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Soil seed bank ecology and its role in Banksia woodland restoration, Western Australia

Waryszak, P., Enright, N., Ladd, P. and Fontaine, J. (2012) Soil seed bank ecology and its role in Banksia woodland restoration, Western Australia. In: Ecological Society of Australia, Annual Conference, 3 - 7 December, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

Background/questions/methods: The main urban areas of Western Australia (WA) are located on the Swan Coastal Plain - the 400 km long sandy landform between the Indian Ocean and Darling Scarp that encompasses the main habitat for endangered Banksia woodland. This floristically rich but poorly understood Mediterranean-type ecosystem is being rapidly destroyed by urban, horticultural and industrial development. In order to partially ameliorate the damage being inflicted on Banksia woodland vegetation WA land developers have been required to purchase offsets of, often degraded, land to where topsoil from construction sites can be moved to help rehabilitate the damaged areas.

The aim of this project is to restore Banksia woodlands by optimising germination and survival of native species from the soil seed bank contained within transferred topsoil. The project is a part of an offset program associated with the development of the Jandakot Airport 25 km south of Perth city. In the first year, key research questions are focused on enhancing germination by varying depth of returned topsoil, ripping, fencing, weed control and experimental additions of smoke. Subsequent work will examine the survival and persistence of germinants including treatments such as provision of artificial shade. Assessing the efficacy of a spectrum of novel restoration technologies will provide new insights for environmental management of endangered plant communities.

Results/conclusions: Preliminary results will be presented at the conference.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/12390
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