The invasion of non-native epiphyte Platycerium bifurcatum in Auckland’s urban forest canopy

New Zealand has been subject to extensive plant introductions since the 1840s leading to c. 2700 naturalised plant taxa including 500 serious environmental weeds. To date, non-native plant invasions in New Zealand have not included epiphytic invasions in forest canopies. Numerous records indicate non-mediated naturalisation of individuals of the non-native epiphytic fern Platycerium bifurcatum have been made; further, recent survey work on urban epiphytes identified a number of juveniles across the Auckland isthmus. To investigate the extent of P.

Bat dispersal of fern spores in New Zealand

Fern dispersal is generally considered to be anemochorous. In New Zealand, short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata consume fern spores. We conducted a germination experiment of bat faecal pellets collected from three roost locations in Pureora Forest Park (North Island) to estimate the viability of fern spores that had survived bat gut passage. Spores of Cyathea, Dicksonia, Hymenophyllum, and Microsorum were recorded in the faecal pellets. Of 31 spores in 120 faecal pellets (c.