Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

New Zealand's indigenous forests and shrublands.

Abstract

New Zealand's remaining indigenous forests and shrublands are of immense cultural, environmental, and economic significance. Their composition, structure, and function are driven by a diverse array of factors, many of which are complexly interrelated. The imprint of disturbances is pervasive and it is necessary to understand disturbances to interpret anthropogenic impacts. For example, understanding impacts of exotic browsing mammals is only possible if they are placed in the context of forest development and tree demographic processes. Recently, a representative plot-based sample of the country's indigenous forests and shrublands has allowed an unbiased depiction of their composition and structure that is needed for international reporting, performance assessment and management prioritisation. There are now extensive areas of shrublands successional to forest, often composed of novel mixtures of indigenous and exotic species. These shrublands provide expanded opportunities for ecosystem services from, for example, carbon sequestration to water quality. An increasing area of indigenous forests and shrublands is managed for distinctive Maori aspirations that include sustainable use.