Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Environment & Conservation,
Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery
Taxonomy – the science of delimiting and naming taxa of living organisms – provides a critical
underpinning framework for the whole of biology, particularly for conservation. Without adequate
understanding of the taxa that occur in nature, and without names which allow information on those taxa
to be communicated effectively, conservation at the species level cannot proceed. Taxonomy
increasingly is becoming reactive to the needs to conservation; at the Western Australian Herbarium, for
example, considerable taxonomic work is targeted and prioritised to support conservation, increasing
both the relevance of taxonomy and the effectiveness of conservation. Conversely, however, taxonomy
is a mature science and must be free to progress as a science, with the implication that at times such
progress will be inconvenient for users. Recent and ongoing advances in our knowledge of the
relationships of plants, for example, are resulting in substantial taxonomic reassignments, and
consequent name changes, in some groups. These changes are sometimes criticized as un-necessary,
costly, and disruptive. However, while stability and convenience are important short term goals, in the
long term stability implies stasis in knowledge, and this will harm all sciences that rely on the framework
knowledge provided by taxonomy. While taxonomic research may greatly inform conservation questions,
the outcomes of taxonomy should not be too closely guided by desired conservation goals. This paper
will focus on the opportunities, costs and limitations of a close linkage between taxonomy and
conservation, and will discuss the implications for taxonomy of the partnership with conservation
planning and practice.
Centre for Land Rehabilitation, School of Earth and Environment, University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009
Mycorrhizas are a vital symbiosis for many plants of the mega-diverse western Australian Jarrah forests.
The soils of the Jarrah forest are ancient and phosphorus is the key limiting nutrient because it is
sparingly available in the highly weathered (Fe/Al rich) regolith. Despite the P-fixing nature of many WA
soils, phosphorus can become toxic to some functionally important native (and endemic) Australian
trees, including the Jarrah tree itself (Eucalyptus marginata). Mycorrhizas seem to have a curious and
sometimes unexpected effect on the nutrition and growth of their host plants in these soils and
ecosystems that will be reviewed in my paper.
Many Western Australian tree species form dual symbioses with both ecto- and arbuscular mycorrhizal
(AM) fungi , with AM relationships being prevalent in seedlings. In this presentation I will explore recent
evidence that arbuscular mycorrhizas have an important role in regulating plant P uptake in the early
stage of tree growth and that managing soils for early AM symbiosis may be important for some P
Another ecologically important aspect of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is the proliferation of mycelial
networks that colonise the roots of more than one plant, thereby forming a below-ground network linking
(potentially) numerous plant roots with common fungal hyphae. I will also examine whether the presence
of an established network of common mycorrhizal hyphae would affect the emergence of seedlings of
key species from the Jarrah forests.
Minimising uncertainty by maximising knowledge: Examples from
Western Australia of how partnerships with industry deliver enduring
value for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation
Stephen van Leeuwen
Department of Environment and Conservation, Wildlife Research Centre, P.O. Box 51, Wanneroo WA 6946
Western Australia is unequivocally an economic hotspot that is fundamental to our Nation’s economic
wealth and prosperity. In recent years the State has contributed well over 15% of GDP to the Australian
economy and with the current growth in resource development this figure is expected to approach in
excess of 25% in 2010. Commensurately, the State also has a wealth of biodiversity as demonstrated
internationally by the south-west being recognised as a global biodiversity hot spot and nationally
through harbouring eight of the 15 national terrestrial biodiversity hotspots.
Knowledge critical for land use and conservation planning includes knowing what biodiversity we have,
where it is and why it is where it is. Similarly, understanding how the many elements of biodiversity
interact and a comprehension of the processes that threaten biodiversity are also critical to maintaining
biodiversity and the ecosystem processes that support sustainable development. In Western Australia
finding persistent solutions to documenting biodiversity, mitigating threats and ultimately managing the
risks to economic development and biodiversity conservation is often beyond the capabilities of any
single group be they in the public or private sectors, especially when competition for financial resources
and intellectual capital is intense.
Under these circumstances productive and enduring solutions to mitigate risks and minimise uncertainty
have been delivered through the development of collaborative partnerships between government and
industry. Such partnerships are founded on rigorous science that delivers credible outputs which inform
resource developers, land-use planners and biodiversity managers on how sustainable development
Australian Network for Plant Conservation 8
This presentation will cite several botanical examples, mostly from the Pilbara, of how engagement with
planning and biodiversity management. The examples will demonstrate that the outputs from
engagement convey enduring value for industry via providing greater certainty and simultaneously
delivering immense worth to the community through informing land-use planning and biodiversity
Seed Industry Accreditation - A project by the Revegetation Industry
Association of WA
Revegetation Industry Association of WA, firstname.lastname@example.org
RIAWA was formed in 2002. It brought together stakeholders from many different segments of the
industry in order to improve standards/quality of revegetation through providing a professional forum for
exchange of knowledge and information, whilst also working to set up effective working guidelines.
The RIAWA management committee (formed of representatives from the commercial, government and
research sectors) has, over the years, worked closely with Florabank at a federal level and supported
their efforts to establish nation- wide accreditation standards for the seed industry. In WA there has been
significant pressure from stakeholder groups to establish a State system. Whilst no other state in
Australia has a formal accreditation process, here in WA it is seen as a critical requirement to support
the on-going sustainability and quality standards of the seed industry.
With this in mind the RIAWA committee has now embarked on a formal Accreditation project which
culminated recently in a two day forum attended by the full committee and other industry experts and a
representative from DEC. A draft plan has been designed. An accreditation officer has been appointed
to assist in the preparation and operation of the process. It is estimated that the system will be
completed by mid 2011.
RIAWA would like the opportunity to update the conference delegates on this important industry
Institute for Biodiversity and Climate, School of Science, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley WA
Anthropogenic climate change threatens the Earth’s biota and human society. In Australia, the subdued
landscape of the south-western Australian (SWWA) global biodiversity hotspot is already experiencing
climate change, with predictions for further warming and drying in the area. The scale of the problem is
outlined, with particular reference to Mediterranean environments generally, and south-western forested
ecosystems in particular. The urgent need for societal engagement is then briefly outlined, given both
the levels of warming already committed, and the limits to society’s adaptation capacity. Climate change
adaptation options in subdued landscapes are then discussed, including the identification and
management of climate change refugia. By identifying areas that are most likely to act as refugia for the
biota under projected climate change, adaptation and conservation activities can be focused where they
will provide greatest benefit. A multidisciplinary team in SWWA has developed a methodology to
determine whether granite outcrops and their fringing environments in SWWA will act as refugia in the
face of anticipated climate change. Our approach examines the environmental characteristics of granite
outcrops, phylogeographic patterns, resource availability, and the resilience of granite outcrop plant
communities and fringing vegetation compared to that of the wider landscape. This integrated,
transdisciplinary approach is examining the role of granite outcrops as safe havens for the biota in the
face of climate change, and is applicable for the more general identification of climate refuges. Our
approach also provides a mechanism to determine appropriate management actions.
Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery
Centre WA 6983
The Triggerplant genus Stylidium Sw. (Stylidiaceae) has been the subject of a prolific phase of
taxonomic research over the past two decades in which more than 100 new species have been
recognised. This genus is now known to comprise more than 300 taxa, however, unlike many other
large and iconic Australian plant genera, a modern taxonomic revision has yet to be completed.
Consequently, a significant amount of taxonomic information is not readily accessible to conservation
practitioners and other stakeholders. The absence of a robust taxonomic framework has meant that
collections housed at the Western Australian Herbarium (PERTH) have often been inaccurately
identified, which in turn has led to a poor understanding of the distribution, rarity and ecological
requirements of many species. This has serious implications for conservation management, particularly
in south-west Western Australia, a region with a rich and highly endemic Triggerplant flora that includes
more than 60 conservation-listed taxa. Recent research has focussed on sorting and correctly identifying
herbarium collections—a process that has not only dramatically improved our scientific understanding of
many taxa, but has led to the discovery of a range of new conservation-listed species. Many of these
have been unrepresented in the PERTH collection until recently despite the existence of historical
collections at various national and international herbaria, highlighting the ongoing importance of
botanical surveys in Western Australia. A project is underway to produce an electronic key to Stylidium
in southern Australia and species fact sheets. Together these will revolutionise conservation
management of our Triggerplant flora.
The role of taxonomy in conservation
Parks & Biodiversity Science, Parks Australia, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
787, Canberra ACT 2610
Taxonomy and species conservation are inextricably linked. Taxonomy is a vibrant and exciting branch
and conservation practices at various levels. Basic taxonomic knowledge of species in a particular
region is important for the local conservation practitioner with responsibility for uncommon or iconic
species that the community considers important. In cases of exploitation such as in the fishing or
mining industries, knowledge of evolutionary relationships (beta taxonomy) can be critical to decision-
making. Conservation management of a threatened species or control of an invasive taxon warrants
knowledge of the biology of the organism (gamma taxonomy), such as understanding evolutionary rates
and trends, population genetics and intra-population structure. Australian examples well illustrate these
Taxonomy is also important in the conservation policy arena where species lists can be used for
conservation planning – e.g. estimates of species richness or endemism, or where an individual
legislated threatened species influences conservation decisions. There are certain complexities of the
application of taxonomy to conservation in, for example the units of taxonomy to be recognised, and the
units chosen for conservation planning recognising the dynamic aspects of natural systems. There is
room for improvement in the interactions between these two fields of biology but it will require enhanced
collaboration between conservation biologists, taxonomists and legislators. Additionally, there is a need
for accelerated delivery of the results of taxonomic investigations and greater emphasis on the
translation of information for conservation outcomes.
Planning for climate change: the adaptation/mitigation challenge
Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA
biodiversity. Anthropogenic climate change is a further stress which directly affects biodiversity through
its fundamental influence on biological processes and indirectly by exacerbating existing threats.
Reducing or stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions may slow global warming, but past emissions will
continue to contribute to unavoidable warming and related changes in climate for at least a century to
come. The temperature at which global warming will finally stop depends primarily on the total amount of
warming will be. Deep and long lasting cuts in CO
emissions will need to be made in the coming
difficulties in achieving effective mitigation world-wide in the short term at least, there is a high
probability of warming exceeding 2°C, a threshold often considered as dangerous for society and the
Clearly urgent action is needed on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, but with inevitable climate
natural and human systems against expected climate change impacts. This will be challenging for
biodiversity conservation because decisions will need to be made against a backdrop of uncertainty
about the magnitude and rate of climate change, the climate tolerances and adaptive capacity of
species, the resilience of ecosystems and the extent to which climate and other ecological factors
control the population and range dynamics of species. This talk discusses these issues in the context of
research being undertaken on climate change and biodiversity in Mediterranean climate south-west
University of Western Australia, Crawley WA, 6009
Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005
Ecological restoration and revegetation of degraded habitats usually requires the collection, movement
and mixing of large amounts of native seed. Spatial and temporal variation in the environment combined
with natural selection may result in multiple, genetically distinct ecotypes within a single species. Current
restoration guidelines strongly recommend using local sources to maximize local adaptation and prevent
outbreeding depression. Maladaptation and outbreeding depression are thought to be negative
consequences of introducing non-local provenance seed into restoration, but there are very few studies
to assess both simultaneously, and none in SouthWest WA. In this study, I am testing the strength of
local adaptation and outbreeding depression using Stylidium hispidum, the White Butterfly Trigger Plant.
Stylidium hispidum flowers from August to October and set seed within 6 weeks of pollination. Plant
material for the genetic study was collected from 4 populations distributed within the Jarrah Forest along
a 100 km latitudinal gradient. Selected material was used in a plant breeding trial to test for home site
advantage and outbreeding depression in a field situation. AFLP analysis showed that only populations
with the highest geographical distance were significantly different. Experiments in controlled conditions
showed no difference in germination percentages but a 50% lower survival of long-distance intraspecific
hybrids compared to short-distance intraspecific hybrids. Although field trials have only just been
established the trial supports the use of local provenance seed in restoration programs, in order to avoid
negative consequences of outbreeding depression.
Improving restoration efficiency through understanding seed ecology
Lucy Commander, David Merritt, Kingsley Dixon.
Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Fraser Avenue, West Perth WA 6005
Many restoration projects start with seeds, whether for direct seeding or seedling production. If good
quality seed batches are used, propagation methods are known, and seed storage conditions are
appropriate, then we can increase the efficiency of seed use and increase the species diversity in
restored mining areas. Our research focuses on seeds from the arid zone of Western Australia, given
the lack of seed knowledge and prevalence of mining.
Climate plays a major role in seed ecology as temperature and moisture cue germination and drive
dormancy loss. We investigated germination rate across a range of temperatures (10-35
soil for short periods. Non-dormant seeds are able to take advantage of this soil moisture as they
germinate quickly (time to 50% germination is 1-3 days) at optimum incubation temperatures (25 to
Relative proportions of dormancy types were similar to those described for hot deserts; i.e. there are few
non-dormant species, and physical and physiological dormancy predominate. The environment is fire-
prone and the active compound in smoke, karrikinolide, promoted germination of dormant seeds of
several species. To alleviate physiological dormancy we used warm and dry (after-ripening), warm and
wet or alternating dry and wet storage, conditions that mimic those experienced by seeds in the soil.
Dormancy loss was (at least partly) achieved by after-ripening or alternating dry and wet storage. The
results of this study will guide restoration efforts in arid Australia.
Comparison of the impacts of plant canker disease and climate on
Proteaceae and evaluation of selected fungicides as a management tool
for canker control in the declared rare flora Banksia verticillata and
C. E. Crane
, S. Barrett
, B. L. Shearer
, C. P. Dunne
Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA
South Coast Region, Department of Environment and Conservation, Albany WA 6330
Corresponding author: Email: Colin.Crane@dec.wa.gov.au
The contribution of canker-causing fungi to stem and branch death in South Western Australia is not well
documented or understood. Two declared rare flora Banksia verticillata and Lambertia orbifolia are
currently being severely impacted by canker disease. To quantify and monitor canker severity and
impact, permanent transects have been established in Banksia baxteri, B. coccinea, B. verticillata and
cultured and preliminary analysis indicates the most frequently isolated pathogenic fungi are those in the
except Cytospora spp. have been isolated at a low level from healthy asymptomatic tissue suggesting
that they have some degree of benign endophytic role and that the environment may moderate the host-
pathogen relationship. Co-occurrence of several of the pathogens in single canker lesions also
demonstrates a synergism in canker disease expression. Data loggers recording temperature and
humidity have been installed at 20 of these sites covering the northern and southern rainfall extremities.
Interpolated rainfall, temperature and humidity data for each site are being collected for comparison
against canker impact scores in an attempt to develop predictive ability in climate change scenarios. The
systemic fungicides fenarimol, prochloraz and tebuconazole are being investigated as control options in
B. verticillata and L. orbifolia − initially in vitro, then in vivo, for the four main canker causing pathogens.
Managing feral olives and restoring endangered bushland – how can we
maximise restoration success?
and Michelle R Leishman
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109
Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, NSW 2567
related sub-species of the cultivated European Olive. Invasion by African Olive threatens highly
fragmented native vegetation in the Cumberland Plain region (western Sydney), where it forms a dense
mid canopy excluding the regeneration of native species. We established a three year ecological
restoration experiment following removal and mechanical chipping of an established African Olive forest
to test the effectiveness of burning and re-seeding to re-establish native plant diversity. Burned plots had
some regeneration of native species, indicating that the native soil seedbank was still present after 15
years of olive invasion. Native grasses were found to be not persistent in the soil seedbank, however
species such as Microlaena stipoides, Elymus scaber and Themeda australis were readily established
by supplementary direct seeding. Germination and establishment of native shrubs from the direct
seeding mix was poor, suggesting that these species may have to be planted in subsequent years. The
use of burning and direct seeding to establish early successional stage Cumberland Plain Woodland
provides the basis of an ecological restoration model, which could be implemented in areas of African
olive removal to exclude subsequent establishment of African Olive and promote re-establishment of
native plant diversity.
An adaptive management strategy helps recover endangered Western
R. Dillon, E. Adams, S. Barrett & A. Cochrane
Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA
Department of Environment and Conservation, Albany WA 6330
For critically endangered flora, recovery actions must be implemented urgently. Knowledge gaps in
species ecology and biology necessitate an adaptive management approach. This approach obtains
information needed to improve future management.
the root pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. Most of the habitat within the species’ known distribution is
infested with the disease. The collection of seed and its use in translocating plants back into the wild are
conventional flora recovery actions for plants at risk of extinction in Western Australia.
Unfortunately, early attempts at translocation for this taxon were foiled by drought and disease. These
failed attempts, coupled with limited remaining seed resources, led to the establishment of conservation
seed orchards outside the species’ known range as a next step in an adaptive management strategy.
Seed orchards provide secure sites, free from threatening processes where living plants can be
maintained through intensive management.
In 2006, two orchard sites were established from wild sourced material and with careful nurturing, plants
exhibited high rates of survival and growth. By 2008, all plants had flowered and many produced fruit. In
2009, sufficient seeds were harvested for the production of seedlings for new translocations. In June
2010, 100 plants were established at each of two disease-free sites east of Esperance. The success of
the seed orchards has allowed us to generate seed and seedlings for conservation efforts without
impacting on natural populations. This strategy is contributing to the improvement of this Lambertia’s
School of Biological Sciences,The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006;
Mount Annan Botanic Garden,
Mount Annan NSW 2567
Persoonia pauciflora P.H. Weston is found in only one known population near North Rothbury in NSW.
The extremely restricted distribution of this species and previously recognised problematic germination
of Persoonia species makes conservation of this endangered species difficult. Collaboration between
the NSW Seedbank and NSW National Parks and Wildlife investigated methods of germination and
propagation to establish ex situ collections. Plant material and seeds were collected in December 2009
from 19 plants randomly within the population. Cuttings were treated with 1, 3 and 8 ppm concentrations
of Indole Butyric Acid rooting gel. Five replicates per pot were placed in nursery grade seed raising mix
and housed in glasshouses with two humidity regimes (mist or fog). Pots were inspected at 2.5, 5 and 7
months for the presence of roots. The highest strike rate was observed for cuttings treated with 3 ppm
rooting gel (59%), which increased to 85% in the mist regime. Survival rate of stuck cuttings was
approximately 50% after 7 months. Collected seeds were categorised into three age cohorts: 1) fleshy
ripe seeds held on the plant, 2) dispersed fleshy seeds and 3) dispersed seeds with little flesh evident.
Embryos were extracted, surface sterilised and treated with: 250 ppm of gibberellic acid (GA
, along with a control. The optimal temperature for germination was
C with alternating 12 hours light/12 hours dark. High levels of contamination especially
best germination was observed in the GA
alone treatment (~3%) with no apparent effect of cohorts.
Traditionally, seed for restoration projects have been sourced locally, to “preserve” the genetic integrity
of the replanted site. However, the processes of climate change and fragmentation, with the subsequent
development of novel environments, are forcing us to reconsider this basic tenet of restoration ecology.
The question of where to source seed for restoration projects is complex and becoming increasingly
to non-local provenances within common garden experiments, under current local conditions and and
under manipulated climate. My focus is on species from the Cumberland Plain Woodland in western
Sydney. This vegetation is classified as an Endangered Ecological Community under the NSW
My research questions are:
1. Do plants grown from seeds sourced locally have superior establishment and performance than
those of the same species collected from other sites across the geographic range of the
2. What is the degree of variability in survival and growth rates of plants grown from seeds from
different provenances of the same species, when grown under elevated CO
3. Do provenances of plants collected from warmer and drier locations within the geographic range
have superior survival and performance when subject to pulses of extreme high temperatures at
a particular site?
Department of Environment and Conservation, Weir Road, Mundaring WA 6073
Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
Prior to this research, the size class structure, levels of canopy deaths and an absence of juveniles
Rare Flora, were in decline. Utilising an adaptive management approach when required to make
conservation decisions on rare species substantially reduces risk whilst increasing our understanding of
managed ecosystems (Wilhere 2002).
fire related germination cues to break dormancy. After a 2004 experimental burn when both burnt and
control plots were fenced, seedling establishment from soil seed bank and planted seed only occurred in
burnt plots. Monthly monitoring over the first 12 months showed 43% of planted seed and 50% of
soilbank seed that initially germinated, survived to seedling stage.
Following this success, to monitor herbivore effect a normal DEC fuel reduction burn was conducted,
with seedling emergence in the same order as after the 2004 fire. Seedling survival in open burnt plots
was much lower than in fenced plots with skat counts indicating kangaroos as the culprits. Only an
occasional seedling in unfenced burnt plots survived into its second year. However, when these
unfenced and well grazed plots were enclosed in 2007 which eliminated herbivory impacts, there was a
significant increase in A. chapmanii seedlings establishing 2 and 3 years following the fire. This
increase was not seen in the initial fenced plots, possibly due to the dense ground cover of a range of
species that had germinated or resprouted following the fire.
A number of other species also established within the burnt area, with indications that some species
may become more dominant than they were prior to the fire. Of most concern is the extensive
establishment of Eucalyptus wandoo seedlings. The established populations of A. chapmanii were
mostly in open kwongan or low shrubland areas. Further research needs to be undertaken to
understand how A. chapmanii will cope in future years under the canopy of an over-storey of E. wandoo,
particularly as the fenced plot adjacent to the canopy of established E. wandoo had significantly fewer
Tweed Shire Council, PO Box 816, Murwillumbah.NSW 2484
In 2008, the New South Wales Environment Trust funded Tweed Shire Council to develop a strategy to
commence control of two vine weed species, Cats Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati) and Madeira
Vine (Anredera cordifolia) that are posing a severe threat to the environmental quality of waterways and
riparian habitat in the Tweed Shire in northern NSW.
Mature infestation locations were identified through aerial surveys. Mapping of the data collected was a
useful tool in developing a strategy for effective long-term weed control. Key target sites were identified
for vine weed control with priority given to upper-most stream infestations of streams not heavily
infested. Using this strategy, it may be possible to eradicate these weeds from small sub-catchments.
Consideration was also given to the protection of areas of high conservation value.
Council’s pro-active approach to implementing weed control measures and training of landholders of key
target sites has, thus far, proved to be successful with all of the landholders in the first stage of the
program actively participating and keen to maintain the sites. Infestations found during follow-up surveys
and reported by community members are recorded on a ‘living spreadsheet’ that provides an estimate of
current condition and extent of the vines and helps to determine impact of control measures.
Through on-ground restoration work, land holder involvement and on-going monitoring and evaluation,
this program has potential to achieve significant outcomes in riparian restoration.
Mattiske Consulting Pty Ltd, PO Box 437, Kalamunda WA 6076
The Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia is a relatively untouched and floristically diverse area,
characterised by extensive longitudinal sand dune and sand plain systems. Energy and Minerals
Australia’s Mulga Rocks Deposit lies approximately 250 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie. The area
surrounding the deposits has undergone extensive botanical surveying by Mattiske Consulting Pty Ltd.
Australia and is listed as Declared Rare Flora under the State Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and as
Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The current knowledge of Conospermum toddii (Ct) has been expanded through on-ground surveys and
targeted searches of dune systems by helicopter. Woolard Consulting Pty Ltd developed a Terrain
Predictive Model (TPM)
to test the regional distribution of Ct habitats. This model relates the style,
colour and morphology of individual dune complexes to the likelihood of suitable Ct habitats. The TPM
was tested during two helicopter surveys in 2009 and 2010 on a range of potential sand dune systems
within 150 kilometres of the Mulga Rocks Deposit. Populations of Conospermum toddii were found up to
70 kilometres east of the resource area and it is estimated that there are greater than 30,000 plants
within these known populations. This species also regenerates after fire, with populations burnt 2-4
years supporting juvenile plants. The co-operation between the mining industry and environmental
agencies has been beneficial for the conservation and understanding of this species and other Priority
Department of Environment and Conservation, 201 Foreshore Drive, Geraldton WA 6530
populations at Maya, 300 km south east of Geraldton in Western Australia’s Midwest region. Monitoring
at the two Stylidium amabile populations had recorded that the number of individuals had declined from
135 plants in 1993 to 27 plants in 2008. Recorded observations over this period indicated that
occasional unplanned disturbance events (both fire and soil disturbance) had been followed by
recruitment of the species. It was considered that the absence of disturbance in recent years was
contributing to the decline in population numbers, and if this state continued this would be likely to lead
to extinction within a few years.
A disturbance trial was carried out which tested the use of prescribed burning and smoke water
application to induce recruitment. Disturbance mechanisms were applied in four sets of plots located in
areas where adult Stylidium amabile plants had been previously recorded but where plants no longer
survived. Seed burial sub-plots were also put in place within the trial area to test weather soil
temperature and the effect of shading influenced recruitment.
The disturbance trial was implemented in May 2009. A moderately hot burn was achieved, which was
followed by significant rainfall. Monitoring in December 2009 recorded 425 new recruits in total. The
largest number of recruits was recorded in burnt plots and in areas where a greater concentration of
adult plants are known to have historically been present. Some recruitment also occurred in unburnt
areas which were affected by smoke from the burn, and a smaller number of recruits were recorded in
smoke water treatment areas. There was no significant difference in the number of recruits recorded
between seed burial plots located in sun and those located in shade. No recruits were recorded in
Monitoring in March 2010 recorded a mortality rate of 50-60% for the first summer. There was no
difference in survival rates for recruits within seed burial sub-plots located in sun and shade areas.
Monitoring in July 2010 recorded a larger number of plants than had been recorded in March 2010,
which indicates an additional wave of recruitment took place during the second winter.
The initial success of the recruitment trial indicates that the use of fire as a management tool is likely to
be critical in the maintenance of this species. However the trial is currently in the early stages of data
collection and it is expected that other factors will also play a role in the long term outcome. The
observation of recruitment and survival over several years is intended, together with monitoring of other
relevant information including rainfall records, the presence of herbivores, soil temperature and the
effect of shading and the response of associated vegetation.
Prioritisation of Lambertia taxa for conservation according to the threat
posed by Phytophthora cinnamomi
B. L. Shearer
, C. E. Crane
and J. A. Cochrane
Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA
Corresponding author: Email: Bryan.Shearer@dec.wa.gov.au
Australian Lambertia taxa are Declared Rare Flora and two taxa have a P (priority) conservation code.
Ranking of taxa according to Phytophthora cinnamomi susceptibility is fundamental to conservation
options within integrated strategies conserving threatened flora of the South-West Botanical Province of
Western Australia. Variation in P. cinnamomi susceptibility to infection within the genus Lambertia
positively correlated with lesion score determined by stem inoculation. The resulting scores positioned
the Lambertia taxa in relation to P. cinnamomi susceptibility on the resistance-susceptibility continuum
and prioritised taxa in relation to the threat posed by the pathogen. The highest mortality and lesion
scores for the rare and endangered taxa L. orbifolia subsp. orbifolia, L. fairallii, and L. rariflora subsp.
lutea suggest high risk of extinction to P. cinnamomi infestation. Furthermore rare and endangered taxa
L. orbifolia subsp. Scott River Plains, L. echinata subsp. occidentalis and L. echinata subsp. echinata
with high mortality and moderate lesions scores are also likely at high risk of extinction to P. cinnamomi
infestation. For common taxa with restricted geographic distribution, the high mortality and lesion scores
for L. ericifolia suggest high risk of localised extinction in P. cinnamomi disease centres. Positioning taxa
on the P. cinnamomi resistance-susceptibility continuum needs to be incorporated into extinction-risk
methodology in order to prioritise flora for conservation actions according to hazard from the pathogen.
Australian National Botanic Gardens, GPO Box 1777, Canberra ACT 2601
The Australian Seed Bank Partnership is working to achieve a vision for seed banking in the next ten
years to ensure that no Australian native plant becomes extinct. This alliance between eighteen
institutions is collaborating in efforts for collecting and storing seed as a long term insurance against loss
resilient ecosystems. Science underpins much of the work of the Partnership and makes a major
contribution to improving both conservation and restoration outcomes from seed banking. The
Partnership builds on the successes of the AuSCaR network which established a group of seed
scientists, seed researchers, collectors and technicians capable of ensuring positive impacts on a wide
range of conservation activities and developing practical responses to climate change. This poster
highlights some of the successes of the Partners’ work and outlines some of the future plans to further
integrate seed banking into conservation efforts.
Lullfitz Nursery, PO Box 34, Wanneroo WA 6949
Commercialisation of the WA flora using micropropagation contributes to the ex situ conservation of
plants and can reduce harvesting of source plant populations. Micropropagation produces large
volumes of plants and is particularly effective for revegetation when:-
supplies of good quality, viable seed are low
seed dormancy problems cannot be easily resolved
source plant populations are small
alternative propagation methods fail or cannot meet industry demand eg. monocot plants
Lullfitz Nursery exclusively micropropagates WA plants for the horticulture, wholesale landscape and
revegetation industries, and has acquired intellectual property over a 20 year period. The nursery works
with revegetation and landscaping companies, landscape architects, local government, and regional
revegetation and conservation nurseries, to target endemic species around the state for selection and
development. Source material for micropropagation can be any part of a plant, including seeds.
Successful propagation outcomes are correlated with good quality seed and explants. Species genetic
variation can be captured by sampling different plants or seeds. Provenance information is recorded for
each collection and genotypes are assigned a unique code. Initiated cultures must be aseptic and
research is required to determine the protocols for plant multiplication. Each species has weed risk
assessment and each genotype has pathogen testing. In vitro cultures are exported overseas to
laboratories for multiplication, and then imported to the Lullfitz Nursery for acclimatisation and
deflasking. Strict quarantine inspections are required. The R&D process can take 2-3 years, depending
on the species; so long term planning is critical to achieve good outcomes.
Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley, WA
Seeds are packaged living plants for dispersal that come in a range of sizes and forms. Workshop
participants will be shown a diverse array of seeds and some of these seeds will be examined under the
microscope. Seeds will be dissected to view different embryo types, and the features of endospermic
versus non-endospermic seeds. This will be followed by a brief discussion of seed collection. Topics to
be covered include licensing requirements (for WA), useful equipment, and when to collect seeds of
different species. Workshop participants will be encouraged to share their collecting tips for different
genera. In addition, methods of seed cleaning will be discussed.
The second part of the workshop will be a chance to consider seed dormancy and germination. Seed
dormancy ensures that plants germinate when environmental conditions are most conducive to seedling
establishment. Whether seeds are serotinous or stored in the soil also has implications for dormancy.
The main types of dormancy and methods to alleviate dormancy and stimulate germination, both in situ
and ex situ, will be examined.
Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983
NatureMap is an online window into Western Australia’s biodiversity. Users can query “where is what?”
and “what is where?” about WA’s flora and fauna in a single, easy-to-use, portal. NatureMap targets a
wide range of users, including researchers, conservation planners, community groups, industry,
environmental consultants and the general public. Anyone can easily produce maps, species lists,
reports and data downloads of WA’s biodiversity, all at no charge, and without requiring a degree in GIS
or a bank balance to match.
Funded primarily by DEC, NatureMap is a collaborative project between the Department of Environment
and Conservation and the Western Australian Museum. NatureMap presents the most comprehensive
and authoritative source of information currently available on the distribution of Western Australia's flora
and fauna by utilising data warehoused from a host of key corporate biodiversity databases.
With a highly sophisticated query environment and fine-grained security model, NatureMap assists in
conservation planning, environmental impact assessment, biodiversity research and general enquiry,
and provides information on threatened species - in many cases without requiring registration or special
How to use NatureMap in conservation planning
How to find out what species have been recorded in or restricted to a given area
How to produce maps and reports and download data about species distributions
Natural Area Holdings 99C Lord St Whiteman WA 6068
The issue of standards and quality control, industry shortcomings, regulation and free market, planning
and supply / demand are all central to the subject question and to the focus of the conference. Sure to
get the participants thinking, talking and hopefully acting to bring about positive outcomes.
The workshop aims to discuss a blueprint for the future of the revegetation industry. Including:
1. How to balance standards, regulations, outcomes and commercial imperatives and costs and
still achieve our aims to preserve our floristic heritage
2. What are the essentials of a sound restoration project.
3. What are the risks to our flora from poor practices.
4. What role should the regulators adopt and how can they be supported.
6. What level of compromise is acceptable.
7. What guarantees / warranties should be put in place to ensure outcome compliance.
8. Who are the key stakeholders and how can they work together on these issues.
Botanic Gardens Trust Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, PO Box 488G Newcastle, NSW 2298.
This workshop is for people with an active interest or involvement in translocation at the policy and
There is a good deal of knowledge about plant translocation activity which is never published. It appears
that most of the public documentation is in the form of species-specific pre-event Translocation
Proposals, abbreviated pre-event proposals in Recovery Plans, occasional media stories, and a
smattering of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals. Apart from the last, there is very little public
documentation evaluating experiences.
The workshop will be a discussion on how best to consolidate and share the growing national
experiences of both conservation and amelioration translocations, including how to:
• Improve documentation, including possible establishment of a national register of expertise and
• Improve evaluation and adaptive learning techniques;
• Improve targeting and content of future ANPC Translocation training workshops;
• Improve links with other centres of translocation expertise (domestic and international);
• Improve knowledge in the main conservation agencies, across State boundaries, of good
practice and the potential for translocation as a conservation technique;
• Scan possibilities for more consistent collaborative approaches (e.g. with the Australian Seed
• Scan overlap areas with the revegetation sectors (research and industry);
• Identify what useful role an ANPC Translocation Working Group can play beyond training
This workshop will be a discussion canvassing these issues and specifically the dot points above. It is
envisaged that workshop outcomes will help take national translocation linkage and practice to a better
Western Australian Herbarium Science Division,
Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104,
Identification of specimens is an important aspect of conservation. Traditionally, this is done using
literature - floras and published revisions - or by asking skilled experts. Increasingly, computer-based
identification keys are being built and used for identification. In Australia and Western Australia a
growing number of electronic identification keys are being developed and released, including for iconic
groups such as Eucalyptus, Acacia and Proteaceae. This workshop will begin with an introduction to
current and future developments in interactive identification, followed by a hands-on session using keys
to the Proteaceae of Western Australia developed at the Western Australian Herbarium.
Participants should, if possible, bring a notebook computer to the workshop. The computer should have
a recent version of the Java Virtual Machine (version v1.4.2 or greater) –