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Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants


The species of southern beech are all relatively light-demanding. Seedlings may establish on better-lit parts of the forest floor but then 'stand still' until more light is available from the death of a canopy tree or as a result of more extensive openings caused by violent gales. Such openings or clearings may soon be filled by a dense 'crop' of vigorous young beech trees.

Where beech forest is destroyed by fire followed by the establishment of manuka and/or kanuka, then there is sufficient light at ground level for beech to become established, grow strongly and, in time, to overtop and shade out the pioneers.