Phormium tenax, an unusual nurse plant

In this paper we document the role of Phormium tenax as a nurse plant in unimproved pasture. We show that for our study area the regeneration of woody species was limited solely to P. tenax clumps with 22 native and one introduced regenerating woody species present. The number of woody species and of individual woody plants regenerating within P. tenax is not correlated with distance from the edge of the remnant forest but is significantly correlated with P. tenax clump area. P.

A test of the humped-back theory of species richness in New Zealand native forest

The Humped-back theory of plant species richness, a theory related to Grime's C-S-R 'triangular' model, has been widely discussed, and some evidence has been claimed in support of it. The theory suggests that species richness is maximal at intermediate levels of productivity, i.e., at intermediate positions on a stress/favourability gradient. We sought evidence for the theory from 90 stands of native podocarp/broadleaved and beech forest in the Coastal Otago region, with an adjustment made for the effect of stand area on species richness.

Factors influencing occupancy of modified artificial refuges for monitoring the range-restricted Banks Peninsula tree weta Hemideina ricta (Anostostomatidae)

The use of non-destructive and non-invasive monitoring methods is often necessary for species of high conservation status. Developing monitoring methods to maximise numbers of individuals found is important, given that rare species can be difficult to locate. Artificial refuges called ‘weta motels’ have been used for monitoring tree weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) since 1992, but poor occupancy for Hemideina ricta and H. femorata necessitated an improved design and assessment of placement to encourage tree weta use.

Recording birds in real time: a convenient method for frequent bird recording

To make sense of how nature is responding to an increasingly rapidly changing world, a lot of species distribution and abundance data are needed. To infer population trends, these data ideally need to be collected in a standardised, repeatable manner that includes ‘absence’ data on species sought for but not found. If many people, even just professional ecologists and postgraduate students, are to record biodiversity frequently in their daily lives, a convenient method that meets these requirements is needed.

Measuring occupancy for an iconic bird species in urban parks

Urbanisation is a significant and increasing threat to biodiversity at the global scale. To maintain and restore urban biodiversity, local communities and organisations need information about how to modify green spaces to enhance species populations. ‘Citizen science’ initiatives monitoring the success of restoration activities also require simple and robust tools to collect meaningful data. Using an urban monitoring study of the bellbird (Anthornis melanura), we offer advice and guidance on best practice for such monitoring schemes.