The distinction is drawn in this paper between true dendrochronological studies (using crossdating) and studies using tree-ring counts to age trees or date events. The advantages of the former approach are emphasized. We summarize the main methods used in dendrochronology, concentrating on new approaches and techniques important in the New Zealand context, present a review of recent dendrochronological research in New Zealand, and finally discuss applications of dendrochronology relevant to New Zealand.
Deer density indices were estimated in 1969, 1975, and 1984 in the core of the Wapiti Area of Fiordland National Park. Between 1969 and 1984, density above timberline was reduced to near zero by commercial airborne hunting, with smaller decreases in the forest. Overall density declined by 81%. An estimated 2007± 385 deer were present in the 850 km2 survey area in 1984, with an average density in the forest of 3.47±0.66/km2. The highest densities remained in the most completely forested sub-area (Catseye).
The Noises and Motukawao Islands in Hauraki Gulf are small (maximum size 26 ha) and bush— clad, and none is permanently inhabited. Norway rats reached the Noises about 1956, but their history on the Motukawao group is unknown. Live and kill-trapping was carried out between August 1977 and December 1981, mainly on the Noises Islands. Trapping success was high initially but declined rapidly and remained very low after mid-1978. Rats travelled widely between consecutive captures in live-traps and three home ranges of males averaged 1.2 ha.
We quantify the notion of predictable species loss from progressively smaller islands, and apply the quantification to the indigenous forest-dwelling birds of a series of New Zealand islands and to the passerines of the Cyclades Archipelago in the Aegean Sea. The analysis focuses on the reasons why the species-area relationship deviates from a perfect rank-correlation. For both avifaunas, most species are found remarkably predictably: they approximate a pattern in which each species occupies all those and only those islands larger than some species-specific minimum area.
Meteorological data from stations around and within the Kaimai Ranges and data from temporary sites are used to characterise the climate of the ranges. Lowland climate is warm temperate with ample rainfall but the upland region is cooler, wetter and frequently enveloped in fog. Frequent fog plays an important part in the climate of upland regions. By modifying light, moisture and temperature regimes fog may be a significant determinant of plant associations and may severely restrict growth.
The levels of mineral elements in foliage of 10 Coprosma species growing in secondary forest in Dunedin were compared using canonical discriminant analysis. The results revealed distinctive patterns of nutrient accumulation separating divaricating and non-divaricating growth forms. Foliar concentrations of N, P and Na were higher in divaricating species, particularly those with small, membranous leaves, compared with smaIl- and large-leaved non-divaricating species.
Thrips, in particular Thrips obscuratus, were collected from the flowers of 13 species of trees common in the lowland forest of New Zealand. Many New Zealand trees have flowers which are small, shallow, clustered, and lack bright colours. This un specialized floral form is suitable for pollination by small insects, such as flies and thrips. Thrips obscuratus is among the most frequent visitors to the flowers of some trees. The pollen loads of the thrips and the breeding system of the plants indicate thrips may function as effective pollinators.
Brushtail possums were studied over a period of four years by live-trapping, poisoning and kill- trapping on an altitudinal transect (455-1500 m a.s.l.) in beech (Nothofagus) forest in South Island, New Zealand. There was a single breeding season in autumn in which most females (including 80% of one-year- olds) panicipated. Trap-revealed ranges of adults were up to 1 km long and some immature males dispersed up to 10 km. Capture rates in live-traps were highest in beech/podocarp forest at 455-460 m a.s.l. and declined with altitude.
Adele (87 ha) and Fisherman (3.6 ha) Islands lie 800 m and 1100 m, respectively, offshore in Tasman Bay, Nelson. Both are covered predominantly in native forest and scrub. There are mice (Mus musculus) on Adele Island but no rodents on Fisherman Island. Both islands are within swimming range of stoats (Mustela erminea) which have colonised Adele Island and occasionally visit Fisherman Island, 700 m distant.
Kiore (Rattus exulans) carry food to husking stations to feed, where they are sheltered from predators, competitors and rain. On four northern offshore islands of New Zealand remains of plant foods left in husking stations and in the open included seeds, leaf laminae, shoots, bark, flowers and root bases. A wide variety of animal remains were identified in husking station material, from habitats as diverse as tree tops and below the ground. All stages of both small social and large solitary insects were eaten.