David Norton - People - New Zealand School of Forestry - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

David Norton





B.Sc. (Hons)


Forestry 233

Contact Details

Phone: +64 3 364 2116 (Ext 6116)

Postal Address

School of Forestry
College of Engineering
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand

Rural Ecology Research Group (RERG)

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

Postgraduate Students

  • Christian Roschak (PhD) - Regeneration success in Central North Island mixed podocarp-broadleaved forest – the positive impact of large disturbance.
  • Conny Keye (PhD) - The agony of choice, selection and performance of ecosystem attributes for biodiversity offset models.
  • Anna Rodrigues (PhD) - Ecological thresholds as constraints to the growth and survival of woody tree species in degraded grassland in the South Island's dryland zone.
  • Adam Forbes (PhD) - Secondary forest succession in older plantation Pinus radiata stands: Implications for biodiversity restoration, carbon storage and indigenous timber harvest.
  • Adrian Tulod (PhD) - Restoration of canopy tree species in degraded eastern South Island ecosystems.
  • David Packer (MSc) – Response of native vegetation and wilding forest to the 2015 Flock Hill burn.
  • Zane Lazar (MSc) – Orchids as biological indicators in novel ecosystems.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • Dr Laura Young – Does native biodiversity provide benefits to farm production?

Research Interests

Integrating biodiversity conservation in agricultural systems, restoration ecology, threatened plant conservation, biodiversity offsetting, conservation management planning, biodiversity assessment and monitoring.

Current research projects

  • Benefits of native biodiversity for economic production in farming systems.
  • Monitoring and ecological patterns in the Cass Mountain Research Area.
  • Biodiversity conservation in high country sheep and beef farms.
  • Understanding factors limiting restoration success in degraded grasslands.
  • Biodiversity offsetting as a tool to enhance native biodiversity values in the face of ongoing economic development.

Selected Recent Publications

Young, L.M., Norton, D.A., Lambert, MT. (2016). One hundred years of vegetation change at Cass, eastern South Island high country. New Zealand      Journal of Ecology 40(3): 289-301.

Norton, D.A., Young, L.M. (2016). Effect of artificial shade and grazing removal on degraded grasslands: Implications of woody restoration for herbaceous vegetation. Ecological Management and Restoration 17(2): 140-146.

Norton, D.A., Young, L.M. (2016). Effects of sheep grazing exclusion on alpine tall tussock grasslands. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 40(1): 179-185.

Forbes AS, Norton DA, Carswell FE 2015. Underplanting degraded exotic Pinus with indigenous conifers assists forest regeneration. Ecological Management and Restoration 16: 41-49.

Norton DA, Young LM 2015. Effects of sheep grazing exclusion on alpine tall tussock grasslands. New Zealand Journal of Ecology: In press.

Norton DA, Warburton B 2015. The potential for biodiversity offsetting to fund effective invasive species control. Conservation Biology 29:5-11

Arias ME, Cochrane TA, Norton DA, Killeen TJ, & Khon P. 2013. The Flood Pulse as the Underlying Driver of Vegetation in the Largest Wetland and Fishery of the Mekong Basin. Ambio 42: 864-876.

Norton DA, Reid N, Young L 2013. Ultimate drivers of biodiversity change in agricultural ecosystems. F1000Research 2013, 2:214 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-214.v1)

Reid N, Stafford Smith M & Norton D 2013. Environmental management. In: Management of Beef Cattle Production and Trade. (Eds Cottle D, Lewis K), CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Victoria, pp 459-491.

Norton D, Reid N 2013. Nature and Farming. Sustaining Native Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. 294 pp.

Laliberté E, Lambers H, Norton, DA, Tylianakis JM, Huston MA 2013. A long-term experimental test of the dynamic equilibrium model of species diversity. Oecologia 171:439-448.

Craig J, Moller H, Norton D, Saunders D, Williams M 2013. Enhancing our heritage: conservation for 21st Century New Zealanders: ways forward from the Tahi group of concerned scientists. Pacific Conservation Biology 19:256-269.

Steer MA & Norton DA 2013. Factors influencing the abundance of invasive hawkweeds, Hieracium species, in tall tussock grasslands in the Canterbury high country. New Zealand Journal of Botany 51:61-70.

Toose ER, Clinton PW, Beare MH, Norton DA 2012. Biodegradation of soluable organic matter as affected by land-use and soil depth. Soil Science Society of America Journal 76:1667-1677.

Laliberté E, Shipley B, Norton DA, Scott D 2012. Which plant traits determine abundance under long-term shifts in soil resource availability and grazing intensity. Journal of Ecology 100:662-677.

Hurst JM, Stewart GH, Perry GLW, Wiser SK & Norton DA 2012. Determinants of tree mortality in mixed old-growth Nothofagus forest. Forest Ecology and Management 270:189-199.

Norton DA & Overmars FB 2012. Ecological areas – premier protected natural areas. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 36:108-120.

Dickinson Y & Norton DA 2011. Divergent fine-scale patterns in New Zealand’s short tussock grasslands. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 35:76-82.

Williams A, Ridgway HJ, Norton DA 2010. Growth and competitiveness of the New Zealand tree species Podocarpus cunninghamii is reduced by ex-agricultural AMF but enhanced by forest AMF. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43:339-345.

de Lange P, Heenan P, Norton D, Rolfe J, Sawyer J 2010. Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 471 pp.

Sage DJM, Norton DA, Espie PR 2009. Effect of grazing exclusion on the woody weed Rosa rubiginosa in high country short tussock grasslands. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 52:123-128

Norton DA 2009. Species invasions and the limits to restoration: learning from the New Zealand experience. Science 325:569-571.
Norton DA 2009. Biodiversity offsets – two New Zealand case studies and an assessment framework. Environmental Management 43:698-706.

Norton DA, Espie PR, Murray W, Murray J 2006. Influence of pastoral management on plant biodiversity in a depleted short tussock grassland, Mackenzie Basin. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 30:335-344.
Pawson SM, Brockerhoff EG, Norton DA & Didham RK 2006. Clear-fell harvest impacts on biodiversity: past research and the search for harvest size thresholds. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36:1035-1046.

Hobbs RJ, Arico S, Aronson J, Baron JS, Bridgewater P, Cramer VA, Epstein PR, Ewel JJ, Klink KA, Lugo AE, Norton DA, Ojima D, Richardson DA, Sanderson EW, Valladares F, Vila M, Zamora R, Zobel M 2006. Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order. Global Ecology and Biogeography 15:1-7.

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