The effects of possums on mistletoe on Mt Misery, Nelson Lakes National Park

The effect of possums on three species of mistletoe, Peraxilla colensoi, P. tetrapetala and Alepsis flavida was studied on an altitudinal transect in beech forest on Mt Misery, at the head of Lake Rotoroa, from lake level to above the bushline (1400 m a.s.l.). Results so far confirm less formal observations that have linked the presence of possums with the disappearance of some species of mistletoe in other forested areas. Because of browsing by possums which invaded the area less than 20 years ago, P. tetrapetala, and probably Alepsis flavida, are becoming rarer, and may eventually become extinct on Mt Misery. Elimination of mistletoe from these forests, which are already notably short of nectar and fruit producing plants, could have a major effect on several species of birds and insects

Author P. R. Wilson
Secondary Author P. R. Dingwell
Year 1984
Secondary title 15. Pacific Science Conference
Volume 12
Place published Dunedin
Publisher Department of Lands and Survey information series
Pages 53-60