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Environmental effects of the Manganui ski field, Mt Taranaki/Egmont

During May 2012, the environmental effects of the Manganui ski field were examined. Permanent quadrats first established in 1974 to monitor vegetation changes were re-measured, vegetation mapping was conducted, modifications to ground form and drainage were identified, soil compaction was examined, and stream water from the ski field catchment was tested for nutrient enrichment. This report focusses primarily on the lower Manganui ski field, as the upper Manganui ski field consists mostly of unmodified herbfield or gravelfield, protected by a sufficient snow base over the winter months. The lower Manganui ski field has a long history of modification spanning from the early 1900s. Vegetation types mapped on the lower field included unmown tussockfield, mown tussock-herbfield, shrubland and exotics. The re-measurement of vegetation in permanent quadrats on the lower field suggests that since the last re-measurement in 1994, several exotic species have increased in cover, including Carex ovalis, Poa annua, and Agrostis capillaris (percentage cover increases of up to 46.6%, 42.0% and 20.7% respectively). Vegetation mapping and historic photographs indicate that the lower ski field sits within the elevational belt of shrubland vegetation, little of which remains due to regular mowing conducted on the field since 1947. Shrubs which have been largely excluded from the field through mowing include Brachyglottis elaeagnifolius, Hebe odora, Ozothamnus vauvilliersii, Dracophyllum filifolium, Pseudopanax colensoi, Raukaua simplex and Hebe stricta var. egmontiana. Areas of the ski field dominated by exotic vegetation were predominantly associated with historic culvert construction and rock dynamiting. Compaction by machinery was confined to the sensitive mossfield area at the base of the lower field.
Commissioned Report for External Body
Type of thesis
ERI report
Efford, J. T., Bylsma, R. J., & Clarkson, B. D. (2012). Environmental effects of the Manganui ski field, Mt Taranaki/Egmont. ERI report number 003. Hamilton, New Zealand: Environmental Research Institute, The University of Waikato.
Environmental Research Institute, The University of Waikato
© 2012 the authors.