|dc.description.abstract||Fire is an important feature of pastoral farming in the tussock grasslands of Otago.
Over many years data have been collected on the effects of fire on the tussocks themselves, and to an extent, the intertussock vegetation, most notably by Prof. Alan
Mark and associates at the Botany Department of Otago University, but almost no data exist on the other main part of the biota in these habitats, the invertebrates.
One of the many reasons for this has been the taxonomic impediment, the vast number of different species, most of them poorly known, that face the investigator.
However, this problem has recently been greatly alleviated through the work of Dr
Barbara Barrett (MAFTech, Invermay) who in the course of a long term trial to investigate the problem of seed loss in oversown tussock grasslands has established the identity of many of the invertebrate inhabitats of the East Otago Plateau. In fact it was largely through the encouragement and persistence of Dr Barbara Barrett that this research programme was initiated. She also made the preliminary approaches to the Hellaby Trust for financial support and resampled the experimental sites after the discontinuation of the project to provide a whole year data.||en