species composition

Long-term changes and seasonal patterns in possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) leaf diet, Orongorongo Valley, Wellington, New Zealand

Possum leaf diet from 1976 to 1989 in the Orongorongo Valley was compared with the diet recorded from four previous years, using faecal analysis. There were large differences in the proportions of species eaten in different seasons and between different years. There was little overall change in the proportion of the main diet tree species, Metrosideros robusta and Weinmannia racemosa, and seasonal increases or declines in one were usually balanced by opposite changes in the other.

Impact of disturbance on above-ground water storage capacity of bryophytes in New Zealand indigenous tussock grassland ecosystems

Bryophytes are widespread in many plant communities and can attain cover and biomass levels that influence ecosystem processes. We investigated the impact of disturbance (fire, topsoil removal) on the composition, biomass, and water storage capacity of bryophytes in indigenous temperate tall-tussock grasslands managed to sustain an ecosystem service (regular provision of water) to nearby urban areas. We surveyed bryophyte composition, structure and water-related traits 9 years after experimental fires and topsoil removal.