Restored wetlands on private farms deliver ecosystem services and increase diversity, with varied results, a recent study has found.
Shannon Bentley, a master’s student at Victoria University and the first recipient of a Wetland Care Scholarship funded by Ducks Unlimited NZ, is studying how wetland restoration on farms changes plant, soil, and microbial characteristics.
In 2018-2019, as a part of the research group, Wetlands for People and Place, she sampled 18 privately restored wetlands and paired unrestored wetlands on farms in the Wairarapa.
For her master’s thesis, she analysed the wetland plant communities, soil physiochemical characteristics, and soil microbial communities to understand how they change with restoration. She found that wetland restoration on private property shifts plant, soil, and microbial characteristics towards desirable remnant wetland conditions. She also showed that the outcomes of wetland restoration varied within and between wetlands.
The JK Donald Reserve featured in the April issue of Flight, celebrating their becoming the National Rural Wetland Champion 2014.
Jane Donald’s daughter Paula Gillett took these photos a week before duck shooting.
They are taken in the JK Donald Reserve on the North Eastern side of Lake Wairarapa.
The Lake is a very popular shooting area where Fish & Game allocate Maimai sites on and around the Reserve.
Photos: Paula Gillett