vegetation history

Early Holocene plant remains from the Cromwell Gorge, Central Otago, New Zealand

Central Otago is one of the driest parts of New Zealand, and much of the natural vegetation of the region was lost to fires following human settlement in the 13th Century AD. Plant macrofossil and pollen records have provided detailed insights into the vegetation communities that existed in Central Otago’s lowlands at the time of human settlement, but relatively little is known about the regional vegetation patterns prior to ~3000 years ago.

Population Studies of Isolated Nothofagus fusca Stands in the Lower Otira Valley, South Island, New Zealand

Population size and structure of 52 isolated Nothofagus fusca stands were investigated in the lower Otira Valley, 3-6 km from a major population centre in the upper Taramakau catchment. The approximate age of N. fusca pioneer trees, estimated from partial increment cores and calculations based on diameter growth rates, indicated that nearly all isolated stands originated after 1600 AD, predominantly during the periods 1600-1760 AD and 1865-1910 AD.