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Andrew Wall

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Science)
Study Completed: 2006
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The effect of Poplar Stand Density on Hill Country Pastures.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Dr Wall’s research provides comprehensive information on the effect of poplar trees on understorey pasture production, across a range of stand densities typically used for soil conservation in NorthIsland hill country. Fieldwork was carried out on three commercial sheep and beef farms in the Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay over two years. The greatest impact of poplars on understorey pastures was a decrease in dry matter production due to shading. Digital photographs of the tree canopy were found to be an effective index of shading. In contrast, soil fertility under the trees had the potential to produce similar pasture production to that of open pasture, with the added advantage of less acid soils. Overall, Dr Wall’s thesis emphasises the need for ongoing silvicultural management of poplar stands to minimise the negative impact of excessive shading on understorey pastures. His thesis also provides practical solutions to achieve this goal.

Professor Peter Kemp
Dr Alec MacKay