This study uses data from forty-nine 20 m × 20 m permanent plots measured in 1976, 1982, 1989 and 1997-2002 in Wakatipu Forest, western Otago. We relate changes in red (Nothofagus fusca), silver (Nothofagus menziesii) and mountain beech (Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides) forest vegetation to the presence of fallow deer (Dama dama). Vegetation composition is likely to have been altered prior to plot establishment, and results show that there was little change in vegetation composition during the study.
Exclosure plots established in three separate areas of kanuka (Kunzea ericoides var. ericoides) forest on south Kaipara spit in 1983 to assess the impact of introduced fallow deer (Dama dama) were remeasured in 1993. Kanuka shared canopy dominance with mapou (Myrsine australis), houpara (Pseudopanax lessonii) and mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus ssp. ramiflorus) in relatively old forest in Lookout Bush, Woodhill, and dominated exclusively in two younger stands at South Head; Coprosma rhamnoides dominated understories throughout.
Fallow deer did not prefer either of the two main canopy species (silver beech, Nothofagus menziesii, and radiata pine, Pinus radiata), or any of the common indigenous shrubs, ferns, herbs and monocotyledons in three habitat types (beech, shrub-hardwood, and exotic forest). They did prefer all the common sub canopy tree species, and these comprised the bulk of diet in all habitats. Broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis) was the most important single food, with litterfall being its dominant source.