Native kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) and adventive gorse (Ulex europaeus) stands aged 10-14 years, and not grazed by domestic stock, were studied near Nelson, New Zealand. The aim was to determine their use by introduced small mammals, and native and adventive birds, and the effects of these animals on seed rain and seedling dynamics as factors influencing vegetation succession. Seed traps were established where they could catch only bird-dispersed or wind-blown seed, and seedling emergence and growth were monitored.
The relationship between fleshy-fruited indigenous species and adventive weeds in the diet of 500 mist-netted birds was studied in forest remnants of differing size and degree of modification. Fruit abundance Peaked in March and April, and most fruit was either red/orange or purple/black. The physical parameters of adventive and indigenous fruits were not significantly different. Six of the 15 passerine species netted are frugivores, and of those netted 77% had eaten fruit.