We document an increase in house mouse (Mus musculus) abundance in a year (2002) when there was light beech (Nothofagus species) seedfall but very heavy rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) seedfall in Waitutu Forest, southern New Zealand. On our nine study grids, mouse numbers in November were highly correlated with rimu seedfall. Feeding trials with wild-caught captive mice showed that mice typically opened the rimu nut and ate the seed (endosperm and embryo) leaving the husk.
The abundance of birds in three different-aged stands (young, mature, and old) was examined at North Okarito, a lowland rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) forest in Westland, using 5-minute counts, transect counts, and mist-netting. Most of New Zealand's common forest bird species were present in the study area, with relatively high numbers of brown creeper (Mohoua novaeseelandiae) and New Zealand robin (Petroica australis), and low numbers of kaka (Nestor meridionalis) and yellow- crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps).
We investigated why some mature females of New Zealand’s critically endangered parrot, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), did not attempt to breed during the 2005 breeding season on Codfish Island. At a population level, the initiation of kakapo breeding appears to correspond with years of mast fruiting of rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) trees, with the proportion of females that breed each season dependent on the quantity of rimu fruit available.
Host bark traits are known to affect the characteristics of epiphyte communities in forests worldwide; however, few investigations of such relationships have been undertaken in New Zealand forests. By examining the trunk epiphyte communities on four co-occurring forest tree species (Agathis australis, Dacrydium cupressinum, Knightia excelsa and Vitex lucens) representing a range of bark characteristics, we sought evidence that bark traits may shape these communities. Sampling was conducted on tree trunks in the Waitakere and Hunua ranges in the Auckland Region.