Patterns of range size in New Zealand ferns and lycophytes

We describe spatial patterns in the geographic ranges of all New Zealand ferns and lycophytes, test if range sizes are correlated with phylogeny, and identify ecological characteristics related to their range sizes. Herbarium records for all species of fern and lycophyte in New Zealand were used to generate distribution maps and estimate range sizes by summing the area of occupied ecological districts. Trait, habitat, biostatus, and distribution data were compiled from the literature and DNA sequence data were obtained for each species.

Distributions of New Zealand Birds on Real and Virtual Islands

This paper considers how habitat geometry affects New Zealand bird distributions on land-bridge islands, oceanic islands, and forest patches. The data base consists of distributions of 60 native land and freshwater bird species on 31 islands. A theoretical section examines how species incidences should vary with factors such as population density, island area, and dispersal ability, in two cases: immigration possible or impossible. New Zealand bird species are divided into water-crossers and non-crossers on the basis of six types of evidence.

Evolution of New Zealand alpine and open-habitat plant species during the late Cenozoic

Understanding the evolutionary history and biogeography of the New Zealand alpine flora has been impeded by the lack of an integrated model of geomorphology and climate events during the Late Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene. A new geobiological model is presented that integrates rock uplift age, rate of uplift and the resulting summit elevations in the Southern Alps (South Island) during the last 8.0 million years with a climate template using the natural gamma radiation pattern from the eastern South Island Ocean Drilling Program Site 1119 that covers the past 3.9 million years.

Life histories, dispersal, invasions, and global change: progress and prospects in New Zealand ecology, 1989–2029

We highlight three areas of significant progress in ecology since 1989 which are particularly relevant to New Zealand, and three major challenges for the next two decades. Progress: (1) The unusual life histories of New Zealand organisms, including extreme longevity and low reproductive rates, are now seen as efficient responses to the low-disturbance environment present before the arrival of large mammals, including humans.

Causes and consequences of changes to New Zealand’s fungal biota

This paper briefly reviews advances in knowledge of the non-lichenised fungi of New Zealand over the past 25 years. Since 1980, the number of species recorded from New Zealand has doubled, and molecular techniques have revolutionised studies on fungal phylogeny and our understanding of fungal distribution, biology and origins. The origins of New Zealand’s fungi are diverse; a few appear to be ancient, whereas many have arrived in geologically more recent times following trans-oceanic dispersal.