Plant conservation and biodiversity

We are helping protect our native biodiversity by improving the management of remnant vegetation and the availability of appropriate seed for revegetation projects.

The Challenge

Restoring Australia's natural habitat

Land clearing across Australia has fragmented habitats and created small, isolated pockets of native vegetation or remnants.

Remnants range from a few to hundreds of plants. Many rare and endangered Australian species now occur exclusively in a few areas of remnant vegetation.

It is vital to carefully manage remnant areas to ensure the protection of Australia’s native plants and habitats.

Exotic plant invasions are also a big problem threatening native Australian ecosystems. We need to uncover how invasive species gain a strangle-hold on native ecosystems and how we can help solve the problem.

Our Response

Investigating issues around revegetation and invasive plants

Our research supports successful revegetation efforts by:

  • investigating the importance of plant-soil microbe interactions to the establishment and survival of revegetation species
  • exploring the genetic issues surrounding seed provenances to help revegetation practitioners more effectively source the appropriate seed for planting projects.

We contribute to developing management guidelines to improve the viability of remnant vegetation.

We are also improving knowledge about the genetic and demographic factors involved in remnant health.

Invasive plants and the susceptibility of Australian plant communities is another research focus helping both revegetation efforts and remnant management.

Our research draws on the Australian National Herbarium’s collection and database of 1.4 million plant specimens.

Case studies

  • Restoring vegetation on farms

    Best practice environmental management is helping the grains industry retain native vegetation when converting to agricultural land, supporting biodiversity and productivity gains.

  • Genetic diversity key to revegetation

    We discovered that the key to successful revegetation of native flora is in sourcing genetically diverse seed. This approach is being used to enhance revegetation efforts across Australia.


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