The forests and scrublands of the Taramakau and the effects of browsing by deer and chamois
- Forest and Range Experiment Station, Rangiora
The forests and scrublands of the Taramakau catchment can be divided into six sub-climax associations and two seral associations. The sub-climax associations are subalpine scrub, bushline, rata-totara, red beech, silver beech and mountain beech forest. Except for silver beech forest and mountain beech forest, which are largely restricted to the Otehake tributary, site differentiation between these associations is generally altitudinal. These sub-climax associations appear to be regenerating satisfactorily except, perhaps, for red beech forest where there is a slight regeneration gap.
The two seral associations, kamahi forest and short scrub-hardwood forest, generally occur on unstable soils. Both show marked regeneration gaps which can be related to the presence of terrestrial browsing mammals. These two associations comprise over half the forest in the upper Taramakau and lower north Taramakau, and consequently the condition of these two areas must be regarded as critical.