Fire occurs relatively frequently in beech (Nothofagus) forest in drought prone eastern areas of the South Island, New Zealand. Because beech is poorly adapted to fire, and is slow to regenerate, forest is normally replaced by scrub or grassland. Seeding was investigated as a means of restoring mountain beech (N. solandri var. cliffortioides) forest after fire destroyed 300 ha of forest at Mt. Thomas, Canterbury, in 1980.
Simple mountain beech forest predominates in much of Canterbury. South Island. New Zealand and some districts sustained high red deer numbers for over 40 years. although current deer numbers are low. Since 1972 over 800 permanent plots have been placed in these forests to assess animal damage and over 540 have been remeasured at least once. During this time forests have sustained severe insect damage. windthrow. and minor landscape damage.
The establishment and subsequent impacts of invasive plant species often involve interactions or feedbacks with the below-ground subsystem. We compared the performance of planted tree seedlings and soil communities in three ectomycorrhizal tree species at Craigieburn, Canterbury, New Zealand – two invasive species (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas-fir; Pinus contorta, lodgepole pine) and one native (Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides, mountain beech) – in monodominant stands. We studied mechanisms likely to affect growth and survival, i.e.