Ornamental to detrimental: The invasion of New Zealand by non-native plants
Aotearoa New Zealand has more types of non-native plants than almost anywhere in the world. Our great botanist, Leonard Cockayne (1855-1934), believed that such non-natives would never pose a threat to our native flora. Yet today, many of these introduced species pose significant economic and environmental costs yet all signs point to the problem growing in the future.
Professor Philip Hulme, recipient of the 2017 Leonard Cockayne Lecture Award, will explore the history of plant invasions in New Zealand and examine the underlying causes and potential future trends. Some of these invasive plants have been introduced as commercial crops such as pine and pasture grasses, while others have arrived as ornamentals from around the world. Cockayne himself introduced thousands of non-native plants to his property in Christchurch.
Although new imports are screened at the border for signs of invasive behaviour, New Zealand faces a threat from the 30,000 or so varieties already grown here in our gardens, though sometimes it takes up to 100 years before these invaders jump the garden fence and become a problem.
So what are the tools available to control these current and future threats? Philip looks at the role of botanic gardens in both the spread and management of invasive weeds, and consider how both the government and public can be more effective in preventing and controlling the plant invaders.
About the speaker
Professor Philip Hulme FRSNZ is the Chair in Plant Biosecurity at Lincoln University, where he is based at the Bio-Protection Research Centre. He has been listed in the top 1% of all scientists worldwide in terms of his research impact in each of the past four years. His expertise lies in biological invasions and biosecurity and he is a member of the New Zealand Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.
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Come and discover with this series of Academy Lectures from Royal Society Te Apārangi, where we share the expertise of New Zealand scientists through the ties with our Branches - Royal Society Te Apārangi Wellington Branch.
This event is proudly presented in partnership with the Bio-Protection Research Centre.
Views that are expressed at this event may not reflect those of Royal Society Te Apārangi.