Sand country ecology: Botany of the Manawatu sand country
Cockayne's parliamentary reports on the dune areas of New Zealand (1909, 1911) are based largely on the Manawatu coast. These reports still provide an adequate general account of the botany of this area. The sand country had been settled for 50 or 60 years at the time of CockayneÕs reports, and extensive management had already greatly modified the original vegetation and soils. Further, the problem of deterioration was already being met by pioneer attempts at reclamation. It is true that reclamation has been continued, both through afforestation and through more intensive pastoral management, the latter being aided by the development of high-producing pasture plants and of fertilizing, but it is not even necessary to leave the main roads in order to see many places where the conditions of 50 years ago still apply Therefore, the present paper does not pretend to offer much that is new. Its purpose is to provide a botanical background for this symposium on sand-country, and for the associated excursion.
The vegetation is probably best treated as in Cockayne's reports, that is, in terms of succession, and with separate consideration for dunes and for sand-hollows.