subantarctic

Biomass allocation in subantarctic island megaherbs, Pleurophyllum speciosum (Asteraceae) and Anisotome latifolia (Apiaceae)

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.

Diet of feral goats and feral pigs on Auckland Island, New Zealand

The diets of feral pigs and feral goats shot on the main Auckland Island in 1989 are described from analyses of stomach and rumen contents. Feral goats ate at least 50 species of plants, but only three, Metrosideros umbellata, Chionochloa antarctica, and Durvillea antarctica made up over 50% by dried weight of the food eaten. Feral pigs ate a mixed plant and animal diet, of which plants made up 61% of the diet, with the megaherb Anisotome antipoda being the largest dietary item at 38% by dried weight.

The Decline and Increase of Feral Sheep (Ovis aries) on Campbell-Island

Sheep introduced to Campbell Island in 1895 for farming reached numbers of over 8000 in 1916 then declined to 1000 by 1961 (exponential growth rate r = -0.05 p.a.). Numbers increased to around 3000 from 1961 to 1969 (r = 0.14 p.a.). The island was divided into halves by a fence in 1970, and all sheep north of it were killed. The southern population continued to grow from 1970 to 1984 (r = 0.053 p.a.). The southern half of the island was cleared of sheep in 1984 except for about 800 fenced off on a peninsula.

Vegetation Changes Induced over 10 Years by Goats and Pigs at Port Ross, Auckland Islands (Sub-Antarctic)

Marked sites established around Port Ross in 1973 were re-examined in 1983 to measure changes in the vegetation and assess the impact of goats and pigs. Goats had not increased in numbers, nor extended beyond their earlier range, but they were seen higher on the Hooker Hills. Pigs were scarce, but their sign was seen throughout. Photopoints and numerical methods both showed that Chionochloa antarctica tussock was eliminated or greatly reduced where goats and pigs occurred together, and where only pigs were present it was reduced slightly.

Declining eastern rockhopper (Eudyptes filholi) and erect-crested (E. sclateri) penguins on the Antipodes Islands, New Zealand

New Zealand’s subantarctic Antipodes Islands are of international significance for breeding seabirds. However, penguin populations on the islands are declining. Uncertainty about the extent of this decline has been accentuated by a lack of accurate information on the population size and nest distribution of the penguin species, and the absence of an appropriate methodology for their long-term monitoring. We surveyed the nest abundance and distribution of eastern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes filholi) and erect-crested penguins (E.