Plant-SyNZ™: an invertebrate herbivore biodiversity assessment tool

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Plant-SyNZ herbivore biodiversity tool

Plant-SyNZ™ is a tool that was originally designed for assessing the biodiversity of insect, mite, and nematode herbivores on native plants. It was developed by Crop & Food Research and is now managed by Landcare Research for use by professional scientists, lay people and school students. Insects are an important and numerous component of New Zealand’s biodiversity and for this reason it is important that they are assessed in biodiversity studies. The Plant-SyNZ concept has been expanded to include some predators and parasitoids of herbivores, and to include fungi and other micro-organisms that have a distinctive appearance or produce distinctive symptoms on plants.

Plant-SyNZ™ is based upon photographs of plant damage caused by the invertebrates and micro-organisms and photographs of invertebrates and fungi that have a unique appearance on a particular plant. The tool is designed to be used for a wide variety of purposes and by people with different skill levels.

Central to Plant-SyNZ™ are the invertebrate & fungi identification charts. These are pdf computer files that can be printed or used in a portable computer. They are designed for use in a tablet computer which is suitable for scrolling through photos and on which it is easy to enlarge the high quality images to see more detail. Each of these identification charts covers only one plant species. The charts for each plant species are available for three levels of skill, student, standard, and expert. The charts are accompanied by matching recording sheets. Demonstration identification charts and recording sheets are available for testing.

A more detailed explanation of Plant-SyNZ™ including how Plant-SyNZ™ might be used, is available — see: What is Plant-SyNZ™.

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Primary Contact

Nicholas Martin
Address: Landcare Research
Private Bag 92170
Tel: 09 574 4105