Video Farmland run-off into estuaries

TLF ID M008885

This is a colour video clip of marine scientist Dr Candida Savage discussing nutrient run-off from farmland, and the effects it has on estuaries and other coastal environments. The clip shows Dr Savage, from the University of Otago, New Zealand, being interviewed. It also shows images of houses on the banks of estuaries, fertiliser being sprayed by helicopter and tractor, and logged forests; as well as scientists collecting samples in the field.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Modern farming practices are not only having an effect on land environments, they can be detrimental to coastal areas. Deforestation and increased fertiliser use are contributing to higher levels of nutrients and contaminants entering waterways from the land. Changes to the way the land is used is having consequences on coastal environments and for the organisms that live there.
  • The 'run-off' of nutrients from the land into coastal waters can have positive and negative effects on the environment. As estuarine nutrient levels increase, so does the growth of plants such as seaweeds, which play a vital role in marine ecosystems. However, there is a threshold above which nutrient increases can be tolerated, resulting in negative effects on the ecosystems.
  • When there is a change in nutrient or contamination levels in a marine environment, it can have far-reaching consequences for marine food webs. For instance, nutrient changes can influence the growth of primary producers, such as seaweed. This change can directly and indirectly influence many other organisms in the food web.
  • Dr Candida Savage is a marine biologist with an interest in human impacts on New Zealand's coastal environments. Her research includes studying how run-off from the land affects marine ecology. Dr Savage teaches marine science at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8; 9

Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Video
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.