Reay, S.D. and D.A. Norton
The success of restoration plantings in restoring indigenous forest vascular plant and ground invertebrate biodiversity was assessed on previously grass-covered sites in the eastern South Island, New Zealand. The composition and structure of grassland, three different aged restoration plantings (12, 30, and 35 years old), a naturally regenerating forest (100 years old), and a remnant of the original old-growth forest of the area were measured. The strong correlations between plant and invertebrate community composition and study-site suggest that the restoration site plant and invertebrate communities are undergoing change in the direction of the naturally regenerating and mature forest communities. Without restoration, colonization of grassland by forest plants is very slow in the study area and the restoration plantings studied here have been successful because they have considerably accelerated the return to forest at these sites.