Dacrycarpus dacrydioides forests in South Westland between the Waitangitaona and Saltwater rivers occur on low terraces of alluvial silt. Their relationship to other river flat and swamp communities on post-glacial surfaces is described. Recently abandoned river beds are colonised by pioneer species, which give way to vegetation dominated by grasses, sedges and rushes, which in turn are invaded by woody plants, especially Coprosma propinqua and Podocarpus totara var. waihoensis.
Variation in seedling growth and form between provenances of Podocarpus totara from 42 sites throughout New Zealand was investigated. Seedlings were grown for three years under uniform nursery conditions. There were significant differences between provenances in height growth in the first three years after sowing. Early growth was highly correlated with germination rate after sowing. In the third year, growth followed a different pattern and was negatively correlated with provenance latitude, i.e., provenances from southern latitudes grew more slowly than those from further north.