Monitoring Sites - Kopuatai

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Site Description

The Kopuatai EC tower (GPS coordinates: -37.3880, 175.5540; elevation: 5m) is within one of NZ's largest intact wetlands, and its largest raised bog. Kopuatai bog lies in the lower Hauraki plains of the North Island. Peat forming vegetation is primarily the vascular plant Empodisma minus, a member of the Southern Hemisphere Restionaceae family of plants.

Extensive peatlands formed from vascular plants are globally unusual, and the sustainability of these ecosystems in the face of changing climate and intensification of surrounding agricultural land is uncertain.

The peatland has been protected by the New Zealand Department of Conservation external link as a Ramsar site since 1989 and is the largest remaining unaltered peatland in the country external link.

Mean annual temperature and rainfall at a nearby weather station are 14.6°C and 1262mm, respectively. Maximum peat depth reaches 14m with vegetation dominated by jointed wire rush and cane rush (Empodisma minus and Sporadanthus ferrugineus), sedges (Schoenus pauciflorus and Baumea spp.), and manuka shrub (Leptospermum scoparium).

The bog spans approximately 100km2 with E. minus-dominated areas having a canopy height on the order of 1m and S. ferrugineus-dominated areas having a canopy height on the order of 2.5 – 3m.

Modified: 7/10/21