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Rangitoto is the fourth largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, which contains some 425 reefs, islets and islands. Many special characters set Rangitoto apart: plants growing directly on the rough lava and the vegetation being very little modified by human impact. The island is much visited, in sight of New Zealand's largest city and a short boat ride from it, with extensive all-weather tracks (no mud). It is Auckland's youngest volcano with a different geological origin from the neighbouring islands. Because of these qualities it is a favourite island for botanical visitors.
Natural History of Rangitoto Island covers an amazing 1181 plants and fungi, indigenous and naturalised, from the most primitive groups (algae) to the most advanced (orchids) – and includes much on their ecology, habitats, life forms, and pointers for identification. This attractive volume written by experts in their various fields is not just for botanists, but will be of interest to the general public, students, and teachers as a general text on aspects of New Zealand's botany and ecology.