Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

The Wind Regime in the Foredunes of Southern Pegasus Bay: Spatial and Temporal Variations

Lenihan, J.J.
Publisher / Organisation
Department of Geography, University of Canterbury
gorse, Ulex europaeus, secondary succession, native species, Dunedin, Ecological District
Successional patterns in gorse (Ulex europaeus) communities were determined from an analysis of 125 plots in the Dunedin Ecological District. Stem diameter and height growth of gorse averaged 5 mm yr ' and 200 mm yr ' respectively. Plants attained a maximum age of 29 years, a maximum height of 7.0m, and a maximum diameter of 217 mm at 100 mm above the ground. Gorse matured at about 15 years after establishment with a mean stem density of 60 000 ha-% mean basal area value of 51 m 2 ha-% and a mean litter depth of 55 mm. Other naturalised woody species, particularly broom (Cytisus scoparius), declined in importance in older gorse stands. The establishment of native woody species was favoured by lower density, taller gorse, where litter depth was shallow, and areas of bryophyte or bare soil were available. In these stands native species reached numerical and basal area equivalence with gorse after 10-15 years on the site. However, at 60% of the sites younger than 25 years, native woody species were not establishing and it is unlikely that they will do so until after the first cycle of gorse (25-30 years) is completed. The implications of these results for the management of gorse in biological reserves are discussed.
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