The vegetation of a subalpine mire complex and the inter-relationships of the plant species in it are described. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship of cushion plant vegetation to other types. Hypotheses are advanced to account for the differing vegetation patterns and evidence based on variations in micro-habitats is produced to support these.
A valley mire was sampled on the flanks of Swampy Hill, east Otago, New Zealand. It formed in a narrow valley, apparently originally comprising two basins. The end of the mire nearest the outlet contained species typical of fens (i.e., rheotrophic mires). At the head of the valley there was a section of the mire with mixed vegetation cover comprising the tussock grass Chionochloa rubra, Sphagnum species, and cushion/herb/shrub cover.