A u s t r a L i a n n e t w o r k f o r p L a n t c o n s e r V a t I o n


Controlling weeds on translocation sites: strategies, solutions and



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Controlling weeds on translocation sites: strategies, solutions and 

probable short term costs to the environment 

I R (Bob) Dixon 

Manager Biodiversity and Extensions, Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005 

One of the main limitations to successful translocations, especially on degraded sites, is weed control. 

You will not eradicate all weeds; therefore you should aim to control/eradicate the most 

damaging/aggressive species and learn to live with others as long as they do not impact severely on 

indigenous species. To reduce weed problems you need to plan and develop strategies which will assist 

management e.g. choose a well vegetated site with a good indigenous species soil seedbank that is 

weed free or contains easy to control weeds, hand weed now or later when few weeds are present (can 

cause more disturbance = more weeds), use selective herbicides, non-selective herbicides use for spot 

spraying, blanket spraying may be necessary therefore use a less damaging herbicide, are pre-

emergent herbicides appropriate. 

Solutions to weed control vary from site to site and species to species and it may take several years to 

develop a solution (spray trials using non-selective herbicides at lower rates over the rare as well as 

other indigenous species)  

Short term costs to the environment may well be necessary to achieve long term aims, these may 

include using a herbicide that will cause severe off-target damage to indigenous species, are you 

prepared to accept this, will these species recruit again from the soil seedbank or can you reintroduce 

them. 


Innovation Ecology – the restoration ecology toolkit for Australian 

ecosystems 

Kingsley Dixon 

Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005. 

Across rural and urban Australia, there is a growing demand for restoration-ready solutions for 

repatriation and restoration of ecologically damaged and dysfunctional ecosystems.  With 48% of 

continental Australia now disturbed by humans, intervention will be necessary if we are to reinstate a 

level of ecological functionality. Realising the ‘restoration toolkit’ for these landscapes will be critical if 

Australia is to achieve solutions that deliver effective, timely and technologically achievable outcomes. 

Here I present the core concept of Innovation Ecology based on an integrated program of research 

focused on actualisation of seed as the most effective vehicle for delivery of large-scale and cost-

effective ecological restoration. Why is wild seed research so important? Current leading practice can 

achieve only small returns on seed investment with up to 96% loss of seed directed to restoration for 

some programs. This represents significant wastage of seed resources and a drain on wild seed 

sources. I will review the current and future capabilities in technology innovation (in three core areas of 

Restoration Seedbanking, Germination-on-Demand and Seed Enablement) and highlight key 

developments and future research that will be necessary if we are to achieve environmental repair on a 

scale that matters. 



Diversity in the Kangaroo Paw family 

K.S. Downes  

School of Science, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley, WA 

Kangaroo Paws are iconic Western Australian species, with Anigozanthos manglesii subsp. manglesii 

(Haemodoraceae) being the state floral emblem. Many Kangaroo Paws grown in gardens are hybrids 

that have been specifically bred for floral traits and disease resistance. Thus, some people may be 

unfamiliar with all of the species found in the wild. This short talk will provide a pictorial guide to many 



Anigozanthos taxa as well as other Western Australian genera within this family. This will allow an 

appreciation of the differences in flower and seed morphology between the different taxa. In addition, the 

ecology of Anigozanthos will be considered. Most Anigozanthos species are more abundant after fire, 

but can be divided into short-lived fire ephemerals and longer-lived species. Particular habitat 

requirements and species distributions will also be discussed.  


   

 

 



 

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 Australian Network for Plant Conservation 8

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 National Conference



 

Populations size effects on genetic pattern and process in Banksia 

ilicifolia: Consequences for conservation and ecological restoration 

Michalie Foley, Siegfried Krauss  

Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005 

With the increasing desire of the community to own new houses, Banksia woodlands within the 

biodiversity hotspot of the Southwest of Western Australia are invariably in the ideal areas for housing 

estate development whether close to the major city or in up and coming rural communities. This 

pressure of increased human encroachment has reduced population size and increased isolation which 

can be associated with a suite of genetic problems including loss of genetically differentiated 

populations, increased inbreeding and loss of genetic variation due to genetic drift.  

This project focuses on exploring genetic structure and the underlying genetic processes in a species 

that is disjunct in its distribution, Banksia ilicifolia.  This common widespread species will serve as a 

model for understanding gene flow processes in a fragmented environment.  This is achieved through 

the use of microsatellite markers and paternity analysis of large and small populations within the 

metropolitan area. With this knowledge of pollen dispersal it can be seen whether features such as 

roads, houses and gardens act as barriers and corridors. It can also inform land managers and housing 

estate developers on how new development should be designed to allow for populations of plants 

(common and rare) to be sustainable for the future. 



Genetic rescue of Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides by creating new and viable 

populations initiated from seed sourced from small and large populations 

of the same ploidy level, bulked-up using Seed Production methods and 

reintroduced by direct seeding 

Paul Gibson Roy  

Greening Australia / University of Melbourne Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond VIC 3121 



Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides, a multi-stemmed, herbaceous perennial is an Asteraceous species 

endemic within the broader temperate grassland communities of south-eastern grassland. It is listed as 

threatened under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1998) and as endangered under the 

Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). The Grassy 

Groundcover Research Project (GGRP) has for some time been investigating the reconstruction of 

species-rich grassland by direct seeding with considerable success. In 2008 it initiated a new project in 

partnership with VicRoads (Western Region) to reconnect high quality roadside grassland remnants on 

the Glenelg Highway near Wickliffe in Victorias south west. These remnants were separated by non-

endemic native tree plantations. The goal was to reseed these areas with complex seed mixtures 

following the removal of trees. A further goal was to reintroduce new populations of Rutidosis. To do 

this, seed from a nearby (3 km) small (n=26) remnant tetraploid population was combined with seed 

from larger (n>5000) population (also tetraploid) located approximately 100 km away to produce a Seed 

Production crop (n = 500). Rutidosis was direct-seeded as part of the larger program in spring of 2009. 

Subsequent surveys show that seedling emergence is widespread and consistent and that populations 

of > 1000 individuals have been established. Earlier GGRP sowings show that survival from individuals 

present at this point post-seeding is largely maintained (given appropriate management regimes). This 

project aimed to reconstruct species rich grassland and establish new populations of Rutidosis 

leptorrhynchoides. While still early in the reestablishment-phase, it is likely that both goals will be 

achieved.    



Novel ecosystems and no-analogue climates: implications for 

management and policy in a rapidly changing world 

Richard Hobbs  

University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009 

Changes in climate and other environmental conditions are combining with changes in species 

distributions and combinations to create entirely new environmental domains and ecological 

communities.  Hence we are increasingly experiencing climatic and disturbance events outwith the 

historic range and observing increasing evidence of novel biotic assemblages and interactions which 

behave in unpredictable ways.  We are only just becoming aware of the implications of this for 

ecosystem management and policy. I discuss these phenomena, drawing on examples from Australia 



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 National Conference

 

and elsewhere, and explore the need for radically different approaches to management and policy in the 



future.  

Progressing from single species recovery planning to multi-species 

recovery across the landscape: A case study from the Hunter Valley – 

NSW 

Tricia Hogbin 

Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, PO Box 488G, Newcastle NSW 2298. 

The native vegetation of the lower Hunter Valley has been extensively cleared since European 

settlement, with less than 30% now remaining. Consequently, the area supports numerous threatened 

species, with 65 threatened entities, including ten plant taxa and nine ecological communities.  

The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water commenced an active threatened flora 

recovery program in the region in 2005, initially focussing on a few single species and ecological 

communities. In late 2009 the focus expanded to developing the Cessnock Biodiversity Conservation 

Program, which seeks to address the conservation needs of all 65 threatened entities across a 70,000 

ha study area.  

I will present an overview of the methodology used to develop the program and will evaluate its 

effectiveness to date. In summary, we (i) developed a landscape conservation plan prioritising areas for 

protection, restoration and revegetation across the landscape; and (ii) identified targeted focus areas 

addressing the conservation requirements of those entities not adequately conserved through the 

landscape approach. One of the main objectives of the program is to promote collaboration and 

community involvement in threatened species recovery. Consequently, it was decided to present the 

program as a poster style plan, identifying priorities geographically across the landscape. This 

innovative approach has been well received by other public authorities and the community and is 

already influencing the targeting of funding for on-ground works and has initiated a number of 

partnerships.  



Do we need a more rigorous scientific process for the listing of threatened 

species? 

Chris Howard 

CSIRO, GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601 

The financial cost that threatened species legislation imposes on development is usually considerable.  

In one example, an upgrade to the Pacific Highway on the NSW north coast has faced financial liability 

and delays due to the presence of a number of threatened species associated with the proposed route.  

Three species of Helmet Orchid occurred in the path of the highway upgrade and while Corybas 



barbarae and C. aconitiflorus are ubiquitous along the eastern coast of Australia, C. dowlingii is 

restricted to the highway upgrade site and a small number of sites to the south.  As such, C. dowlingii is 

listed as ‘Endangered’ (NSW TSC Act 1995) and the populations associated with the highway upgrade 

route required translocating before construction.  Prior to a translocation deadline in 2009 we 

hypothesised that C. dowlingii may not be a truly distinctive species, but rather a variant of C. 

aconitiflorus as floral morphology and colouration of these two species is remarkably similar.  

Comparisons of molecular data between all three species indicated that C. dowlingii was indeed 

indistinguishable from C. aconitiflorus.  However, as this finding had not been published in peer 

reviewed literature prior to the translocation deadline, legislation required that the affected colonies of 

the invalid C. dowlingii still be translocated.  Financial costs due to erroneous listing of threatened 

species are unreasonable. We argue that when morphological similarity is present between a nominated 

species and its congeners, the listing process should only advance if adequate research exists which 

proves the validity of the nominated species. 



The Bulahdelah Bypass: challenges to orchid conservation 

Chris Howard 

CSIRO, GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601 

With growing public infrastructure development, scientific investigations are increasingly being sought to 

provide outcomes that counteract the effects of development on ecosystems.  The advancement of a 

NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW RTA) upgrade to the Pacific Highway at Bulahdelah on the 


   

 

 



 

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 Australian Network for Plant Conservation 8

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 National Conference



 

NSW north coast is currently affected due to the presence of three threatened terrestrial orchid species 

(Cryptostylis hunterianaRhizanthella slateri and Corybas dowlingii) associated with the proposed route.  

In compliance with relevant federal and state legislation, the NSW RTA is funding a conservation 

research project to offset the effects of the highway upgrade which aims to conserve and perpetuate 

these orchid species in the affected area.  As part of this research project an orchid management plan 

was formulated stipulating that populations of these threatened orchid species within the proposed road 

footprint be translocated to unaffected areas.  Translocation of these orchids required a comprehensive 

knowledge of their phenology, plus an understanding of the associations with their mycorrhizae, 

pollinators and with other vegetation.  The interaction between science and industry required for this 

research project further compounds the complexities of its biological aspects.  While initial translocation 

data is encouraging, appropriate land availability for translocations, governance matters (tenure and 

management) and the responsibility for long term monitoring are challenges to the success of the 

project.  The research is being undertaken by the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, a collaboration 

between CSIRO and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. 

Ecological restoration in Gondwana Link 

Justin Jonson 

Threshold Environmental, justin@gondwanalink.org 

The Fitz-Stirling operational zone of Gondwana Link is defined as the area of fragmented native remnant 

vegetation located between the Stirling Ranges National Park and the Fitzgerald River National Park. 

Over the last 5 years, a number of on-ground revegetation works have been undertaken to protect and 

restore the ecological health and resilience of this relatively intact landscape. On-ground works have 

been diverse in their objectives, methods, and quality of results, and much has been learned along the 

way. Research and development has occurred in areas related to direct seeding of native plants, 

integration of local plant and seed collection knowledge into re-vegetation projects, and more detailed 

site planned to ensure that seeds are sown in correct soil types and landscape positions. Hundreds of 

hectares have now been seeded over many different soil types, using different seed mixes, and 

experiencing different seasons. The result has been the establishment thousands of native plant species 

now growing on previously cleared lands. Building on the lessons learned from these efforts, with an 

ongoing goal toward improvement and innovation, new approaches to re-establishing plant communities 

which reflect the natural mosaic of local native vegetation associations found in the region are beginning 

to be achieved. Through working closely with seed collectors, and drawing from the theory presented in 

the literature, restoration efforts are improving in their delivery of well planned functional plant 

systems.     



Correlation of membrane composition to cryopreservation results in 

selected plant species 

Anja Kaczmarczyk 

1, 2

, Bryn Funnekotter 

1, 2

, Shane R. Turner 

2, 3

, Eric Bunn 

2, 3

, Ping Che

4

, Steven 

Smith

4

, Ricardo L. Mancera

1

Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Western Australian Biomedical Research Institute, Curtin University of 



Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845 

2

 Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005 



3

 School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 

6009 

4

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Centre of Excellence for Plant 



Metabolomics, University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009 

Cryopreservation is the method of choice for long-term storage of vegetatively propagated plant material 

which is generally achieved through the use of shoot apices derived from aseptically grown plant tissue 

cultures. Loxocarya cinerea (Restionaceae) is a dioecious long-lived rhizomatous species important in 

land restoration for the bauxite mining companies Alcoa and Worsley Alumina as it is a locally common 

(dominant) native species that once established significantly reduces soil erosion. L. cinerea is currently 

maintained and propagated via tissue culture at significant expense due to the general lack of seeds and 

very low success through cutting or division propagation. Nevertheless, in vitro culture is labour 

intensive and costly for on-going maintenance with accidental contamination and somaclonal variation 

being additional concerns. The aim of this project is to develop a successful cryopreservation method for 

the preservation of key genotypes of L. cinerea through (a) investigating membrane composition and 

impact on cryopreservation success; (b) constructing computer generated membrane models and; (c) 

utilising these models for improved understanding of cryopreservation processes with the outcome of 

developing computer-aided tools for greater efficiency in generating cryopreservation protocols. 



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Australian Network for Plant Conservation 8



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 National Conference

 

Currently, vitrification approaches are developed and optimized empirically for each species undergoing 



cryopreservation through trial and error experiments that are time consuming and labour intensive. In 

trying to understand why some species are amenable to cryopreservation, while others are not we 

describe some of our preliminary findings concerning some of the biochemical attributes of cryotolerant 

and cryosensitive species through characterisation of plant membranes (sterols, phospholipids) and 

sugars.   

Hidden treasures; recognising, conserving and rehabilitation 

consequences of localised variants of widespread species of the Perth 

area 

Greg Keighery 

1

 and Bronwen Keighery

1

Department of Environment and Conservation, Wildlife Research Centre, P.O. Box 51, Wanneroo WA 6946 



2

Office of the EPA Locked Bag 33, Cloisters Square, Perth WA 6850 

Detailed surveys over the past two decades have documented that the Flora of the Swan Coastal Plain 

contains over 2,000 native plant taxa, with over 1300 in the Perth Metropolitan area. Of these species, 

approximately 10-15% of what are considered widespread and well conserved have distinctive 

ecotypes, confined to distinctive soil types and habitats, especially wetlands.  

Studies are showing that many of these variants are highly localised with many morphologically distinct 

from other variants. These variants are normally distinct and do not intergrade with “normal” widespread 

forms. This raises both significant taxonomic and provenance issues for rehabilitation and conservation 

planning. To limit the loss of genetic variation in these species more complex reserve planning is 

required and simple area extent is inadequate for sourcing local propagation materials. 

 A series of species will be used to illustrate these issues (Acacia pulchellaCallitris preissiiEucalyptus 



gomphocephalaPhilotheca spicata and Aponogeton hexatepalus). Currently the authors are completing 

the compiling of a detailed annotated checklist of the flora of the Swan Coastal Plain which will detail the 

composition, variation and conservation status of the vascular flora to aid selection of provenance 

materials and conservation of this variation. 



The use of local provenance for Alcoa's mine restoration in the Jarrah 

forest; does it matter? 

John M Koch, 

Alcoa of Australia Ltd, PO Box 172, Pinjarra WA 6208 

Alcoa has been using local provenance plant material for mine restoration in the Jarrah forest since 

1991.  Broadcast seeds, potted seedlings, cuttings and tissue culture are all used to restore plant 

species after mining.  The provenance zones for two mines (formerly four) have been defined based 

mainly on geographical, soils, rainfall and plant community characteristics, but more recently DNA 

analysis has been used to delineate geographical distances for genetic differentiation.  But how 

important is it to use local provenance in such a radically altered environment as a rehabilitated mine?  

Two examples are given which show that the use of local provenance is important for ecological 

restoration.  Minesite provenance trial plantings from 1987-1990 of the dominant overstorey tree (Jarrah) 

show strong local provenance adaptation when measured as growth, form and survival.  Non-local 

provenances showed significantly poorer growth, form and survival.  Using local provenance also 

insures practitioners against the ravages of taxonomic revisions.  An example is given of the mistaken 

use of the wrong species following a taxonomic revision and renaming.  This mistake would not have 

occurred if the local provenance of this species (now Dryandra lindleyana subsp. sylvestris) had been 

used. 


In vitro propagation of ecological keystone sedge species  

Andrea Kodym 

University of Melbourne Burnley Campus, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond VIC 3121 

Our research addresses the problem that many character plant species cannot be returned to 

restoration sites because of the lack of efficient propagation methods. Several Lepidosperma and 



Gahnia species (Cyperaceae) possess unresolved dormancy and are also not responsive to vegetative 

propagation via division. In vitro techniques are being investigated as a means of producing large 

quantities of planting material while retaining appropriate levels of genetic diversity. Seeds of 


   

 

 



 

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 Australian Network for Plant Conservation 8

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 National Conference



 

Lepidosperma concavumL. laterale and L. longitudinaleGahnia trifida and G. filum germinated in vitro 

after removal of the pericarp and successfully established in the nursery. Germination ranged from 60-

91% depending on the species and occurred within 7 to 18 days on 1/2MS media supplemented with 

zeatin and GA

3

. As a tool for mass propagation, somatic embryogenesis was initiated in Lepidosperma 



laterale. Embryogenic callus was induced from immature seed and from in vitro-grown seedlings on 

medium containing 2,4-D alone or in combination with zeatin. Induction was 16% and 100% respectively 

within 6 weeks. High rates of conversion of plants were achieved on charcoal medium followed by BAP 

or TDZ media. In Gahnia radula, no viable seed was found amongst several Victorian populations. The 

species is highly rhizomatous and a study using microsatellites has been undertaken to determine levels 

of genetic diversity within and between populations.  





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