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Vegetation of New Zealand’s North Island

38.8S 175.9E

December 25th, 2009 Category: Climate Change

New Zealand - December 16th, 2009

New Zealand - December 16th, 2009

This FAPAR image shows the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation of New Zealand‘s North Island. The northernmost tip of the South Island is also visible at the bottom left.

In FAPAR images, the color spectrum over land runs from red (1.0), to green, to yellow and white (0.0), while bodies of water, such as Lake Taupo in the center of the North Island, appear blue. Green to dark red areas indicate the presence of good to high photosynthetic activity, while yellow areas indicate low activity.

The history, climate and geology of New Zealand have created a great deal of diversity in New Zealand’s vegetation types. The main two types of forest have been dominated by podocarps and southern beech. In the north of New Zealand the podocarp forests were dominated by the ancient giant kauri. These trees are amongst the largest in the world, holding the record for the greatest timber volume of any tree; unfortunately, most of these trees were felled.

The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grassland of grass and tussock, usually associated with the subalpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests.

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