The ecology and distribution of Olearia lyallii on the subantarctic Auckland Islands
- Botany Division, DSIR, Dunedin, New Zealand
- Department of Lands and Survey, Wellington, New Zealand
- Botany Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
[This is a resume of a paper read at the Ecological Society Conference, 1982.]
Olearia lyallii, a tree asterad, probably arrived on the Auckland Islands early in the 19th Century when the area was regularly visited by whalers and sealers. Currently, it is spreading south and east from the oldest and largest stands on Ewing Island and on the former settlement site at Erebus Cove, in the Port Ross area at the northern end of the island group (Godley, 1965). Recently, Campbell and Rudge (1976) cautioned against allowing the uncontrolled spread of Olearia lyallii on the Auckland Islands because of the potential of this species to replace the dominant extant forest-forming tree, Metrosideros umbellata. The Department of Lands and Survey, which currently administers the islands as a Nature Reserve, sponsored an expedition to the area in February 1982 that enabled W.G.L. and P.C.K. to spend 3 weeks in the vicinity of Port Ross examining the regeneration and spread of Olearia lyallii, and its interaction with Metrosideros umbellata forests.