Effect on Terrestrial Ecosystems

 

A botanical assessment undertaken by Land care research indicates the red / silver beech forest through which the track will be built alongside the penstock is typical of such forest in the region and is present in many DOC reserves. The lake Matiri shoreline has 64% beech forest on steep slopes and 36% shallow sloping herbaceous vegetation which has in the past been extensively grazed by cattle and is now dominated by naturalized species. No rare or threatened species have been identified in the area.

During construction of the scheme some vegetation will be removed from the bush forest area and heavy machinery operating in the environment will cause some damage. New Zealand Energy will work closely with the Department of Conservation to limit the extent of disturbance to an acceptable and practical minimum.

Typical bush section of proposed track and penstock route.
Where practical New Zealand Energy will replace trees and shrubs removed during construction of the access track, penstock line, powerhouse and tailrace. Humus and duff material will be stockpiled during initial vegetation clearance and replaced on exposed areas of soil such as cut batters in order to ensure rapid reinstatement of native plant cover.
Typical Lake Matiri shoreline with beech forest on steep slopes. Typical Lake Matiri shoreline with shallow sloping herbaceous vegetation.
As lake Matiri will be operated within the natural lake level but with the average mean level slightly raised, a possible result is that the herbaceous vegetation zone (comprising mainly adventive rushes) may simply move "up slope" a little. The overall effect on shoreline vegetation is expected to be negligible.