Story: Southern beech forest

Distribution of New Zealand beeches

Black beech is found in the lowland North Island and northern South Island. It is rare north of the Volcanic Plateau, with Little Barrier Island being its northern limit.

Mountain beech grows in the subalpine regions of the central and eastern North Island, and through much of the mountainous South Island. There, it forms forests at the treeline, especially along the island’s drier eastern side.

Hard beech occurs further north than any other New Zealand’s beech. It has a scattered distribution in the northern half of the North Island up to Kaitāia, is common in the lower North Island and north-west South Island, and grows in one area in the Arawata district, south of Haast.

Red beech grows in lowland and upland forests of the Volcanic Plateau and the central mountain ranges of the North Island. It is common in the northern South Island and northern Fiordland.

Silver beech is found in upland and subalpine forests in the North Island, and the wet western mountains of the South Island, where it descends almost to sea level in Fiordland.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: John Wardle, The New Zealand beeches: ecology, utilisation and management. Wellington: New Zealand Forest Service, 1984, pp. 31–45

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Source: John Wardle, The New Zealand beeches: ecology, ulitisation and management. Wellington: New Zealand Forest Service, 1984

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How to cite this page:

Joanna Orwin, 'Southern beech forest - Distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 April 2024)

Story by Joanna Orwin, published 24 Sep 2007