There is a lack of information about how elevation affects the distribution of ship rats in New Zealand. In this study, ship rats (Rattus rattus) were captured in traps set along a 2 km elevational transect (455–1585 m a.s.l.) in beech (Nothofagaceae) forest and adjacent alpine tussock at Mt Misery, in Nelson Lakes National Park, from 1974 to 1993. A total of 118 rats were captured.
“A freezing chamber offers an easy place for such [frost] experiments... and ... valuable data as to the cold-resisting powers of our plants might be arrived at” (Cockayne, 1897).
In New Zealand, there are treelines of two main forms: abrupt southern beech treelines and gradual conifer–broadleaved treelines. At similar latitudes, abrupt treelines form at higher elevation than gradual treelines, but it is unclear whether this difference is also reflected in the climatic conditions experienced at the contrasting treeline ecotones. In this study, we measured soil and air temperatures across four gradual and two abrupt treelines ecotones in New Zealand for 2 years, and compared the climatic conditions between the treeline forms.