Two new Holocene vegetation records from the margins of the Canterbury Plains, South Island, New Zealand

Canterbury’s gravelly outwash plains offer few of the natural deposits in which floral remains are typically preserved and hence represent a significant geographical gap in our knowledge about New Zealand’s pre-settlement terrestrial ecosystems and their response to anthropogenic activities. We contribute new insights into the poorly known Holocene vegetation history of this region by reporting two new mid-late Holocene pollen records from the western (Hallsbush) and eastern (Travis Swamp) margins of the Canterbury Plains.

Soil in relation to forest type in beech forests in the Inangahua Depression, West Coast, South Island.

The relationship between soil pattern and forest cover in the Inangahua Depression, West Coast, is examined and discussed. The relative effects of five soil forming factors, topography, parent material, climate, time and organisms are considered. The first four factors may be placed in a sequence of decreasing importance from climate through time and topography to parent material.

Large-Scale Poisoning of Ship Rats (Rattus rattus) in Indigenous Forests of the North-Island, New Zealand

This paper describes the impact of nine poison operations on ship rats in four areas (35 ha to 3200 ha) of North Island forest. Poisoning with 1080, brodifacoum, or pindone killed 87- 100% of rats, based on trapping and tracking-tunnel indices. Rat populations took 4-5 months to recover. Operations to protect nesting birds should therefore coincide with the onset of nesting and be rePeated each year, although not necessarily with the same methods.

Honeydew standing crop and production over 24 hours in Nothofagus solandri forest in Canterbury

The standing crop and daily production of honeydew by Ultracoelostoma brittini on Nothofagus solandri: var solandri was measured on 28-29 August 1990 near Oxford, Canterbury. In 64 quadrats of 125 cm², all 740 active individual insects were mapped by their anal threads and honeydew production was recorded every three hours over 24 hours. Mean production of honeydew per insect over 24 hours was 0. 1 69 mul, but ranged from zero (4% of all active insects) to 11.5 mul. Standing crop Peaked just after dawn, and production was apparently higher at night.

The Effects of a Natural Increase in Food-Supply on a Wild Population of House Mice

Changes in density and breeding of the house mouse (Mus musculus) in a New Zealand forest dominated by hard beech (Nothofagus truncata) were monitored for 2.5 years. Mice bred during winter and increased dramatically in density only during a beech mast year. Mice readily ate the endosperm and embryo of hard beech seed in die laboratory and chemical analysis showed it to be a very nutritious food source, similar in quality to Fagus beech seed in the northern hemisphere.

Age-Specific Prevalence and a Possible Transmission Route for Skrjabingylosis in New Zealand Stoats, Mustela erminea

The prevalence of infestation of the skulls of stoats with the parasitic nematode Skrjabingylus nasicola was previously described in a national survey by King and Moody (1982). Since then, more samples from Craigieburn Forest Park and from the Eglinton Valley, Fiordland, have been collected, and a method of determining the actual ages of adult stoats has been developed. The extended samples are here examined for a relationship between infestation and age, which could not previously be tested. Prevalence generally increases with age, significantly so at Craigieburn.