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.
Approximately 50,000 ha of native wet Metrosideros forest on the island of Hawai'i experienced a drastic reduction (dieback) of the tree canopy between 1954 and 1977. Two general hypotheses have previously been suggested to explain this phenomenon: 1) Metrosideros dieback has resulted from recently introduced pathogens, and 2) the dieback has naturally occurred previously in Hawai'i, and is related to plant succession under periodic conditions of climatic instability which effect the soil moisture regime.
The data of Lloyd (1971) on the 'chosen tree' and 'chosen seedlings' in 5607 4 x 4 m plots in Russell forest are analysed using a simple transition matrix model. The most realistic analysis predicts little change in relative species composition, other than a slight increase in the softwoods. The virtue of the approach lies more in the questions it raises than in the predictions obtained. Before such models can be applied satisfactorily in New Zealand basic data on seedling survival, tree growth rates and average life spans are required for most indigenous species.
The forests of Rangatira Island (218 ha) in the Chatham Islands are a critical breeding site for a number of rare and threatened forest bird species, but are also home to more than three million seabirds, which could significantly affect forest regeneration processes. We surveyed the forests of Rangatira Island by establishing 40 permanent forest plots, estimated seabird density through burrow counts, and analysed soil properties.