Disappearing Forests

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1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.

Disappearing Forests

Bull kelp (Durvillaea spp.) are important habitat-forming species that increase biodiversity and productivity and provide significant economic and cultural value. Recently, the Kaikoura region experienced a major uplift along 130 km coastline following a 7.8 earthquake, appearing to have caused mass mortality with unknown ecological consequences. To better understand the ecological impact, it is imperative to have strong data on bull kelp losses. The aim of my study is to (a) provide data on bull kelp loss along the Kaikoura coastline, (b) to monitor regrowth and recolonisation and (c) to assess implications of the loss on other species. I have, so far, surveyed 20 impacted reefs characterised by different degrees of uplift, using small-scale quadrates and large-scale drone-images. Preliminary analysis suggests that Durvillaea poha has been particularly severely impacted. 

Through aerial images, this video highlight the rapid changes occurred to the coastal environment after the earthquake. This succession of images have the purpose of showing, with a different perspective, what’s left after the catastrophic event; a comparison between life, death, and regeneration, showing how powerful nature can be. All this, without forgetting the beauty and wildness of New Zealand coastline.

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