The diet and food preferences of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on north-eastern Stewart Island are described from the analysis of 160 samples of rumen contents collected between 1979 and 1985, and vegetation surveys in 1975 and 1976. Deer browsed all the hardwood trees, but few shrubs, ferns, or podocarps. Woody plants comprised 85.1 % (dry weight) of annual diet. Broadleaf (Griselinia littoralis; 34.6%) and supplejack (Ripogonum scandens; 18.6%) were the most important foods, all other species comprising less than 5%.
Litterfall reflects forest productivity and is an important pathway of nutrient cycling in forests. We quantified litter quantity, nutrient concentrations, and decomposability for 22 permanently marked plots that included gradients of altitude (a range of 320–780 m), soil nutrients and past disturbance in a cool temperate evergreen montane rain forest in the western South Island of New Zealand.