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Vive La Resistance – Managing wilding conifer reinvasion – the science that helps our work.

Date: 3rd November 2023

Scion is one of the lead providers for the science that helps wilding control work. The goal for Vive la résistance (VLR) is to achieve one important impact for New Zealand: To optimise wilding conifer management for the long-term by minimising re-invasion and maximising the resilience to re-invasion of vulnerable landscapes.

The outcome of VLR is to enhance nationally coordinated wilding management with scientifically robust solutions that mitigate re-invasion of controlled but still vulnerable parts of our productive and conservation lands. Achieving this outcome starts with more targeted strategies to deploy enhanced control of primary infestations in conjunction with follow-up approaches that both overcome the invaders’ resilience to control and increase natural resistance to re-invasion.

Three key areas of work are the following:

Quantifying reinvasion – sampling post control wilding infestations along a time, space and invasion level; gradient – a global first attempt to collect unbiased population data to understand reinvasion of tree invaders.

Quantifying cone traits of Pinus contorta has indicated that New Zealand possibly hosts a unique invasive conifer, an intra-specific hybrid between coastal and inland sub-species’ of P. contorta that produce larger cones and more viable seeds than the sub-species in their respective home ranges, traits that could contribute to the species’ increased invasiveness in New Zealand.

Understanding and preventing re-invasion – Testing the effect of ‘beyond control’ management practices (such as soil disturbance, competing vegetation, browsing on reinvasion and identifying which management techniques increase reinvasion resistance. This includes testing whether native plant species can be used to restore land and reduce reinvasion following control.

Managing reinvasion – Using a model to predict the dispersal of wilding seed.

To read more – and it’s a very good read see below…

For more information, please contact Carol.Rolando@scionresearch.com or Thomas.Paul@scionresearch.com

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