The diet of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in mixed hardwood forests on a central Westland hillside is described from analysis of plant cuticle fragments and seeds in their faeces. Faeces were collected monthly for 2.25 years from animals live-trapped from low altitude forest/ pasture margins through to high altitude alpine shrublands. The diet included forest and pasture foliage, buds, and fruits of over 100 species, although most were eaten infrequently.
Tree trunks are important links between the forest floor and canopy, especially for flightless invertebrates that move from the forest floor to feed or breed in the canopy. Traps were used to sample invertebrates moving up and down on mahoe (Melicytus ramiflorus), hinau (Elaeocarpus dentatus), hard beech (Nothofagus truncata), and kamahi (Weinmannia racemosa). In 19 months 22 696 invertebrates were collected. Many unexpected groups e.g.
Litterfall reflects forest productivity and is an important pathway of nutrient cycling in forests. We quantified litter quantity, nutrient concentrations, and decomposability for 22 permanently marked plots that included gradients of altitude (a range of 320–780 m), soil nutrients and past disturbance in a cool temperate evergreen montane rain forest in the western South Island of New Zealand.