The Geographical Setting of New Zealand and Its Place in Global Geography

  • R. M. McDowallEmail author
Part of the Fish & Fisheries Series book series (FIFI, volume 32)


New Zealand has three main islands and many smaller ones at mid-temperate latitudes, steep topography and many rivers, mostly flowing east or west, with hard rock gravels, and many lakes, all of them young and most of them either volcanic (North Island) or glacial (South Island). Early biogeographers were Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, with strong interest from local biogeographers from the late nineteenth century, particularly palaeontologist Charles Fleming. The New Zealand freshwater fish fauna has derivations from diadromous species that can disperse across oceans and around the coastline. The advent of plate tectonics profoundly influenced biogeography through the last half of the twentieth century, but it is uncertain whether this has had any implications for the derivation of the freshwater fish fauna, a topic that has been highly controversial.


Alfred Wallace Charles Fleming Charles Darwin Diadromy Dispersal History Gondwana History Plate tectonics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Water and Atmospheric ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand

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