The New Zealand mountain flora is rich in fleshy-fruited species but many terrestrial frugivorous birds are extinct or declining, potentially putting seed dispersal mutualisms at risk. To determine whether fruits are currently being removed by animals, we measured removal rates of eight fleshy-fruited mountain plant species from five families over two fruiting seasons, at two sites in inland Canterbury. We compared fruit removal rates within cages (no animal access to fruits), on unmanipulated plants (open-access to fruits by all animals), and within lizard-only cages (large mesh).
The levels of mineral elements in foliage of 10 Coprosma species growing in secondary forest in Dunedin were compared using canonical discriminant analysis. The results revealed distinctive patterns of nutrient accumulation separating divaricating and non-divaricating growth forms. Foliar concentrations of N, P and Na were higher in divaricating species, particularly those with small, membranous leaves, compared with smaIl- and large-leaved non-divaricating species.