All posts tagged “New Zealand ecology

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The Lost Forests of Southland, New Zealand

Forests that have disappeared so completely that you would hardly believe they really existed, have long fascinated me.  When I left my home in Alexandra for university in Dunedin, I took with me a facsimile map my mother had given me. It was a mid… Read more

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The Lost Forest of the Ashley River, Canterbury, New Zealand

A gem in the heart of Christchurch is Riccarton Bush (sometimes called Deans Bush). It’s a patch of original kahikatea forest, just a few hundred meters from the Riccarton shopping center (See Molloy,1995, for pretty much all you need to know about the forest). As anyone… Read more

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Once a Vast Forest – Motatapu Track, New Zealand

Early on a cool Sunday morning I sipped my latte outside Relishes Cafe, Wanaka, and thought the immediate view could be better. In a somewhat typical urban New Zealand fashion, the lake is cut off from the cafe not just by a road, but a… Read more

Araucaria fossil shoot from Miocene Manuherikia Group of New Zealand.
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Hoop Pine fossils – dry rainforest in New Zealand’s Miocene

In a little patch of shale, continually flaking onto the road near Bannockburn (central South Island, New Zealand), there are the unmistakable fossils like Australian ‘hoop pine’ shoots. Hoop pines are members of the tree family which includes ‘monkey puzzles’, ‘bunyas’ and the ‘Norfolk Island Pines’. The… Read more

Matai (Prumnopitys taxifolia) foliage
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Matai- vanquished giant of New Zealand’s dry forests?

I’ve long found New Zealand’s black pine, the matai (Prumnopitys taxifolia) to be a special tree. From a dishevelled juvenile, It can grow into one of our tallest and oldest plants. Its foliage, unlike the delicate feathers of its smaller relative the miro, has a… Read more

Kauri (Agathis) forest in New Zealand
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Attack of the Forest-Killing Fungi (Kauri and the Elm Decline)

New Zealanders are becoming aware of a new threat to their native forests – as if logging, burning, opossums, deer, ferrets, cats, dogs, weren’t enough. This time it’s a fungus (Phytophthora), and it’s attacking our oldest trees – the giant kauris (Agathis). This pest has… Read more