Enhancing agricultural ecosystems

Agricultural production landscapes make up over 50% of New Zealand’s total land area.

Our research team is exploring multifunctionality in agroecosystems using a range of research approaches that draw on:

  • Biodiversity science
  • Spatial ecological modelling
  • Ecosystem and forest restoration
  • Socio-ecological theory
  • Public policy

An example of our research is determining how native tree species can be effectively used to both increase carbon sequestration in these landscapes to enhance biodiversity and human wellbeing.

Our research is funded by

  • AUT Strategic Research Investment Fund
  • Ministry for Primary Industries/Te Uru Rākau
  • Fonterra
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • Beef & Lamb NZ

Living Laboratory research project

The Living Laboratory project, funded by AUT, is a real-world experiment that will address key scientific, political and social knowledge gaps when it comes to bringing native forest back onto kiwi farms.

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Jeff Silby (left), research operations manager for the AUT Living Laboratories research experiment, organises the collection of tree and ecosystem data via students and volunteers (right).
Remnant and regenerating native woody vegetation patches in farm landscapes are critical sources of biodiversity, provide resources for native birds and enhance human wellbeing.
An AUT field team undertaking measurements of native shrublands on a farm for plant community diversity and carbon quantification.