Autopsy data was collected from three chamois (Rupicapra Rupicapra) populations to investigate the use of various measurements for determining mean planes of nutrition. Significant differences in measurements of horn length for each age class between populations were found, indicating that horn length analysis could be used to give some index of population condition. Total body length was significantly different for the youngest age classes of each population. These differences become negligible around three years of age.
The quantitative composition of ground and epiphytic vegetation, consisting predominantly of bryophytes, is recorded from a lowland stand of climax beech-podocarp forest at Jacksons Bay, South Westland, together with briefer accounts from five pre-climax transitional stands. A survey of epiphylls, indicators of very high humidity, is included and comparisons are made with stands on Secretary Island and Stewart Island
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.
Totara-matai forests are an under-represented forest type in Westland, relative to their original extent, and require protection and enhancement where possible. This study examined the regeneration of totara on gorse-covered river terraces of the Whataroa and Waiho Rivers, on a site grazed by cattle at Whataroa, and ungrazed sites at both locations. Totara is regenerating prolifically at all sites. Tall-seedling densities were significantly higher at the grazed Whataroa site than at the ungrazed Whataroa site.
Making use of existing fences as ready-made exclosures, this study aimed to assess the long-term effects of cattle grazing on forest margins. Results indicated: 1) that cattle browsing and trampling has an impact on vegetation species composition, structure and regeneration; 2) that the effects of a particular grazing regime may take many decades to dissipate; and 3) that the impacts of cattle change with stock intensity. Some plant species appeared to be highly palatable to cattle and only occurred on sites without cattle.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata) has been heavily browsed and often killed by brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in many New Zealand indigenous forests, but remains healthy at some sites despite long histories of possum occupation. To determine whether fuchsia varied genetically in its palatability to possums, material from six widely dispersed stands (provenances) was propagated, and leaf chemistry, leaf morphology, growth rate, and palatability to captive possums was compared.