House mice (Mus musculus) are an invasive species on Auckland Island in the New Zealand subantarctic and planning for their eradication is underway. Mast seeding events cause rodent populations to irrupt, though little is known about this phenomenon in snow tussock grass (Chionochloa spp.) systems on Southern Ocean islands. The aim of this study was to understand population fluctuations of mouse abundance on Auckland Island for the 2 years following a mast event, and with which tools to monitor abundance, to inform planning of bait application for eradication.
Interspecific variation in tree growth rate and maximum age is central to understanding and predicting the dynamics of forest ecosystems. While there are abundant sources of this information for economically important New Zealand timber species and other common tree species, data for trees from subantarctic environments are almost entirely lacking. Here we present measurements of growth from Auckland and Campbell Islands for three species: Metrosideros umbellata (southern rātā; Myrtaceae, n = 1 site), a canopy dominant; Dracophyllum sp.
We analysed biomass allocation of Pleurophyllum speciosum (Asteraceae) and Anisotome latifolia (Apiaceae) to explore the 'megaherb' phenomenon, the apparent importance of large-leaved, colourful forbs on southern oceanic offshore islands. The two species had similar shoot dry weights, with high leaf:stem ratios. Even within the megaherb form there are differences in shoot allocations, with Pleurophyllum investing more biomass in rhizome than foliage, compared with Anisotome.