Vegetation zonation during the late Quaternary
- Botany Division, DSIR, Lincoln, New Zealand
[Abstract of a paper read at the Ecological Society Conference, 1983.]
It has commonly been supposed that the effect of the lower temperatures of the last glaciation was to shift the present day altitudinal and latitudinal vegetation zones downwards and northwards. Otherwise, they are held to have been substantially unaffected. It has also been assumed that, as in the forests of the temperate northern hemisphere, differential migration rates of some forest trees — especially beeches — has meant that not all forests are in compositional equilibrium with their environment. It now appears unlikely that the response of vegetation to climatic-change can be accurately represented as the migration of vegetation zones. It is also clear that the role of migration and disjunction in formation of present day plant communities has been over-emphasised.