In the restoration plantings at Riccarton Bush, are some planted species, or species combinations, better nurses for regeneration than other species and what are the features that characterise these species?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameBachelor of Science
The aim of this dissertation was to find out if certain plant combinations in the canopy of restoration plantings in Riccarton Bush were more effective nurse plants than other plant combinations and what were the characteristics that these plants had. Fifty plots in Riccarton Bush were analysed and it was found that Community Two, a Pittosporum tenuifolium-Coprosma robusta forest had a significantly larger number of seedlings (greater than 10 centimetres in height) than three other Communities present in the restoration plantings. It was also found that the total canopy cover in the restoration plantings had little effect on the number of seedlings on the forest floor. It was decided that the primary reason for the greater nurse plant ability of Community Two was its attractiveness to birds as Pittosporum tenuifolium and Coprosma robusta have the most preferred fruit colour out of the four Communities. Other reasons include the moderate amounts of light getting through to the forest floor and the branchiness of trees favoured by birds.