New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1982) 5: 97- 107

The Implications of Past Exploitation and Current Developments to the Conservation of South Island Tussock Grasslands

Research Article
K. F. O'Connor  
  1. Centre for Resource Management, Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand

In a cultural-ecological perspective of New Zealand pastoralism the amount and form of energy supplements at different stages of pastoral development are characterized and prospects for sustainability discussed.
The history of the pastoral exploitation of the tussock grasslands of South Island, New Zealand is reviewed with particular attention to physiognomic changes brought about by early fire and grazing.
Current changes in farming on high country mark an end to the exploitative phase of use of the tussock grasslands and promise a transformation of some existing grassland communities into entirely different associations.
The opportunities and needs for biological reservation of tussock grasslands are re-examined in the light of the changes that have been already induced and of the development now occurring.