Vegetation on the edge: a gradient analysis of the riparian zone, Poerua River, New Zealand

Forest vegetation patterns alongside the Poerua River, south Westland, were studied to determine whether a distinct riparian community could be defined either immediately adjacent to the river, or out to the limit of overbank flooding. Ten randomly located 100 m transects were established perpendicular to the river at each of two sites. Ground cover of alluvial sediment indicated that annual overbank flooding occurred up to 20 m into the forest (the flood zone).

Browse on mahoe and kamahi leaf-fall as a trigger for possum control

Introduced brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are controlled over large parts of New Zealand to protect canopy trees. The condition of canopy trees is one of the cues used to trigger possum control, but selecting an indicator of canopy tree condition is difficult because many factors unrelated to possum browsing can affect canopy condition, and indices based on canopy scoring may not always quickly detect real changes in possum herbivory.

Diet of brushtail possums over a pasture-alpine gradient in Westland, New Zealand

The diet of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in mixed hardwood forests on a central Westland hillside is described from analysis of plant cuticle fragments and seeds in their faeces. Faeces were collected monthly for 2.25 years from animals live-trapped from low altitude forest/ pasture margins through to high altitude alpine shrublands. The diet included forest and pasture foliage, buds, and fruits of over 100 species, although most were eaten infrequently.