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Nothofagus Decline in New Zealand: Separating Causes from Symptoms

  • G. Hosking

Abstract

Four endemic species of Nothofagus form a major element of New Zealand”s forests. They occur throughout the country, although with a patchy distribution in the northwest. A detailed account of their ecology, utilization and management is provided by Wardle (1984). Dieback of beech in New Zealand is not a recent phenomenon it has been reported by Cockayne (1926), Conway (1949) and Elder (1959, 1963, 1965) and variously attributed to insects, fungi, earthquake and climate change. The process of stand replacement in these forests has been characterized as synchronized cohort mortality (Ogden 1988), commonly initiated by catastrophic wind or snow damage (Wardle and Allen 1983). Historically, where no such major disturbances were obvious, forest managers commonly focused on the insects and diseases directly associated with dying trees and urged research into these causes of decline. Although forest health specialists were unconvinced by an argument that suggested indigenous insects were a primary cause of death of indigenous tree species, it was not until the late 1970s that any attempt was made to investigate the underlying causes of insect- and disease-related dieback (Hosking and Kershaw 1985). Three such areas of beech forest were investigated between 1978 and 1987.

Keywords

Beech Forest Nothofagus Forest Indigenous Tree Species Tree Radial Growth Stand Replacement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Hosking
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest Research InstituteRotoruaNew Zealand

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