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Recent vegetation succession and flora of Macauley Island

Peter J. de Lange
Department of Conservation
Published
16 October 2015
Handle
www.aucklandmuseum.com/research/pub/bulletin/20/7

Abstract

A revised listing of the flora of Macauley Island is presented and aspects of its composition discussed. A vascular flora of 92 taxa (including two hybrid combinations and two unnamed entities) and 50 bryophytes is recorded here for the island. Six seaweeds are also recorded from the intertidal zone of the north-eastern coastline of Macauley. Twenty-two taxa (10 Vascular plants, seven liverworts and five mosses) are considered new records for the Kermadec Islands, and 59 taxa (22 vascular plants, 10 liverworts and 27 mosses) are additions to the known flora of Macauley Island. The flora of the island has increased considerably since goats were exterminated from the island in 1970. The vegetation of the island is documented, using broad, empirically derived vegetation associations. Eleven associations are recognised and described and the vegetation succession of the island discussed. While the dominant vegetation cover on the island is still a dense monospecific Hypolepis fernland, a treeland of Homalanthus polyandrus is now developing. It is suggested that this has happened because kiore (Rattus exulans) may have been successfully eradicated from the island in 2006. Notes are made on the condition of the islands vegetation associations in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Bune, which struck the island on 28 March 2011. It is also suggested that the vegetation succession of Macauley Island needs no direct human intervention to make conditions more suitable for sea bird nesting.

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Cite this article

Peter de J. Lange. Recent vegetation succession and flora of Macauley Island, southern Kermadec Islands. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum 20: 207:230.