Beef + Lamb New Zealand is encouraging all 12,500 of their farmers to have a biodiversity component in their Land Environment Plan by 2021. This makes them a natural partner for Farming & Nature Conservation.
Our kaupapa is all about researching the information that has real-life applications for farmers and making it available in the most effective way.
To help achieve this, we are working with Beef + Lamb to build a biodiversity framework and determine the best ways to get information about on-farm biodiversity across to Aotearoa's farmers.
Biodiversity is part of Beef + Lamb's four-pillared approach to improving the farm environment. The other three components are soil, water and carbon.
The Plant Flammability team at Lincoln University are helping the Farming & Nature Conservation project understand how farm vegetation affects the fire risk of the landscape. Leading the team is Dr Tim Curran, a specialist in the functional ecology of plant species and their response to disturbance.
Under his supervision are PhD candidates Azhar Alam and Xinglei Cui, both studying plant flammability in the context of agroecosystems.
Xinglei is researching the evolution of flammability by evaluating variation across vascular plant phylogeny. He will use this to see how plant flammability has evolved and which factors have influenced the evolution process.
Azhar is looking into which functional traits affect the flammability of plants. He will identify relationships between traits and flammability and will then be able to make recommendations for creating green fire-breaks on farms.
You can read more about their research here.
Xinglei collecting plant samples.
Azhar and Xinglei sorting plant samples.
Azhar burning samples on the "plant barbecue".