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|Title: ||Secondary forest succession differs through naturalised gorse and native kānuka near Wellington and Nelson|
|Author: ||Sullivan, Jon J.|
Williams, Peter J.
Timmins, Susan M.
|Date: ||2007 |
|Publisher: ||New Zealand Ecological Society.|
|Citation: ||Sullivan, J. J., Williams, P. A., & Timmins, S. M. (2007). Secondary forest succession differs through naturalised gorse and native kanuka near Wellington and Nelson. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 31(1), 22-38.|
|Item Type: ||Journal Article|
|Abstract: ||The dominant native woody species forming early successional vegetation on formerly forested sites
in lowland New Zealand were kānuka (Kunzea ericoides) and mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) (Myrtaceae).
These have been replaced extensively by gorse (Ulex europaeus, Fabaceae), a naturalised species in New
Zealand. Because gorse typically gives way to native broadleaved (angiosperm) forest in about 30 years, it is
often considered desirable for facilitating native forest restoration. We tested three hypotheses, derived from the
New Zealand literature, on gorse and kānuka: (1) kānuka stands have a different species composition and greater
species richness than gorse stands at comparable successional stages; (2) differences between gorse and kānuka
stands do not lessen over time; and (3) several native plant taxa are absent from or less common in gorse than
in kānuka stands. We sampled 48 scrub or low-forest sites in two regions, Wellington and Nelson. Sites were
classified into one of four predefined categories – young gorse, young kānuka, old gorse, old kānuka – based
on canopy height of the succession and the dominant early-successional woody species. Few characteristics of
the sites and surrounding landscapes differed significantly among site categories, and none consistently across
regions. The vegetation composition of gorse and kānuka and their immediate successors differed in both
regions, mainly in native woody species. Species richness was often lower in gorse and there were fewer smallleaved
shrubs and orchids in gorse. Persistent differences at the older sites suggest the successional trajectories
will not converge in the immediate future; gorse leads to different forest from that developed through kānuka.
Gorse-dominated succession is therefore not a direct substitute for native successions. We suggest areas of early
native succession should be preserved, and initiated in landscapes where successions are dominated by gorse
or other naturalised shrubs.|
|Persistent URL (URI): ||http://hdl.handle.net/10182/4961|
|Related: ||Originally published online by the New Zealand Ecological Society at: http://www.nzes.org.nz/nzje/|
|Related URI: ||http://www.nzes.org.nz/nzje/contents.php?volume_issue=j31_1|
|Rights: ||Copyright © New Zealand Ecological Society|
|Appears in Collections:||Department of Ecology|
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