The Canterbury Plains have lost most of their pre-Polynesian indigenous vegetation, primarily forest and shrubland. One of the few remaining areas is the 2.3 ha Eyrewell Scientific Reserve which consists mostly of low kānuka (Kunzea ericoides) forest and a small area of grassland. We assessed the Reserve vegetation using a combination of plots and transect surveys at different times of the year between 2001–2003. For comparison with the Reserve vegetation we also assessed plots in an adjacent grazed kānuka remnant, adjacent cultivated pasture and Eyrewell Forest, a pine plantation.
A plant sociological survey of tall-tussock grasslands in the Mackenzie country was repeated after an interval of 26-28 years. Changes in physiognomy of the grasslands which have been inferred from earlier studies have been found to be continuing on many sites. A noteworthy feature of most sites has been a reduction in number of indigenous species found. An increase in abundance of Hieracium pilosella or H. praealtum has occurred at most sites.
This paper briefly reviews advances in knowledge of the non-lichenised fungi of New Zealand over the past 25 years. Since 1980, the number of species recorded from New Zealand has doubled, and molecular techniques have revolutionised studies on fungal phylogeny and our understanding of fungal distribution, biology and origins. The origins of New Zealand’s fungi are diverse; a few appear to be ancient, whereas many have arrived in geologically more recent times following trans-oceanic dispersal.