The New Zealand coast is a marine biodiversity hotspot, inhabited by an estimated 65 000 species, many of unique to New Zealand. Knowing what we have and where is crucial to protecting this wealth of biodiversity and the environmental services it delivers. A recent mapping project meets this need.
The Bay of Islands coast is under increasing pressure from human activities, both land-based and marine. As part of the government’s Ocean Survey 20/20 programme, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) commissioned NIWA to carry out a comprehensive survey of the region’s seafloor habitats and biodiversity.
Research has revealed key differences in seafloor communities and habitats inside and outside the Separation Point trawl fishing exclusion zone in Tasman Bay. These have important implications for valuable benthic fisheries in the area.
Copepods are small crustaceans found throughout the world’s oceans. They are so common that, as a group, they may form the largest weight of animals in the world. NIWA scientists have been mapping the distribution of one species of these tiny animals.
NIWA scientists continue their research into didymo, hoping to find out more about the conditions most suited to its establishment.
NIWA is helping the Department of Conservation to ensure cruise ships don’t inadvertently carry unwanted foreign organisms on their hulls to New Zealand’s subantarctic islands.
Experiments on Antarctic shellfish at NIWA are revealing the potential effects of ocean acidification on fragile marine ecosystems.
Genetic diversity is an important component of biodiversity. Recent NIWA research shows how contaminated stormwater can reduce the genetic diversity of one model freshwater species.