1 In the beginning – geological history and origins of New Zealand biota
Geological history; Origins of the New Zealand biota; From ratites to wrens – New Zealand, land of birds; Immigration from overseas: the West Wind drifters; New Zealand and the Southern Ocean – whales, penguins and whitebait; Where have all the fossils gone?; Conclusion – overview of the pre-human flora and fauna.
2 Plant diversity
Bryophytes – types and origins; Ferns and fern allies (pteridophytes) –
types and origins; Conifers – types and origins; Flowering plants – types and origins; Ecology and assemblages.
3 Diversity of New Zealand’s terrestrial and freshwater fauna
Stuart Parsons and Mel Galbraith
Giants of the Jurassic; New Zealand’s ‘polar’ dinosaurs, marine reptiles, and pterosaurs; The Oligocene drowning; Tuatara, ratite birds, and geckos; Species reports; Special features.
4 Fungal diversity
Fungal diversity and origin; Major fungal groups; Fungi–plant interactions; Aquatic fungi; Fungi–animal interactions; Medical and veterinary interactions.
5 Conservation – applied ecology
Weihong Ji and Mick Clout
Our fragile environment – what went wrong?; The vulnerable New Zealand biota – current status; Fixing it for the future – conservation in practice.
6 He kimihanga türangawaewae – Finding our place
Michael Walker and Rob Wass
The first humans in the New Zealand environment; Biological and environmental change over time; The second wave; Responding to ongoing biological and environmental change.