Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Travis Swamp Wetland Restoration #2 - Manuka

Manuka bushes on the northern edge of Travis wetland.

To re-establish an eastern lowlands swamp forest, pioneer species such as manuka are needed to pave the way for the development of a swampland forest of kahikatea, totara, and matai trees. Manuka colonises both wet and dry soils, acting as a protective nurse for the taller, canopy native tree species.

The manuka bushes in the Travis swamp are some of the last natural remnants on the Canterbury Plains.

Manuka also serves as a source of nectar for native butterflies and other insects. Restoration of manuka stands is held back by the effects of the scale insect, manuka blight, and the associated sooty mould.

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