Ecology of the Subantarctic Islands: Discussion
The Chairman (DR. FALLA), in initiating the discussion, expressed regret that there had not been further contributions to the symposium dealing in particular with the inter-relationships between flora and fauna of both terrestrial and littoral regions.
R. M. CASSIE supported Mr. Dawbin in his remarks concerning the deficiencies of standard methods of plankton sampling. Apart from the difficulty in sampling highly mobile organisms, contagious or "patchy" distributions were very common in marine and perhaps also in terrestrial ecology. He illustrated on the blackboard the highly asymetrical distribution curves found in toheroa sampling and pointed out the need not only for new methods of sampling, but also for better statistical methods for evaluating the data.
Miss L. B MOORE said that, until recently, biological interest in the subantarctic islands had been focussed mainly on taxonomy and biogeography. More recent work by the "Cape Expedition" members and their post-war counter parts had contributed particularly to the non vascular plant groups. Among bryophytes, 120 species of liverworts and 55 species of mosses had been described, of which 20 and 27 respec tively had not been previously recorded. Of the 175 species of marine algae 27 had been collected only recently, and 12 per cent of the total were not known elsewhere in the New Zealand region.