Integrated Catchment Management

Native plant roots

Excavating plant roots with a supersonic air lance
Excavating plant roots with a supersonic air lance

The work on native plant roots has provided a unique and significant database for New Zealand. While the primary aim was to gather information to assist recommending plants for erosion control, the data has found its way into uses such as in calculating the carbon accounts for the country. The development of future guidelines and links to the work still being carried out on bank styles will provide a useful way of bringing a number of things together.

Following considerable public interest in the results from the first trial on riparian plant colonisers and their root systmes, a second trial was established in which the growth performance of a further selection of native species commonly used in streamside restoration projects will be assessed The species selected typically form a component of either the canopy of a mature forest or are useful for early revegetation of freshly exposed subsoils.

As in the previous trial, the emphasis will be on the root characteristics of individual species with a view to assessing their potential soil binding performance in different geomorphic streamside settings (e.g., graded banks, steep to vertical banks) and in different materials (e.g., silty and sandy alluvium, alluvial gravels, bedrock etc).

Currently we get on average 2–5 requests per month for information relating to the roots of native plants.

Key Contact:

Image - Michael Marden Michael Marden  EmailSend email to Mardenm
Landcare Research
Phone: 06 8631345
Fax: 06 8631346
More details»
Geology/Earth Sciences/Geomorphology/Erosion processes