Below are photos of some of the botanical/landscape highlights from the recent expedition to New Caledonia that I participated in. But first, a bit of background:
New Zealand and New Caledonia both sit on the (largely) submerged continent Zealandia, which separated from Australia and the rest of Gondwana some 60-80 million years ago.
Both New Caledonia and New Zealand are regarded as biodiversity hotspots. However, New Caledonia, despite a land area less than 10% of New Zealand’s, has far more species of indigenous vascular plants (very approximately 3300 cf. c. 2500). This probably reflects New Caledonia’s tropical setting; tropical areas generally have more species than temperate areas.
Endemism, where organisms are restricted to a particular area, is high for both New Caledonia and New Zealand, at about 75-80% amongst indigenous seed plants.
A large portion of New Zealand’s indigenous plants are found in its alpine zone. New Caledonia has no alpine zone, but it does have very different rock types which support very different plant communities.