Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society (1955) 3: 12- 14

The ecology of tussock grasslands: A zoological approach to the study of ecosystems that include tussock grasslands and browsing and grazing animals

Report to Annual Meeting
Thane Riney  

[First paragraph(s)...]
To a student of vertebrate zoology tussock grassland is part of a much larger subject, that of animal-environment relations, a phase of ecosystem ecology. In the present paper the need for a synthesizing type of approach to the study of ecosystems is suggested and data, resulting from a trial of such an approach, are reviewed.
Vertebrate animals exist as part of complex interdependent system of components, such as rocks, climate, weather, soils, bacteria, plants and animals. When man is included as one of the components, human interests and activities may vary from minor modifications to changes capable of profoundly altering the dynamic balance of the ecosystem.