TUSSOCK GRASSLAND ASSOCIATIONS
AbstractAt the time colonisation commenced in New Zealand, about one hundred years ago, there were two main and distinct types of ve,getation. First, there was the tall-growing association of forest trees, shrubs, and fern, which was confined in the main to the North Island and to the higher rainfall areas of the South Island. Second, there was the xerophytic grass-dominated association, which was present in the lower rainfall areas on the eastern side of the main divide of the South Island. This association was able to survive under the conditions of low rainfall, high summer temperatures, and low winter temperatures, and the constant desiccating winds. This grass association extended from high altitudes to sea level and was, in general, present in all areas where forest was unable to survive. A similar association was also present in the high altitudes of the central plateau of the North Island.