The Wetland Book pp 1991-2000 | Cite as

New Zealand Restiad Bogs

  • Beverley R. ClarksonEmail author
Reference work entry


Restiad bogs, dominated by species in the predominantly Southern Hemisphere family Restionaceae, are most extensively developed on the temperate oceanic islands of New Zealand. They form raised and blanket bogs on mainly flat, poorly drained lowlands, but also occur in the montane and subalpine zones. The main peat forming species are Empodisma robustum (northern North Island), E. minus (central and southern North Island, and most of South and Stewart Islands), Sporadanthus ferrugineus (northern North Island), and S. traversii (Chatham Island). Empodisma minus also grows in south-eastern Australia. Since 1840, restiad bogs in the lowland zone have been much reduced by widespread agricultural development, associated with European settlement. As a result, some are now classified as threatened ecosystems, and most contain threatened plant and animal species. Recognition of the magnitude of this loss, ongoing threats to ecological integrity, and the important role of restiad bogs in providing ecosystem services has led to increased efforts to protect, manage, and restore them.


Empodisma minus Empodisma robustum Peatlands Restionaceae Sporadanthus ferrugineus Sporadanthus traversii 


  1. Clarkson BR, Ausseil A-GE, Gerbeaux P. Wetland ecosystem services. In: Dymond JR, editor. Ecosystem services in New Zealand – conditions and trends. Lincoln: Manaaki Whenua Press; 2013. p. 192–202.Google Scholar
  2. Clarkson BR, Clarkson BD. Restiad bogs in New Zealand. In: Rydin H, Jeglum JK, editors. The biology of peatlands. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2013. p. 241–8.Google Scholar
  3. Clarkson BR, Moore TR, Fitzgerald NB, Thornburrow D, Watts CH, Miller S. Water table regime regulates litter decomposition in restiad peatlands, New Zealand. Ecosystems. 2014;17:317–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clarkson BR, Schipper LA, Clarkson BD. Vegetation and peat characteristics of restiad bogs on Chatham Island (Rekohu), New Zealand. N Z J Bot. 2004a;2:293–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clarkson BR, Schipper LA, Lehmann A. Vegetation and peat characteristics in the development of lowland restiad peat bogs, North Island, New Zealand. Wetlands. 2004b;24:133–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clarkson BR, Schipper LA, Silvester WB. Nutritional niche separation in co-existing bog species demonstrated by 15N-enriched simulated rainfall. Aust Ecol. 2009;34:377–85.Google Scholar
  7. de Lange PR, Heenan PB, Clarkson BD, Clarkson BR. Sporadanthus in New Zealand. N Z J Bot. 1999;37:413–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Department of Conservation. The economic values of Whangamarino Wetland. 2007. DOCDM-141075. Available from: Accessed 13 Jan 2016.
  9. Frolking S, Roulet NT. Holocene radiative forcing impact of northern peatland carbon accumulation and methane emissions. Glob Chang Biol. 2007;13:1079–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hodges TA, Rapson GL. Is Empodisma the ecosystem engineer of the FBT (fen-bog transition zone) in New Zealand? J R Soc. 2011;40:181–207.Google Scholar
  11. McGlone MS. Postglacial history of New Zealand wetlands and implications for their conservation. N Z J Ecol. 2009;33:1–23.Google Scholar
  12. Schipper LA, Clarkson BR, Vojvodic-Vukovic M, Webster R. Restoring cut-over peat bogs: a factorial experiment of nutrients, seeds and cultivation. Ecol Eng. 2002;19:29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schuyt K, Brander L. The economic value of the world’s wetlands. Gland/Amsterdam: World Wildlife Fund; 2004.Google Scholar
  14. Thompson MA, Campbell DI, Spronken-Smith RA. Evaporation from natural and modified raised peat bogs in New Zealand. Agric For Meteorol. 1999;95:85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Watts CH, Clarkson BR, Didham RK. Rapid beetle community convergence following experimental habitat restoration in a mined peat bog. Biol Conserv. 2008a;141:568–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Watts CH, Vojvodic-Vukovic M, Arnold GC, Didham RK. A comparison of restoration techniques to accelerate recovery of litter decomposition rates and microbial activity in an experimental peat bog restoration trial. Wetl Ecol Manag. 2008b;16:103–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Watts C, Thornburrow D, Clarkson B, Dean S. Distribution and abundance of a threatened stem-boring moth, Houdinia flexilissima, (Lepidoptera: Batrachedridae) in New Zealand peat bogs. J Res Lepid. 2013;46:81–9.Google Scholar
  18. Waugh J. Report on the Whangamarino Wetland and its role in flood storage on the lower Waikato River. Hamilton: Department of Conservation; 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Landcare ResearchHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations