Vol.12 No.3 - September 2004

A NIWA scientist collects samples from the seabed of the Ross Sea. For more information, see “BioRoss 2004: expanding our knowledge of marine life in the Ross Sea”.

In this issue

  • (no image provided)

    BioRoss 2004: expanding our knowledge of marine life in the Ross Sea

    PDF of this article (219 KB)
    Malcolm Clark
    Ashley Rowden
    An ambitious survey looks for signs of life in the deeper waters off the Antarctic continent
    Swath image of Seamount 100 off the Balleny Islands.
    RV Tangaroa samples biodiversity in the Ross Sea. (Photo: J. Mitchell)
    An epibenthic sled is hauled back on deck (top) and a van Veen grab is deployed over the side. (Photos: I. Everson, BAS)
    A mixed sample of invertebrates and fish; Epimeria (A “new” species of amphipod; and a deepwater hydro coral. (Photos: M. Clark, S.
  • (no image provided)

    Dimensions in biodiversity of a braided river

    PDF of this article (211 KB)
    Cathy Kilroy
    Mike Scarsbrook
    Graham Fenwick
    “Look after the springs and you look after the river”. A bit simplistic, perhaps, but it’s a good starting point for conserving aquatic biodiversity in braided rivers.
    Part of the upstream braided section of the Waimakariri River, Canterbury. (Photo: C. Kilroy)
    Diagram of a braided river system showing the general habitat types sampled in this survey.
    Numbers of invertebrate and algae taxa found in each habitat type sampled.
  • (no image provided)

    NIWA's aquatic biodiversity and biosecurity research

    PDF of this article (112 KB)
    New Zealand’s seas are rich in numbers of species of plants and animals, our fresh waters much less so. The ecosystems and the diversity in these environments are valued and vulnerable to many threats. Some of these threats are natural (floods, eruptions, undersea mudslides) and, while we need to understand their effects biodiversity, we wouldn’t try to do anything about them.
  • (no image provided)

    FBIS: a new freshwater biodata information system

    PDF of this article (313 KB)
    Don Robertson
    Mary de Winton
    Scientific data collected on New Zealand’s feshwater fish, invertebrates, algae and aquatic plants can now be located with the click of a mouse.
    NIWA has just completed an innovative web-based data-management project, funded in part by the Department of Conservation’s Terrestrial & Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme.
    Many decades of research in New Zealand have produced large amounts of environmental and biodiversity data.
  • (no image provided)

    Exotic fish: a growing problem in New Zealand fresh waters

    PDF of this article (174 KB)
    Dave Rowe
    Evidence is mounting of the damage done to New Zealand freshwater habitats and native species by non-indigenous (exotic) fish.
    Introduced fish such as perch, gambusia, rudd, catfish, koi carp, and tench continue to spread within New Zealand. Although some of these introductions are accidental, others are clearly deliberate, unapproved attempts to create new recreational fisheries. While these introductions may benefit some anglers, the environmental costs need to be weighed carefully.
  • (no image provided)

    Lightless, not lifeless: New Zealand's subterranean biodiversity

    PDF of this article (195 KB)
    Graham Fenwick
    Mike Scarsbrook
    NIWA research has discovered a biodiversity treasure trove in New Zealand’s aquifers, often living more than 20 m beneath the soil surface.
    There’s life in groundwater: highly specialised species of invertebrates have adapted to complete their entire life-histories in lightless, subterranean waters. Unusual they may seem, but only because of their unfamiliarity.
    Schminkea sp., a water mite from Otago groundwaters (Photo: D.
  • (no image provided)

    National Centre for Aquatic Biodiversity & Biosecurity

    PDF of this article (109 KB)
    NIWA established the Centre in 2002 to enhance access to our scientific expertise and services, to develop new tools and techniques, and to increase awareness of aquatic biodiversity and biosecurity.
    The Centre is underpinned by NIWA’s research capacity in physical and chemical oceanography, hydrology, marine geology, climate modelling, aquaculture and fisheries, as well as access to vessels and extensive marine and freshwater science research facilities.
    Documenting and preserving our biodiversity
    To manage our aquatic environment sustainably, we need to k
  • (no image provided)

    A new method to sterilise freshwater fishing nets

    PDF of this article (153 KB)
    Fleur Matheson
    Tony Dugdale
    Rohan Wells
    Aleki Taumoepeau
    Josh Smith
    A simple procedure can help stop the spread of aquatic pests.
    NIWA scientists working with ARC staff to sterilise and clear gill nets at Lake Wainamu. (Photos: J. Clayton)
    Sterilising fyke nets of a commercial eel fisherman. (Photo: R. Wells)
    There are numerous aquatic pests in New Zealand freshwater environments. Some of the better known species include koi carp, catfish, gambusia (mosquitofish) and the noxious weeds hornwort, egeria and lagarosiphon.
  • (no image provided)

    NIWA's Marine Invertebrate Collection: a treasure for biodiversity research

    PDF of this article (98 KB)
    Anne-Nina Lörz
    Niel Bruce
    NIWA holds a major collection of marine invertebrates from beyond the intertidal zone for the world’s fifth-largest EEZ.
    The collection holds several million specimens from more than 10,000 stations.
    For many marine invertebrate groups, the southwestern Pacific has the world’s highest species diversity.
  • (no image provided)

    Uncovering secrets of our seamounts

    PDF of this article (159 KB)
    Ashley Rowden
    Malcolm Clark
    Years of investigations are beginning to reveal the secrets of seamount biodiversity.
    Digital terrain model (3x vertical exaggeration) of the Graveyard seamount complex.
    Different substrates support different fauna: rich beds of stony coral.
    Rich beds of stony coral.
    Low biodiversity on a volcanic slope.
    Hydrothermal vents on seamounts support species including the mussel Gigantidas gladius (top) and the clam Bathyaustriella thionipta. (Photos: A. Rowden, A.
  • (no image provided)

    Marine soft sediments: more diversity than meets the eye

    PDF of this article (206 KB)
    Drew Lohrer
    Nicole Hancock
    Experimental work with sand and mud habitats highlights the importance of biodiversity from the bottom up.
    Muddy and sandy sediments cover 70% of the world’s seafloor and are found in New Zealand harbours, estuaries and open coastal environments. Sediments have a reputation for being flat and brown, and are certainly less glamourous than the colourful rocky pinnacles, seamounts and coral reefs that get media attention.
  • (no image provided)

    Sounding out submerged plants

    PDF of this article (153 KB)
    Aleki Taumoeeau
    Rohan Wells
    A new use for a common tool makes lake management easier.
    Lake and waterways managers often deal with large areas of nuisance weeds that have the potential to interfere with boating, fishing and biodiversity. Control programmes are best implemented before the weeds become an acute problem.
  • (no image provided)

    Species 2000: New Zealand

    PDF of this article (73 KB)
    Dennis Gordon
    How many species live in the seas around New Zealand? Thanks to Species 2000: New Zealand, we can now answer that question with some degree of precision – at least for described species and those in museum collections. Taxonomists throughout New Zealand and in many other parts of the world are sharing their data to arrive at tallies for all known species in the New Zealand biota, on land, in fresh waters, and in the sea. The total number of marine species that we know about is circa 15,450, compared to c. 4000 freshwater species and c.
  • (no image provided)

    Predicting the distributions of marine fish from research trawl survey data

    PDF of this article (202 KB)
    John Leathwick
    Malcolm Francis
    Paul Taylor
    A new way of modelling trawl survey data is an important advance for mapping and protecting biodiversity.
    Sorting the catch from a research trawl survey. (Photo: M. Francis)
    Predicted probability of capture for snapper. (Click for detail and two other species)
    Recorded and predicted distribution of snapper.
    Seasonal variation in catch rate for four fish species.
  • (no image provided)

    Managing tomorrow's weeds today - a risk assessment approach to aquatic weed management

    PDF of this article (335 KB)
    Paul Champion
    Potential pests could be living in your aquarium or garden pond.
    A significant threat to the biosecurity of New Zealand’s freshwater habitats comes from plants that have been intentionally introduced. Over 70 freshwater aquatic plants introduced into New Zealand have now naturalised here and many have become problem weeds, with most New Zealand lakes, rivers and streams affected by at least one of these species. Impacts are significant, including reduction in indigenous biodiversity and economic losses.
  • (no image provided)

    New alien mudworm now becoming a pest in longline mussels

    PDF of this article (215 KB)
    Geoff Read
    Sean Handley
    An invasive worm makes for trouble, not pearls, inside a prized shellfish.
    A line of healthy green-lipped mussels in culture.
    A large broken blister inside an infested mussel shell and the head region of a live Polydora haswelli. (Photos: G. Read)
    A feeding Polydora haswelli projects its palps and P. haswelli inside a blister; palps in this individual are regenerating. (Photos: G.