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Vegetation Index of New Zealand’s North and South Islands

40.7S 175.6E

March 12th, 2010 Category: Phytoplankton, Vegetation Index

New Zealand - February 23rd, 2010

New Zealand - February 23rd, 2010

This FAPAR image thumbnail focuses on New Zealand’s North Island, although the South Island and a phytoplankton bloom to the east are also visible upon opening the full image. The North Island shows more areas of high photosynthetic activity (dark red) than the South Island, although both islands show generally good activity.

Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world and its island biogeography, New Zealand has extraordinary flora and fauna. About 80% of New Zealand’s flora is endemic, including 65 endemic genera. Until the arrival of humans, 80% of the land was forested.

The two main types of forest are those dominated by podocarps and/or the giant kauri, and in cooler climates the southern beech. The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grasslands of tussock and other grasses, usually in sub-alpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests.

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