Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Zealand forest giant prevents landslides

17.05.2005


The colossal kauri trees prevent landslides on landslide-prone slopes. This is the conclusion of Dutch-funded researcher Lieven Claessens, who developed a model for predicting landslides in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in New Zealand.



Claessens has discovered that the kauri trees in New Zealand prevent landslides. When these enormous conifers reached a certain age, they stabilise areas prone to landslides. This maximises the benefit the trees gain by living far longer than other tree species.

At present the slopes are drained and large concrete structures are placed to prevent the landslides and the associated mud flows. According to Claessens planting kauri trees is a natural and in the longer-term possibly better solution for this problem.


During his doctoral research, the Belgian researcher developed a dynamic landscape model to simulate the distribution of soil due to landslides. For this he studied the landscape, soil and vegetation dynamics in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in New Zealand. The model can be used to predict the locations where landslides will occur and researchers can also use it to calculate how rainfall affects the soil.

Waitakere Ranges

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is situated on the North Island of New Zealand. About 1000 years ago this entire island was covered with kauri trees, which can reach a height of 50 metres and grow in the most inhospitable places. The largest kauri tree in New Zeeland is the Tane Mahuta (’king of the forest’). This tree has reached the honourable age of 1500 years, is more than 51 metres high and has a girth of 13.7 metres.

Some of the remaining kauri forests of the island are still inhabited by the original islanders, the Maori’s. They use the trees to build canoes and houses. From the mid-19th century onwards, many kauri trees were chopped down by Europeans for the timber trade. This led to the disappearance of most of these colossal conifers. Hopefully the positive effect of these forest giants on preventing landslides will contribute to their conservation.

Dr Lieven Claessens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_6B9C4G_Eng

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>