The Southwest of Western Australia is a global biodiversity hotspot that has been extensively cleared since European settlement resulting in the widespread fragmentation of native vegetation. The large-scale decline of Banksia woodlands along the Swan Coastal Plain (<30% remain) has warranted their listing as an ‘Endangered Ecological Community’ under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999. The woodlands have been lost from the central part of their range due to urban development and their northern range due to the establishment of exotic pine plantations and sand mine extraction.
Hanson is world leading in ecological restoration practice, however there are still targeted developments that need to be addressed. The use of seed is one, with >90% of seed used in restoration programs fail to establish into mature plants. This project aims to reduce these failure rates through investigating and developing seed enhancement technologies to overcome barriers to restoration success. Combining seed-based enhancement technologies with ecologically-guided engineering applications in a biodiversity hotspot is a novel and rapidly developing field.
This project will significantly advance the on-ground practice of ecological restoration, contributing to the knowledge and development of economically efficient solutions to improve native plant establishment success rates that will have global relevance.