Kaimanawa Forest Park Plants

Kaimanawa Forest Park New Zealand Natural History.

Temperature, rainfall, soil fertility and drainage all play their part in determining what plants grow where within the park. History is also an important factor, with some species such as silver, red and mountain beech not yet reaching their full potential distributions, following the devastating Taupo 232 AD eruption.

In general, the vegetation of Kaimanawa Forest conforms to the following patterns; red and silver beech dominate the North, podocarp broadleaved forest (rimu, matai, miro and kamahi) occurs at lower altitude in the west, and mountain beech is abundant in the south.

Kaimanawa forest gives way to scrub, tussock and alpine herb fields at the tree line (which ranges between 1300 to 1500 m above sea level) and in the interior valleys where cold air ponding prevents tall forest establishment. Human induced fire has also affected parts of the south and east of the park.


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