Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Process and pattern in the biogeography of New Zealand – a global microcosm?

Buy Article:

$69.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract Aim 

To describe New Zealand’s historical terrestrial biogeography and place this history in a wider Southern Hemisphere context. Location 

New Zealand. Methods 

The analysis is based primarily on literature on the distributions and relationships of New Zealand’s terrestrial flora and fauna. Results 

New Zealand is shown to have a biota that has broad relationships, primarily around the cool Southern Hemisphere, as well as with New Caledonia to the north. There are hints of ancient Gondwanan taxa, although the long-argued predominance of taxa derived by vicariant processes, driven by plate tectonics and the fragmentation of Gondwana, is no longer accepted as a principal explanation of the biota’s origins and relationships. Main conclusions 

Most of the terrestrial New Zealand flora and fauna has clearly arrived in New Zealand much more recently than the postulated separation of New Zealand from Gondwana, dated at c. 80 Ma. There is a view that New Zealand may have disappeared completely beneath the sea in the early Cenozoic, and acceptance of this would mean derivation of the entire biota by transoceanic dispersal. However, there are elements in the biota that seem to have broad distributions that date back to Gondwanan times, and also some that are thought unlikely to have been able to disperse to New Zealand across ocean gaps, especially freshwater organisms. Very strong connections to the biota of Australia, rather than to South America, are inconsistent with the timing of New Zealand’s ancient and early separation from Gondwana and seem likely to have resulted from dispersal.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Australia; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Oligocene submergence; South America; dispersal; vicariance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2008

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more