The New Zealand forest is evergreen. A distinctive feature is the thick understorey of shrubs, climbers and ferns. Much of the forest floor is clothed in mosses and lichens. This North Island conifer–broadleaf forest is so named because of the conifers, or podocarps (such as mataī, miro, rimu and tōtara – the taller trees of the canopy), and the broadleaf trees which shelter beneath them. As these forests are generally in the lowlands, many have been cleared for farmland.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Fiona Hennessey
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