Biology Aotearoa: Unique Flora, Fauna and Fungi

Stuart Parsons all

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Biology Aotearoa: Unique Flora, Fauna and Fungi

By Stuart Parsons, Dan Blanchon, Peter Buchanan, Mick Clout, Mel Galbraith more
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Stuart Parsons all
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As a large, isolated and relatively ancient landmass, New Zealand occupies a unique place in the biological world, with distinctive terrestrial biota and a high proportion of primitive endemic forms. Biology Aotearoa covers the origins, evolution and conservation of the New Zealand flora, fauna and fungi. Each chapter is written by specialists in the field, often working from different perspectives to build up a comprehensive picture.

Topics include:

  • the geological history of our land
  • origins, and evolution of our plants, animals and fungi
  • current status of rare and threatened species
  • past, present and future management of native species
  • the effect of human immigration on the native biota.

Colour diagrams and photographs are used throughout the text.

This book is suitable for all students of biology or ecology who wish to know about the unique nature of Aotearoa New Zealand and its context in the biological world.

  • Each chapter written by a specialist in the field.
  • Chapters cover New Zealand’s endemic species from different perspectives to build up a complete picture of our biota.
  • Numerous photos, maps and diagrams in full colour.
  • Includes content written from the Maori perspective.
  • Focuses on the conditions and species peculiar to New Zealand’s unique geological history.
  • Chapters include a discussion of past, present and future management of threatened species.
Table of contents

1 In the beginning – geological history and origins of New Zealand biota
John Macdonald
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
Dan Blanchon
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
Peter Buchanan
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.