Kahikatea, pukatea forest ecosystem (WF8)

About this ecosystem

Swamp forests such as these occur on soils with seasonally high water tables. Temperature, humidity and soils all influence the extent and distribution of this ecosystem.

The extent of this ecosystem has been greatly reduced in Auckland as a result of historic drainage and conversion to agriculture. An excellent example can still be found at Omaha Taniko Wetlands Scientific Reserve on the Whangateau Harbour.

Kahikatea and pukatea forest with swamp in the foreground.
Omaha swamp forest with Whangateau Harbour saltmarsh in the foreground.
Photo credit: Jason Hosking

Flora and fauna in this ecosystem

A diverse range of species occurs in this ecosystem. Kahikatea and pukatea are common in the canopy. In areas with a high water table swamp maire is also found.  In the interior, kiekie, whekī and supplejack create a dense, almost impenetrable understorey.

The fruit-bearing trees, such as kahikatea, provide food for native fauna, like kererū and tūī.

Kahikatea and pukatea forest with native flaxes.
Omaha swamp forest interior.
Photo credit: Jason Hosking

Threats to this ecosystem

This ecosystem is critically endangered and only a few examples remain in Auckland. 

The clearing and draining of land are the biggest threats to this ecosystem.