Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Weinmannia racemosa - Metrosideros umbellata - Nothofagus solandri / Coprosma foetidissima forest and tall shrubland

Common name: Kāmahi – Southern rata forest and tall shrubland
Code: A: BBPF1

Known distribution of Kāmahi – Southern rata forest and tall shrubland based on vegetation plots

Known distribution of Kāmahi – Southern rata forest and tall shrubland based on vegetation plots

Where does it occur?

This 371 000 ha alliance was sampled on the South Island (where it occurs in the south and west) and Stewart Island. Altitudes range from sea level to 650 m.


The canopy is dominated by Weinmannia racemosa, Metrosideros umbellata and Nothofagus solandri with an understory often dominated by Gahnia procera. Podocarpus hallii, Dacrydium cupressinum and Phyllocladus alpinus can be co-dominant in the canopy. Metrosideros umbellata, Lepidothamnus intermedius, Gahnia procera, Halocarpus biformis and Luzuriaga parviflora are diagnostic.Other important canopy species include Elaeocarpus hookerianus, and Pseudopanax linearis. Important species in the subcanopy are Archeria traversii, Coprosma colensoi, C. foetidissima, Raukaua simplex, broadleaf, Pseudopanax colensoi and Myrsine divaricata.

On the ground layer important species are Luzuriaga parviflora, Blechnum procerum and less frequently Libertia pulchella and Schizaea fistulosa. Species occurring frequently as epiphytes include Grammitis billardierei, Hymenophyllum multifidum, Tmesipteris tannensis and Ctenopteris heterophylla. Species richness is moderate with on average 44 species per plot, with 21% of these (18) being measurable trees. Typically only a moderate percentage (25%) of the species present is ferns. Very few exotic species occur in plots of this class (mean = 0.5 per plot, range 0–2), and no individual species was particularly frequent.

Indicator species

Co-occurrence of Blechnum procerum, Halocarpus biformis and Podocarpus hallii OR
Dracophyllum longifolium, Leptecophylla juniperina and Metrosideros umbellata OR
Lepidothamnus intermedius and Nothofagus solandri.

Stand characteristics

Mean canopy height (m): 15 m (range 1–30)
Mean stem density (stems/ha): 7972 (504)
Mean basal area (m2/ha): 68 (3.5)


overlaps withSilver beech, kamahi, southern rata forestSingers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps withMountain, silver beech podocarp forest [variant i]Singers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps with[p. 134] High-altitude conifer/broad-leaved forests: Central WestlandWardle (1991)
overlaps withKamahi, southern rata, podocarp forestSingers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps withRimu, kamahi, quintinia forestSingers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps withYellow silver pine, manuka forestSingers & Rogers (unpublished)
includesOlearia, Brachyglottis and Dracophyllum scrub/ herbfield/ loamfield [Mutton-bird scrub]Singers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps withBog, mountain celery and silver pine scrub/ forestSingers & Rogers (unpublished)
overlaps withConifer/broadleaved forests of lower altitudes: Southern Districts Wardle (1991)
overlaps withPrimary tree- and shrub-heaths and subalpine bush: Primary tall heaths and subalpine bush in Central Westland Wardle (1991)
overlaps withPrimary tree- and shrub-heaths and subalpine bush: Stewart IslandWardle (1991)
overlaps withPrimary tree- and shrub-heaths and subalpine bush: Western NelsonWardle (1991)

Component Associations


Wiser, S.K., Hurst, J.M. 2010. Composition and structure of 24 New Zealand forest and shrubland vegetation communities. Landcare Research Contract Report LC0910-073. Prepared for the Department of Conservation and the Sustainable Management Fund of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Wiser, S.K., J.M. Hurst, R.B. Allen, E.F. Wright. 2011. New Zealand’s forest and shrubland communities: a classification based on a nationally representative plot network. Applied Vegetation Science 14: 506-523.

Wiser, S.K.; De Cáceres, M. 2013. Updating vegetation classifications: an example with New Zealand's woody vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science 24: 80-93.

De Cáceres M, Legendre P, Wiser SK, Brotons L (2012) Using species combinations in indicator value analyses. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3(6): 973-982.