New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1998) 42(4): 22–27
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
The structure and dynamics of rimu-dominated forests on glacial moraines, South Westland
G.H. Stewart , J.C. White and R.P. Duncan
Size and age structure analysis, spatial pattern analysis, and disturbance history were used to reconstruct the population dynamics of three stands dominated by Dacrydium cupressinum on glacial moraines in South Westland, New Zealand. D. cupressinum and Prumnopitys ferruginea age structures in the three plots were not all-aged populations that would have arisen by small-scale individual tree replacement. Rather, the presence of distinct even-aged cohorts of trees indicated at least two major establishment periods in the stands (c. 500 and 200-350 years ago) over the last 700 years. In some instances, the presence of D. cupressinum and P. ferruginea in small clumps of individuals of similar age suggested intermittent regeneration in small patches (up to c. 1000m2), whilst in other situations similarly-aged individuals were spread throughout the stand, suggesting establishment after partial canopy breakdown. Conifer stands containing similar age cohorts have been documented in several areas of Westland, both in the uplands on landslide debris deposits and on fluvio-glacial terraces of the lowlands.
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