Environmental Research Institute (ERI) Seminar: "Drastic changes in Waikato's freshwater flora over the last 150 years"

Date Wednesday 7 October 2020
Time 12pm - 1pm
Where S.1.02
Presenter Paul Champion (Te Waiora Joint Institute for Freshwater Management)
Contact Fiona Martin
Contact email
Admission Cost Free


The botanist Thomas Kirk investigated the vegetation in shallow lakes in the Lower Waikato River system in the 1870s, describing a rich flora in these clear shallow systems and identifying a number of species new to science. This talk will introduce these and other native submerged aquatic plants that may still be found within the Waikato Region, describing the different life-forms, and how they are adapted to and influence the aquatic environment. The freshwater environment is one of the most threatened habitats globally, with many non-native aquatic plants now naturalised in New Zealand that often highly modify their habitat. The worst aquatic weeds in the Waikato will be discussed. Additional stressors to the Waikato's freshwaters include nutrient enrichment and pest fish invasion. Now the Lower Waikato lakes are essentially deserts with no submerged vegetation.