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A pilot inventory of elite indigenous timber-tree seed-sources for indigenous afforestation & silviculture from lowland environmental domains.  




The Indigenous Afforestation and Silviculture group seeks to establish the sustainable development of indigenous afforestation and then implement permanent-canopy ecological silviculture in New Zealand.  The group’s members include forest ecologists, economists, organisational leaders, Tangata Whenua, farmers, farm foresters, vineyard proprietors, tree nurseries, researchers etc. The group’s initiatives complement sustainable afforestation and ecological silviculture developments in other parts of the world.  The group is associated with and supported by Tane’s Tree Trust and Landcare Trust NZ.

Native afforestation and silviculture effectively mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and address the 4 well-beings of sustainable development (social and cultural, economic and environmental).  Consequently there is substantial interest in its development and implementation.   

A pre-requisite to building indigenous afforestation and silviculture capacity is developing robust information about appropriate elite seed-sources. 

This pilot project identifies elite native timber-trees and stands that can sustain viable indigenous afforestation projects for the Coastal Moutere and alluvial Kahurangi environments.  This project's outcomes are set to catalyse a New Zealand-wide elite indigenous timber-tree eco seed-sourcing project. 


An Environmental domain is a spatial framework for addressing resource management and conservation issues.  Environmental domains are areas with similar environmental influences on inhabiting biota (life forms).  Definitions are based on 7 climatic and 8 substrate variables that are relevant to forest tree growth. Environmental domains reflect the tessellated (scale-dependant) extent of possible forest communities and unmodified native ecosystems.  Today they often include modified cultural landscape, hence the term environmental domain rather then ecosystem.

For canopy tree eco-seed sourcing, the framework is applied at an appropriate spatial scale, that takes into account trees' metapopulation dynamics and domains' environmental differences that can affect development of distinct tree populations.
Elite variables are equally applicable, yet vary between tree species.  Some are genetically pre-determined (genotypes) others may to some extent be influenced by the environment (phenotypes).  In combination, elite variables distinguish elite trees that retain genetic vitality, desirable growth characteristics and are also well adapted to their environment.

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Puriri regeneration

Vigorous Puriri saplings (Vitex lucens), competing for a canopy gap, regenerating and synergising a forest ecosystem.  Inspected by John Crawford of the Far North.