GeoHazards cover story
Our article on the impacts of sea-level change was unexpectedly chosen as the cover story for the latest issue of GeoHazards, check it out here!
Relationship between sea-level change and loss of seaweed on a rocky shore
In this paper recent published in GeoHazards we evaluated the relationship between sea-level change and the severity of impacts in the major habitat-forming seaweed beds that sustain life on rocky shores. Check out the open access paper here: Threshold effects of relative sea-level change in intertidal ecosystems The 7.8 Mw Kaikōura earthquake affected a large section of the South Island’s east coast and led to a major re-assembly of ecological communities and coastal resource use. To understand the drivers of change and recovery in nearshore ecosystems, we quantified the variation in sea-level… Read More
New Report on beach recovery in Marlborough
A new report covers some of our ongoing disaster recovery work on the Kaikōura and Marlborough coasts. It responds to a request from Marlborough District Council (MDC) for information on the coastal environment, with a particular focus on supporting the development of a bylaw to address changes in recreational use patterns that have occurred since the Kaikōura earthquake. In the report, we present a selection of information from our earthquake recovery research that has a focus on understanding the impacts and ongoing processes of change. Major impacts of the natural disaster are associated… Read More
Whitebait hatching experiment with Environment Canterbury
Our discovery of whitebait spawning sites in Kaikōura streams (see Recover Issue 3) ended with a twist in Waikoau / Lyell Creek when we realised that the eggs were unlikely to hatch. Thanks to Pete Adams at Environment Canterbury we came up with an engineering experiment in the form of a temporary closure — the reverse of mechanical stream openings that are routinely used to alleviate flood waters backing up after natural river mouth closures. In this case we temporarily blocked the mouth with gravel to raise the water level around 40… Read More
Seaweed recovery experiments
Before the earthquake, several reefs around the Kaikōura Peninsula and in the Cape Campbell area used to be covered by the seaweed Hormosira banksii (also known as Neptune’s necklace), but these lush algal forests were almost completely lost as a result of the uplift. It was shown by previous studies of MERG that these algal beds supported much of the biodiversity of intertidal reefs, which are now depauperate of other algae and small animals. We are now trying to aid the recovery of Hormosira by creating “oases” with shade and moisture in… Read More
What is RECOVER?
RECOVER is collecting data on recovery of the natural environment with a focus on the short to mid-term prospects for key species and habitats along the coast. We are particularly interested in understanding the nature of earthquake impacts, detecting barriers to a full recovery, and investigating how long it might take. Why?RECOVER is aimed at helping the coastal environment return to a ‘new-normal’ following the earthquakes. As we already know the earthquakes have caused massive changes, RECOVER focuses more on what happens next. Some main themes of the project include predicting the… Read More