Soils at Manaaki Whenua

Our projects

We collaborate on scientific projects that address some of the big soils-related environmental challenges faced in New Zealand and Antarctica. Through the projects we seek to understand existing and emerging pressures, as well as threats to and opportunities for our soil and associated natural resources, such as water. These include land-use change, intensification, climatic pressures, legacy effects (e.g. forest clearance), and environmental protection of soils (e.g. Antarctica).

Our projects draw on the expertise and skills of our soil and informatics scientists, our soil labs, and decades of data and field sites, as well as our Manaaki Whenua colleagues who work in diverse areas of environmental science.

Explore the science projects we are currently undertaking or have undertaken in the past by clicking on a link below.

Browse all projects

Hot Projects

stec

Smarter Targeting of Erosion Control (STEC)

A project on exploring cost-effective ways of targeting land-based erosion control in the hope of slowing the damage and improving water quality.

Discussing the project at Lincoln University's Ashley Dene site

Linking carbon and nitrogen cycling in lucerne: mitigating nitrogen losses and retaining soil carbon

We are investigating on-farm solutions to reduce the environmental impact of intensive irrigated pastoral agriculture while maintaining productivity and profitability.

soil health resilience

Soil health and resilience

An integrated soil health framework that provides a comprehensive view of soil health and resilience and can be used by a wide range of end-users .

Featured Projects

nscms

A study to improve New Zealand’s ability to report greenhouse gas emissions and removals under international climate change agreements and satisfy a growing desire by primary industry organisations and individual farmers to know how New Zealand’s soil carbon stocks might be changing.

The new study is  designed to directly measure changes in soil carbon through time using a statistically  designed framework to ensure unbiased, representative monitoring across all  agricultural land in New Zealand, grouped into the five broad land-use classes

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Mitigating the numerous impacts that fine sediment has in rivers requires a catchment-wide approach to reducing soil erosion.

By international standards, sediment loads in some New Zealand rivers are very high. Mitigating the numerous impacts this fine sediment has in rivers requires a catchment-wide approach to reducing soil erosion. However, the relationships between sediment load and attributes such as visual clarity and euphotic depth are poorly understood. Developing methods that allow these relationships to be quantified are necessary to assist catchment management groups to set targets for optical water quality.

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Motueka River. Image - Tom Fraser