Included here is New Zealand (North and South islands), Stewart Island and a multitude of smaller islands. In the temperate zones the broadleaf forests include Nothofagus forest, Metrosideros coastal forest and Corynocarpus coastal forest.

Neozeylandic (Subantarctic) Nothofagus Rain Forest

These forests are distinguished by the dominance of one or more endemic species of Nothofagus (southern beech) including Nothofagus fusca, N. menziesii, N. solandri var. cliffordioides, N. solandri var. solandri and N. truncata (Nothofagaceae). The genus is confined to the southern hemisphere, and is thought to have strong links with Gondwana. In fact, they can be traced back to the Cretaceous period. Moving from north to south these forests are first encountered in the Thames District of North Island where they follow the island’s dividing range, but near Cook Strait they nearly descend to sea level. In South Island they occur in the Northwestern District and western Tasman Mountains, the Southern Alps and down to the south coast, while in the east they extend over a large part of the South Otago District. Other trees commonly include the two endemics Beilschmeidia tawa (Lauraceae) and Weinmannia racemosa (Cunoniaceae). Endemic taxa are also prevalent in the undergrowth with species such as Archeria traversii (Ericaceae), Coprosma grandifolium, Nertera dichondraefolia (Rubiaceae), Hymenophyllum scabrum (Hymenophyllaceae), Ixerbia brexoides (Ixerbiaceae), Melicytus lanceolatus, Viola filicaulis (Violaceae), Polystichum vestitum (Dryopteridaceae), Pseudopanax linearis (Araliaceae), Pseudowintera colorata (Winteraceae) and Quintinia serrata (Paracryphiaceae). Epiphytes are rare but the two parasitic mistletoes - the yellow flowered Elytranthe flavida and the scarlet flowered Elytranthe tetrapetala are a feature of the beech woods on the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps. 

Northern Neozeylandic Metrosideros tomentosa Coastal Forest

Distinguished by the dominance of Metrosideros tomentosa and often by the endemic Corynocarpus laevigata (Corynocarpaceae), these forests extend throughout Auckland. Compared to the inland rainforests, these forests have thinner trunks and their undergrowth is more open. Other important trees include Dodonaea viscosa, Suttonia australis and various endemic or near endemic taxa such as Beilschmeidia taraire (Lauraceae), Hoheria populnea (Malvaceae), Melicytus ramiflorus (Violaceae) and Vitex lucens (Verbenaceae). Tree ferns are represented by Cyathea medullaris and the endemic C. dealbata (Cyatheaceae) and the undergrowth may include Paratrophis microphylla, various species of Coprosma, and the endemic or near endemic Leucopogon fasciculatus (Ericaceae) and Brachyglottis rependa (Asteraceae). Common lianas include Muehlenbeckia australis and species of Freycinetia, and among the epiphytes the huge Astelia banksii is frequent. Ferns are common and include many small species like Adiantum hispidulum, Doodia media and various endemics or near endemics such as Blechnum filiforme (Blechnaceae) and Pteris macilenta (Pteridaceae), while close to streams in the north can be found good examples of the generic endemic herb Colensoa physaloides (Lobeliaceae).

Central Neozeylandic Corynocarpus laevigata Coastal Forest

Coastal forests here are distinguished by the dominance of the endemic Corynocarpus laevigata (Corynocarpaceae) with good examples found on the shores of the Cook Strait and Kapiti Island. Other common trees include Sideroxylon novo-zelandicum and the endemic Entelea arborescens (Malvaceae), Melicytes ramiflorus (Violaceae), Myoporum laetum (Scrophulariaceae) and Olearia furfuracea var. rubicunda (Asteraceae). There is usually a closed “multi-coloured’ canopy with the dark-green of Corynocarpus, yellowish-green of Melicytes ramiflorus, bright-green of Myoporum and dark-grey of Leptospermum scoparium. The principle climbers are Freycinetia and the unusual, endemic, pteridophyte Blechnum filiforme (Blechnaceae), although both of these taxa are also important ground-layer species. Polystichum richardi and the endemic Adiantum fulvum (Pteridaceae) and Asplenum hookerianum (Aspleniaceae) are other important ferns.


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