New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1998) 22(2): 209- 217

Effect of exclosure on soils, biomass, plant nutrients, and vegetation, on unfertilised steeplands, Upper Waitaki District, South Island, New Zealand

Research Article
P. D. McIntosh  
R. B. Allen  
  1. Landcare Research, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin, New Zealand

We sampled soils and vegetation within and outside two sheep and rabbit exclosures, fenced in 1979, on steep sunny and shady slopes at 770 m altitude on seasonally-dry pastoral steeplands. The vegetation of sunny aspects was characterised by higher floristic diversity, annual species, and low plant cover. Here the exotic grass Anthoxanthum odoratum dominated on grazed treatments, and the exotic forb Hieracium pilosella on ungrazed. Shady aspects supported fewer, and almost entirely perennial, species. Here Hieracium pilosella dominated grazed treatments, but co-dominated with the exotic forb H. praealtum and the native grass Festuca novae-zelandiae on ungrazed treatments. There was 43% more biomass in exclosures (P P P P