Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society (1972) 19: 34- 42

Effects of the 1969-70 drought on two remnants of indigenous lowland forest in the Manawatu district.

Research Article
I. A. E. Atkinson 1
R. M. Greenwood 2
  1. Botany Division, D.S.I.R., Lower Hutt.
  2. Applied Biochemistry Division, D.S.I.R., Palmerston North.

The effects of the 1969-70 drought were studied in two forest remnants near Palmerston North: Bledisloe Park and Keeble's Bush. Mortality occurred among more than 40 percent of the species of trees and shrubs examined. In Bledisloe Park, where mahoe, ngaio, titoki and tawa are the main components, the short-term effect of the drought is considered to be an increase in the cover of titoki and ngaio with reductions in mahoe and tawa. The forest of the terrace examined in Keeble's Bush consists of podocarp/tawa and podocarp/titoki stands and the short-term effect of the drought has been to reduce podocarp density and to favour an increase in the cover of titoki. In the long term, however, increased establishment of podocarps is possible. Keeble's Bush is a particularly valuable stand of lowland forest from a scientific point of view because of its position in a rainfall of 1000mm, near the climatic limit of rimu, and because it has escaped major modification.