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Kahikatea Forest Green Wheel

TR 2019/01

Report: TR 2019/01

Author: Karen Denyer (Papawera Geological Consulting Ltd), Yanbin Deng

About this report

The Waikato Regional Council aims to create a “Kahikatea Forest Green Wheel” to help landowners and resource managers measure how similar a given kahikatea forest fragment is to the most healthy and functioning example we could expect in the contemporary ecological and economic setting. A monitoring plan for forest fragmentation is part of the Council’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.

The Green Wheel is a tool designed to assist restoration managers to evaluate the degree to which the ecosystem under treatment is recovering over time. It has been adapted from the Ecosystem Recovery Wheel developed by the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia.
Each sub-attribute is accorded a score from a five-star rating system, and visually presented on a wheel graphic, to enable landowners or site managers to quickly identify areas that need improvement, and to track restoration progress towards a higher functioning state or a lower functioning state over time and between sites.

A list of ecosystem attributes and relevant sub-attributes has been proposed for assessing the health and functioning of kahikatea forest fragments in the Waikato Region. These are grouped under the Pressure, State, Response framework used by the council for monitoring and reporting on the state of the environment.

The attributes and associated scoring system for a Kahikatea Forest Fragment Green Wheel are presented, along with proposed field datasheets and a completed example for a real-life kahikatea fragment. Recommendations include suggested methods for collecting information to apply each standard, and whether best applied by the landowner/site manager, a specialist contractor, or via GIS analysis.

Although iwi interest in the results of this work could be high (given their involvement in kahikatea forest conservation and restoration) it is not considered that the way this work was completed or the methods used would be of particular interest. For this reason, we consider this work to be low risk but we do intend to make the report freely available to iwi within the Waikato. Please note that, there is a need to publish the report and make the information available to the whole community so that they can make their land use/management decisions based on all available information for the weeds control at the Kahikatea fragmentation.

An example of the potential interest is the Maniapoto Trust at the Otorohanga district has some restoration activities for the kahikatea forest fragmentation.

Read or download the report

“Kahikatea Forest Green Wheel” - developing a tool to assess ecosystem recovery of Kahikatea remnants in the Waikato region [PDF, 2.8 MB]

  Executive summary
1 Introduction
1.1 SERA Ecosystem Recovery Wheel
2 Developing a Kahikatea Green Wheel
2.1 Design considerations and attribute recommendations
2.2 Proposed KGW attributes
2.3 KGW Attribute ranking
2.3.1 Kahikatea forest types
2.3.2 Kahikatea reference sites
2.3.3 Spatial analysis
2.3.4 Indicator animal species
2.3.5 KGW Attribute scoring justification
2.4 KGW Attribute standards
3 Results
Appendix 1: Ranking standards for Waikato Kahikatea Green Wheel
Appendix 2: Completed example of a KGW
Appendix 3: KGW field sheet templates
Appendix 4: Example of Green Wheel Excel spreadsheet and produced graphs