Salt pans are characterised by saline and alkaline soils and support a flora that is halophytic (meaning it naturally grows in areas affected by salinity in the root area or by salt spray).
In New Zealand salt pans have been drastically reduced in spatial extent over the last 200 years from an estimated 40,000 hectares in the Maniototo basin and the mid-Manuherikia and Upper Clutha Valleys. A combination of factors including mining, cultivation and irrigation has left only 100 hectares or fewer across approximtely 30 different sites in Central Otago.
For more information see*:
- Guidelines for conservation of salt pans in Central Otago by R. Allen and P McIntosh - DOC 1997
- Salt pans (Wikipedia)
- Information on saline soil habitats
- Johnson, P.N. 1976. Central Otago salt pan vegetation- a proposal for two reserves in the Maniototo Basin. DSIR Botany Division report.
- Patrick, B.H. 1989. The Lepidoptera of Central Otago salt-pans. Dept of Conservation, Dunedin.
- McIntosh, P.D., Beecroft, F.G. and Patrick, B.H. 1990. Register of saline soil sites in North and Central Otago. Volume 1. Technical Record DN5. Division of Land and Soil Sciences, DSIR.
- McIntosh, P.D., Beecroft, F.G. and Patrick, B.H. 1992. Register of saline soil sites in North and Central Otago. Volume 2. DSIR Land Resources Technical Record 82. DSIR Land Resources, Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research, Lower Hutt.
- Raeside, J.D. 1948: The origin of salt pans in Central Otago, The NZ Journal of Science and Technology
- Rogers, G., Hewitt, A. & Wilson, J.B. (1999) Ecosystem-based conservation strategy for Central Otago’s saline patches. Landcare Research Contract Report LC9900/52
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