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Centre for Biodiversity & Ecology Research

Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science & Engineering

The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

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Research

What limits mangrove distribution in New Zealand?  

Avicennia marina var. resinifera, the New Zealand mangrove, occurs north of about 38oS, a southern limit for several species including kauri. Two existing theories suggest either rare, severe ground frosts or, more recently, poor dispersal ability and lack of suitable habitats as the cause for the southern limit. A combination of modern techniques, including modelling climate/ distribution links, genetic relationships of populations and photosynthetic performance, will be used to produce new evidence on what limits mangrove distribution as well as contributing to our understanding of another significant biogeographic problem, why is 38oS so important? 

The mangrove research team is Warwick Silvester, Allan Green, Chrissen Gemmill, John Leathwick (NIWA), and Catherine Beard (PhD student). This research is funded by the Marsden Fund.