Cushion bogs primarily occur in mountainous, typically alpine, situations. Wetlands with cushion-forming angiosperms appear unique to the Southern Hemisphere and wet tropics. The water comes from heavy rain or drainage from surrounding slopes. Some of the most widespread wetland cushion plants include Centrolepis ciliata, Donatia novae-zelandiae, Gaimardia setacea, the comb sedge (Oreobolus pectinatus), and Phyllachne colensoi, and the mat-formers Coprosma perpusilla subsp. perpusilla and Pentachondra pumila.
Where do they occur?
In the North Island, sites supporting cushion bogs occur in most of the high mountains from the Coromandel southwards; along the Main Divide (e.g. Raukumara, Kaimanawa, Ruahine ,Tararua, and Rumutaka ranges), outlying ranges such as the Herangi Range and Coromandel Ranges, and Mt Ruapehu. In the South Island cushion bogs occur in the western ranges from Nelson to Fiordland, and also in some of the eastern ranges of Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland. Cushion bogs are widespread on Stewart Island.
Notable flora and fauna
Threatened and rare plants include the nationally critical Chaerophyllum [Oreomyrrhis] colensoi var. delicatula, the nationally endangered papataniwha (Lagenifera montana) and Coprosma talbrockiei, the range-restricted Juncus scheuchzerioides, and the naturally uncommon sun orchid (Thelymitra formosa), Ranunculus simulans, Ranunculus maculatus, Carex lachenalii subsp. parkeri, Campbell Island gentian (Gentiana antarctica), Chatham Island gentian (Gentiana chathamica), Gentianella lineata, Plantago obconica and Plantago aucklandica.
No information on threatened and rare fauna is available.
Threat statusNot threatened (Holdaway et al. 2012)
Plants have to be able to withstand the low-nutrient waterlogged ecosystem, usually inhospitable climate and often subalpine/montane conditions. Feral ungulates can cause considerable damage by trampling in the high mountains. There is low visitation by the public, but some trampling at the edges by trampers when cushion bogs occur nearby walking tracks.
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LinksWetlands Restoration Handbook - Wetland Types