Integrated Catchment Management

Riparian vegetation assessment

 Research Status: Past
Native riparian vegetation

Native riparian vegetation


One of the important aspects of riparian management to aid improvement in freshwater habitat is to assess the nature of the existing riparian vegetation and explore opportunities for vegetation enhancement - particularly with native vegetation.

Research Approach

A pilot catchment, the Sherry River, was chosen to explore ways of mapping current vegetation and identify where the best places might be for native vegetation enhancement.

A method was designed to classify riparian vegetation using the Tasman District Council colour orthophotographs to describe riparian vegetation in seven broad classes. Ground truthing corrected misinterpretations. The vegetation in the non-pasture classes was assessed to provide a description of the vegetation and an understanding of the opportunities for enhancement.

Research Results

11% of the length of the Sherry River is pasture and has no woody riparian vegetation. Over a third of the riparian vegetation has been classified Deciduous hardwood. Deciduous hardwood vegetation is generally about 5 m wide and consists mainly of crack willow trees draped in old manís beard. It often has a thick ground cover of blackberry. Weed management is essential if more desirable riparian vegetation to be established.
The mixed indigenous shrubland vegetation is in the upper part of the catchment, and contains some native species such as kanuka and coprosmas.

Indigenous forest exists along about 17% of the length of the river and consists of beech and podocarp trees, some native understory species, with few weeds present. This vegetation has an average width of 6 m. Individual beech trees also occur intermittently along the length of the river. These areas offer good opportunities for riparian enhancement with native species. Weed management will be less difficult, and a native seed source already exists.

Riparian enhancement considerations

Sherry River vegetation Sherry River vegetation

Sherry River vegetation

Sherry River vegetation

Recent Publications

Year Title File Size
2012 A Summary of Outcomes and selected formal publications from the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)research programme:2000 – 2011
pdf       1.08MB
2010 The Sherry River Story – Improving Water Quality through Whole Catchment Planning. pdf       3.71MB
2008 Establishing native plants alongside the Sherry River, with particular emphasis on initial weed control. The Bavin’s trial. pdf       79KB
2004 Stabilising characteristics of the New Zealand cabbage tree (Cordyline australis). doc       20KB
2004 Riparian vegetation: classification and rehabilitation opportunities in a weedy environment, Sherry River, Motueka Catchment doc       31KB
More publications on this topic »
All ICM Publications »

BMPs, BEPs and Guidelines

Title Description
Riparian Zone Management Guidelines From document:
This Guideline is a practical manual for use by landowners, developers, organis...More »  
Riparian Zone Management Planting Guide Companion Guide to "Riparian Zone Management Guidelines"...More »  
Native Plants for Streamsides in Wellington Conservancy
Guideline helps reduce further loss of indigenous biodiversity by indicating the native plants
...More »  
Streamside Planting Guide From website:
The streamside planting guide will help you know what to plant where, and how to...More »  
All BMPs, BEPs & Guidelines »

Primary Contacts:

Image - Lisa Langer Lisa Langer  EmailSend email to lisa.langer
Phone: 03 364 2949
Fax: 03 364 2812
Ensis (formerly Forest Research)
Riparian vegetation
go to top
Page last updated Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Related areas

Riparian vegetation enhancement