Aquatic plant scientists visit Queenstown

The 15th International Symposium on Aquatic Plants was held in Queenstown in February 2018, bringing together scientists from 20 different countries to share their latest research, promote debate, discussion and collaboration.

The conference included three major themes:

  1. Biodiversity, conservation and biomonitoring, 
  2. Management and invasive species, and 
  3. Ecosystem response and restoration.

There were 11 sessions chaired by scientists from universities and research institutes around the world. 

Globally aquatic ecosystems were recognised as being under threat. The main threats come from catchment land-use change, altered water regimes, increased eutrophication, invasive species and combinations of these factors. There is a need for science research to respond to these challenges by providing solutions to halt the decline and improve the condition of our valuable freshwaters. This need can only be met by understanding aquatic ecosystems, the role of macrophytes and the nature and scale of changes occurring. In understanding the threats to aquatic ecosystems, we can then develop the means to address those threats, protect and restore aquatic habitats. 

The conference was supported by sponsorship from NIWA, the Aquatic Plant Management Society, Land Information New Zealand and Boffa Miskell, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, and Thunderjets


Dr Deborah Hofstra

Delegates learn about local issues with the weed Lagarosiphon major in the Kawarau river. [Photo: Tracey Burton]

Delegates learn about local issues with the weed Lagarosiphon major in Lake Dunstan. [Photo: Tracey Burton]


More articles: Freshwater Update 76, March 2018