Archive: Waiology 2012

The natural history of New Zealand’s freshwaters: Series conclusion and reader feedback

Waiology Dec 09, 2014

By Daniel Collins Over the past two months, Waiology’s Freshwater in Focus series on natural history has published 14 articles, from 13 authors and seven institutions, describing the diversity, complexity, and beauty of New Zealand’s freshwaters. From atmosphere to lithosphere and mountain to coast, we have seen examples of how water shapes the landscapes and ecosystems, and what traits plants … Read More

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The secret lives of freshwater mussels

Waiology Dec 05, 2014

By Kevin J Collier and Sue Clearwater You may not see them, but they are probably out there somewhere…hiding under overhangs and around fallen branches out of the main flow along stream banks, or buried in soft sediments on lake bottoms with only their siphons showing. And where you find one freshwater mussel there are likely to be more, sometimes … Read More

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Food webs: Who eats who, and what does that tell us?

Waiology Dec 02, 2014

By Elizabeth Graham Food webs are maps of “who eats who” within an ecosystem (Figure 1a). Each node, or point, in the web represents a species or group of organisms; nodes are connected by a link if there is a known feeding relationship between the two groups. Though they are built on simple predator-prey relationships, food webs integrate complex information … Read More

Lamprey – Living fossils in our midst

Waiology Nov 20, 2014

By Cindy Baker Lamprey and hagfish (known as cyclostomes or agnathans) are the only living jawless vertebrates. Over 360 million years old, lampreys swam past herds of drinking dinosaurs, and have survived at least four mass extinctions. The brain of the lamprey is believed to be the closest example of our primal vertebrate ancestors, and lampreys provide important insight into … Read More

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Delving deeper: Life below the bottom of the stream

Waiology Nov 13, 2014

By Aslan Wright-Stow Streams and rivers are typically thought of in two dimension space, flowing from upstream to down, from high in the catchment and then out to sea. Delve a little deeper however and we find a third dimension – a vertical space underneath the streambed that’s home to many freshwater invertebrates. Linked hydrologically to the overlying water column, … Read More

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Carbon cycling in mountain ranges – Our environmentally friendly Southern Alps

Waiology Nov 10, 2014

By Sarah Mager The Southern Alps of New Zealand are the source of some of New Zealand’s most iconic river systems.  The development of the South Island has been intimately connected with these powerful water sources. For instance, the Clutha initially provided a critical navigation route into Central Otago and the early gold fields; the Waitaki sustains eight hydroelectrical power … Read More

Understanding the natural history of New Zealand’s nutrient fluxes

Waiology Nov 06, 2014

By Emily Diack and Sarah Mager Water quality in New Zealand has been a hot topic of late, especially when it comes to the growing impact that agriculture and land use changes are having on our waterways. Maintaining good water quality is fundamental for sustaining our indigenous ecosystems, but how do we define what that ‘good’ level of water quality … Read More

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Hapua: developments in understanding river mouth lagoons and their responses to freshwater regimes

Waiology Nov 03, 2014

By Deirdre Hart Hapua are a type of predominantly freshwater river mouth lagoon that occurs on high energy temperate coasts. In New Zealand, they comprise a group highly-dynamic and socio-culturally important environments (Figure 1). Hapua behave differently to lagoons with tidal prisms. This means that classic estuary models cannot be applied to their understanding or management. Over the last three … Read More

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