Vol.15 No.2 - June 2007

A novel twist on existing technology gives NIWA scientists greater scope for using sediment colour to divine what’s happening at the microbe level. Read how this new technique is being used to track environmental damage and recovery in the article Colourful seafloor.

In this issue

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    National Climate Centre

    Copies of this four-page brochure are available from NIWA National Climate Centre Tel: 0800 RING NIWA (0800 746 464) Email: [email protected] Or you can download a copy from www.niwascience.co.nz/ncc
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    Article: Marine recreation and coastal ecosystems

    As New Zealand's population continues to grow, especially along the coast, pressures on the coastal environment are increasing 
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    Article: A gift from the sea: managing kaimoana resources

    PDF of this article (514 KB)
    Grace Ormond shows a student a juvenile lobster taken from the Booth crevice collector. (Photo: Rongomaiwahine Iwi Trust)
    The Māhia Peninsula, with shading and dotted lines marking the mandatory and voluntary rāhui currently in place.
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    News: Floating wetlands may help sink algae - Young scientists converge on NIWA

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    News: Testing times at Whatawhata - Wind toolbox debuts at Te Papa

    Mangaotama and Kiripaka catchments at Whatawhata Hill-land Research Centre after the Waitangi Day storm. (Photo: John Quinn)
    High density of landslips near Waitetuna. Note the lack of slips in the forest. (Photo: Les Basher)
    Testing times at Whatawhata A sustainable land management (SLM) plan has been in place at Whatawhata Hill-land Research Centre since 2001. The plan is based on recommendations of a team of agricultural, land, water, and social researchers, resource managers, farmers, and foresters.
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    News: A closer look at caddisflies - New monograph completes inventory of New Zealand sea-stars

     PDF of this article (95 KB)
    A closer look at caddisflies
    One of the new caddisfly species is the size of a pinhead. (Photo: Brian Smith)
    You must look very closely to see one of the caddisflies NIWA scientists have just discovered in the Waikato: it’s barely as big as the head of a pin. But microscopic examination confirms that two recently collected caddisfly species are new to science. One came from a South Waikato river.
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    News: Putting the physics in coastal biophysics - Listening for trout in large lakes

     PDF of this article (195 KB)
    A light trap suspended from a NIWA GPS drifter. (Photo: Craig Stevens)
    A number of track experiments starting at the southernmost extent of Kapiti Island.
    Putting the physics in coastal biophysics Marine reef organisms often live in highly fragmented populations that are interconnected by complex physical transport processes, such as tides, currents, eddies, etc. We must understand how and why such fragmented populations fluctuate in order to predict how they might respond to pressures of environmental change and harvest, and their risk of extinction.
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    News: Sea & Learn is back!

    PDF of this article (483 KB)
    Sea & Learn is back!
    Kaharoa tied up at Princes Wharf in Auckland. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    On the bridge with Skipper Evan Solly. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    Students exchange views with Environment Minister David Benson-Pope. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    Students from Papatoetoe High School sieving sediments. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    Scientist Mark Orams points out the features of a sponge from the trawl.
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    News: Twelve weeks in Sri Lanka - Training at NIWA - Name that copepod: training course in Africa

    PDF of this article (102 KB)
    Twelve weeks in Sri Lanka NIWA hydrologist Alistair McKerchar recently spent three months in Colombo, seconded to a team of Australians from the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation. They were there to prepare a plan for implementing a World Bank-funded National Water Management Improvement Plan. The five–year project will modernise water resource management in Sri Lanka beyond its traditional focus on irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
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    Article: Nitrous oxide: the serious side of laughing gas

     PDF of this article (892 KB)
    Global application of biologically available nitrogen (N) to agricultural soils through fertiliser use and through animal manure production.
    Average levels of N2O in the atmosphere since 1700.
    The relative proportions of sources of atmospheric N2O.
    The relative proportions in CO2 equivalents of the three major greenhouse gases.
    A micrometeorological mast instrumented to measure N2O emission.
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    Article: Bromine explosions and Antarctic ozone

    PDF of this article (390 KB)
    Towing the instrument across the sea ice in McMurdo Sound with Mt Erebus in the background.(Photo: Tim Hay)
    Tim Hay, Karin Kreher, and Katja Riedel have tested a new instrument system that can measure important atmospheric chemistry where the action is – out on the sea ice. Everyone’s heard about the ozone hole: it’s a severe reduction of the ozone layer in the stratosphere and in recent years it has developed over Antarctica each spring.
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    Profile: Fun with physics: Craig Stevens focuses on blue-sky research

     PDF of this article (122 KB)
    Craig deploys an instrument to measure turbulence. (Photo: Dave Plew)
    How do giant kelps manage to hold fast under crashing waves? Where do you look for a missing diver who’s drifted away? How can you extract energy from ocean currents? Wellington physicist Craig Stevens finds that his insight into biomechanics and boundary-layer physics takes him across disciplines to work in projects as diverse as marine ecology, climate, aquaculture, oceanography, and energy.
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    Article: When the rivers run dry: invertebrate communities in intermittent streams

     PDF of this article (534 KB)
    An intermittent stream in Hawke’s Bay during the dry phase. (Photo: Richard Storey)
    The number of species or species groups in intermittent streams compared to permanent streams from the same area.
    The species richness of the three intermittent streams is much higher when the ‘pool phase’ species are added.
    Two rare finds: the caddisfly Tarapsyche (above) and the stonefly Nesoperla. (Photos: Richard Storey)
    Now you see it, now you don’t.
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    Article: Seaweed secrets reveal a biodiversity hotspot

     PDF of this article (530 KB)
      Reddish-brown mats of ‘true’ Bangia cover rocks in the intertidal region. (Photo: Tracy Farr)
    The biphasic life history of Bangia. (Graphic: Tracy Farr)
    A comparison of the two new Bangiales species. (Graphic: Tracy Farr)
    They may look nondescript, but the reddish-brown mats of Bangiales seaweed common to many New Zealand beaches have a hidden identity.
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    Article: Eight thousand years of storms and droughts

    PDF of this article (481 KB)
    The picturesque surrounds of Lake Tutira, northeastern Hawke’s Bay (above), and the erosion-scarred landscape after Cyclone Bola in 1988 (below). (Photos: Mike Page (above) and Landcare Research)
    Grey storm material from the last century is inter-layered with dark organic ooze laid down during dry years. (Photo: Mike Page)
    Diagnostic species of diatoms reveal changes in the lake’s aquatic environment from droughts and storms.
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    Article: Colourful seafloor

    PDF of this article (567 KB)
    Peter Wilson and Kay Vopel position the automated microelectrode pore-water analyser. (Photo: John Zeldis)
    Three high-resolution digital scans show sediment profiles from different sites near a mussel farm.
    Kay Vopel, Hilke Giles,, and John Zeldis have combined three existing tools to come up with a new way of assessing change in coastal ecosystems. Sediments in coastal ecosystems have the job of breaking down organic matter.
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    Teachers: Using Water & Atmosphere in your classroom

     PDF of this article (56 KB)
    One of NIWA’s aims with this magazine is to contribute to science education in New Zealand. To this end we distribute Water & Atmosphere without charge to New Zealand high schools. Articles are assigned ‘Curriculum Connections’ to indicate which of the NZ NCEA Achievement or Unit Standards they can complement as a classroom resource.