To determine the susceptibility of different forest types to lianes, and to investigate which ecological factors are limiting for lianes, a field survey covering 28 naturally forested sites in Golden Bay (Northwest Nelson) and on Banks Peninsula (Canterbury) was carried out. Results from Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis of liane species abundance data in relation to tree and shrub species abundance data and abiotic site variables, showed that the liane community composition was highly correlated with the composition of the tree and shrub community.
Heteroblasty, changes in vegetative phenotype during ontogeny, is unusually common in the New Zealand flora. Some feature(s) unique to the New Zealand situation must have influenced the evolution of this strategy. Similarities were examined between the ontogenetic changes in phenotype and growth strategy in Elaeocarpus hookerianus, Carpodetus serratus and Pseudopanax crassifolius. Variation in hypothesised light capture efficiency of juvenile and adult forms can be related to changes in the light environment that these growth forms experience.
We outline the scope of this special issue of New Zealand Journal of Ecology, which reviews progress in New Zealand ecology to 2009, based on a symposium in 2007. Both the issue and symposium update a 1986 conference and 1989 special issue of NZ J Ecol called “Moas, Mammals and Climate” which has been influential and widely cited.