|College of Sciences > INR > Ecology Group|
Dr G.L. Rapson
Plants are critical contributers to ecosystems; they are responsible for greening and oxygenating the planet, and providing animals with most of their resources for life. New Zealand's unique flora has evolved and radiated in isolation from all except the Gondwanan elements common to the cool-temperate southern hemisphere. Yet our flora and vegetation is now under threat from alien invading plants, which equal the native component in diversity. This situation has generated many interesting research questions.
I am a generalist plant ecologist with broad interests in both rare and over-abundant (weedy) species, using a range of techniques (experimental, modelling, ecophysiological, genetic, field surveying and monitoring, data-bases, and dendroecological). I work mainly in habitats of short stature (grasslands, dunes, alpine, wetlands), but also in forests and shrublands. Other areas of interest include impacts of disturbance events on vegetation, beech forest dynamics around treelines, New Zealand tree-daisy ecology, and microspecies adaptations.
See the sidebar for more information on some of these ideas. Post-grad students wishing to follow up on any of these topics are most welcome to contact me.