We describe spatial patterns in the geographic ranges of all New Zealand ferns and lycophytes, test if range sizes are correlated with phylogeny, and identify ecological characteristics related to their range sizes. Herbarium records for all species of fern and lycophyte in New Zealand were used to generate distribution maps and estimate range sizes by summing the area of occupied ecological districts. Trait, habitat, biostatus, and distribution data were compiled from the literature and DNA sequence data were obtained for each species.
New Zealand forests grow under highly oceanic climates on an isolated southern archipelago. They experience a combination of historical and environmental factors matched nowhere else. This paper explores whether the New Zealand tree flora also differs systematically from those found in other temperate and island areas. A compilation of traits and distributions from standard floras is used to compare the New Zealand tree flora with those of Europe, North America, Chile, southern Australia, Fiji and Hawaii. New Zealand has a large number of trees (215 species ≥6 m in height).