Transects at right angles to the shoreline are used to describe seven herbaceous, two scrub and four forest communities of the lake edge. Composition, structure, site preference and relation to lake level are given for these communities. The effect of browsing mammals on the flora and structure of mountain beech forest is shown by comparison of forest on Buncrana Island with that on the adjacent mainland. Shoreline vegetation is compared with that recorded from other areas in Fiordland.
Large areas of mountain beech (Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides) forest in the South Island of New Zealand have been destroyed by fire and replaced by grassland or shrubland. Mountain beech regenerates into grassland or shrubland mainly by slow spread from forest margins, though instances of long-distance spread into manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) shrubland have been recorded.