdivision. Pisa Flats is one of the few remaining places where populations of a number of rare, native, dryland endemic species can still be found. These include Raoulia monroi, Lepidium solandri, Convolvulus verecundus and Myosotis uniflora. This Myosotis species is classified as At Risk – Naturally Uncommon and the yellow-flowered form is more or less confined to the Pisa Flats. We are timing our visit to hopefully coincide with its spring flowering. If we have time, we will possibly visit the saline sites at Springvale Scientific Reserve or the Chapman Road Reserve both near Alexandra to look at Central Otago spring annuals, a suite of dryland species that includes Myosotis brevis, and the tiny buttercup relatives, Ceratocephala pungens and Myosurus minimus.

We will meet at the Botany Department carpark at 8.00 am and travel to Cromwell and then on to the Reserve. Bring lunch, warm clothing, rain gear and suitable footwear. Travel time from Dunedin to Cromwell is approximately 3 hrs. Contact David Lyttle (email djl1yttleATgmail.com Ph (03) 454 5470).

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 14th of September 2022, 06:00 PM (1 year ago)

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

Speaker: Heidi M. Meudt, Researcher Botany, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Location: Archway 2, 6pm

New Zealand is a main centre of Myosotis diversity, with about half of the c. 90 total species worldwide. Taxonomic revision is a high priority in New Zealand forget-me-nots (Myosotis, Boraginaceae), a genus in which most of the species are classified as Threatened, At Risk-Naturally Uncommon, or Data Deficient according to the New Zealand Threatened Classification System (NZTCS). The core focus of my research is to produce a taxonomic revision of all native southern hemisphere Myosotis species using analyses of morphological, pollen, genetic and field data. We aim to answer the following questions: How many native southern hemisphere Myosotis species are there? How can they be identified? Where are they found? What is their conservation status? Since starting on this project in 2010, my collaborators and I have revised two-thirds of the southern hemisphere species, with the remaining 20 species and tag-names currently under study. This research continues to contribute fundamental data to biodiversity knowledge and databases, and to the NZTCS assessment panel. For example, of the c. 1700 Myosotis specimens at Te Papa’s herbarium (WELT), almost 30% were collected since 2010, all are databased and imaged, many have been recently curated, and most are online, see here. In this talk, I will give a broad overview of the Myosotis research project results, discoveries, field work, and taxonomic implications to date. I will also highlight work-in-progress and future directions.

Biography: Heidi Meudt is a Researcher in Botany at Te Papa (since 2006). She completed her PhD in Botany in 2004 at the University of Texas at Austin, and was an Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Research Fellow at the University of Oldenburg, Germany from 2012-2014. Her main research focus is on the taxonomy and systematics of southern hemisphere plants, particularly Plantaginaceae and Boraginaceae. Her research integrates data from morphology, DNA, pollen, chromosomes and other sources to revise the taxonomy and better understand the geographical, morphological and phylogenetic patterns of plant species, especially New Zealand species radiations.

Field Trip on Saturday 10th of September 2022, 09:00 AM (1 year ago)

Contact: John Steel | john.steel@otago.ac.nz | 021 2133 170

The Cryptogang – a group of enthusiasts who meet three times a week to explore the often ignored worlds of the cryptogams, including lichens, liverworts, mosses, and hornworts (as well as their larger, more obvious co-inhabitants) – invite you to accompany them into their fascinating and beautiful underworlds. Be prepared not to walk very far and bring a hand lens if you have one.

Leave Botany Department car park at 9am. Contact John Steel, john.steelATotago.ac.nz or 021 2133 170

Field Trip on Saturday 13th of August 2022, 09:00 AM (1 year ago)

Contact: Moira Parker | moiraparker3@gmail.com | 027 328 4443

This trip we’ll explore a steep and rather hidden 5ha bush remnant, informally known as Rutherford’s Bush on the DCC Hereweka Harbour Cone property. John Barkla has written a report of the bush and his species list will be provided on the day. The forest trees are typical of the Peninsula, plus there are 11 species of vines and 22 species of ferns. The shrublands on the forest margin have a variety of divaricating shrubs and include 9 species of Coprosma. Two special features are a massive Dendrobium cunninghamii orchid growing on an ancient broadleaf and a flourishing Raukaua anomalus shrub, found during recent work to poison elder trees, the only major weed. The licensee supports a proposal to fence the bush to exclude sheep and cattle and efforts are being made to secure funding to fence this valuable forest remnant on public land. If we have good weather there’s the option of an afternoon walk up Harbour Cone through a mixed shrubland to investigate the miniature forest on the summit, so bring your lunch if you would like a longer day.

Meet at Botany Department car park at 9am or in Portobello on Highcliff Rd by the Penguin Cafe at 9.20am. Parking is limited so please car pool. Rain date Sunday 14th. Contact Moira Parker 027 328 4443 or moiraparker3ATgmail.com or Alf Webb 020 4780 809

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 10th of August 2022, 05:20 PM (1 year ago)

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

Speaker: Matt McGlone, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research.

As a successional tree species after fire or other disturbance, kānuka plays a key ecological role in the lowland and montane landscapes of New Zealand. It is also highly variable, with some populations contributing to lowland forest canopies 25 m or more in height and others consisting of scattered, low-growing, multi-stemmed shrubs on gravelly soils in frosty basins. Until recently, two species and several varieties were formally recognized - along with a swag of tag names. In 2014, a comprehensive revision of the kānuka group attempted to rationalize the situation and expanded the number of species to 10. The revision has had a mixed reception with many of the species proving difficult to confidently identify whether in the field or herbarium. In this talk I will present the results of a recently published genetic study of nearly 900 kānuka specimens spanning the entire geographic range of the complex and all the current species. I will discuss the implications for kānuka taxonomy but also for how we decide what is and what is not a ‘species’.

NOTE: New meeting location! Talks are hosted by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in the Main Seminar room, 764 Cumberland Street, Dunedin

Field Trip on Saturday 16th of July 2022, 09:30 AM (1 year ago)

Contact: Lydia Turley

Last winter we had a very successful trip to Mt Kettle and Mt Cutten. This year we will visit the neighbouring peak, Mihiwaka. Come prepared for an uphill walk on an uneven track and boggy conditions. We will see what we see. Contact Lydia Turley 021 062 3602

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 13th of July 2022, 05:20 PM (2 years ago)

Contact: Jessica Paull, Shar Matthias

This talk will be held via zoom only due to due to Covid case numbers and the nasty weather forecast to continue into tomorrow.

Jess: A unique patch of land in Portobello is set to be the new study site for future ecology students. Jessica describes the process of documenting the plant species diversity and abundance in four different zones over summer, and the surprising discoveries she made along the way.

Shar: We know what climate change is, but it's harder to predict exactly what changes in temperature and precipitation will mean for species and ecosystems. During my Honours research I used statistical modelling techniques to show how future climate change will affect which parts of New Zealand contain suitable habitat for southern beech species and their associated fungi. This talk will describe some of what I found, and what these climate changes mean for New Zealand ecosystems as a whole.

Field Trip on Saturday 18th of June 2022, 09:00 AM (2 years ago)

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

We will explore around Bull Creek and its small attractive estuary. Southern rata dominated forest extends down the creek to the coast. There is potential to find turf communities in the estuary. We will follow a walking track up the creek to a small waterfall before returning to the coast to explore the turf communities and other coastal surprises. Grade: ~2km of walking on a well formed track, expect mud and uneven ground. Bring water, lunch, and warm clothing. Depart Botany car park at 9 am returning mid-afternoon.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 8th of June 2022, 05:30 PM (2 years ago)

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

Speaker: Bill Lee (with Jennifer Bannister and Tammo Reichgelt).

Many NZ trees have toothed/serrated leaf margins and diverse explanations exist for their functional significance, mostly derived from overseas studies on deciduous species. We survey the leaves of forest trees in NZ, investigating the presence/absence of serrations and any associated leaf pores or glands. We also compare the environmental distribution of species with either entire or serrated leaves. Serrated leaves are associated with leaf-margin and leaf-lamina hydathodes, permanent openings generally larger than stomata that are frequently attached to major veins. They may also have colletors, complex glands that appear to secrete fluid. Our previous study in New Zealand showed that trees with serrated leaves were commonly associated with high rainfall areas. The strong association between marginal hydathodes and toothed leaves supports the suggestion that serrated leaves may have a key function in regulating internal plant water pressure on regularly saturated soils.

NOTE: New meeting location: Talks are hosted by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in the Main Seminar room, 764 Cumberland Street, Dunedin.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 11th of May 2022, 05:30 PM (2 years ago)

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

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.