Some interactions on native and introduced plants in New Zealand grassland
- Department of Agriculture, Wellington
A study of the history of the development of grassland in New Zealand is also a study of a prolonged interaction between native and introduced plants in which there has usually been a strong and deliberately guided bias towards the supremacy of the introduced plants. Because much of the native vegetation does not meet the requirements of the farmer, he has tried to replace this with plants that do so.
This programme of replacement has been dependent on many aids. Fire, axe, plough, fences, fertilisers and animals have all played a part. Much of this programme was carried out as described by H. Guthrie-Smith in Tutira : " . . . stamped, jammed, hauled, murdered into grass." Although this refers to the conversion of bracken fern country into grassland, it is typical of the action taken under many conditions to destroy the native plants in order that the more desirable introduced ones could establish, survive, and produce feed for domestic animals.