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The Inclusion of High Interest Native Plants in Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation and Field Re-introduction

Underground » Environment - Subsidence and Mine Water

Published: March 24Project Number: C28028

Get ReportAuthor: Nathan Emery and Catherine Offord | Botanic Gardens of Sydney

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in situ research to achieve conservation milestones for Persoonia hindii and Persoonia hirsuta, building upon the previous project C24013 for these species and other threatened Persoonia species, emphasizing the need for long term research for effective restoration outcomes.

Three translocation trials were conducted for Persoonia hindii and P. hirsute between 2019 and 2022. Despite significant weather events during this time, several key findings and conclusions can be made from this work. Small scale experimental translocation trials conducted over several years are crucial for understanding the efficacy of various strategies in conserving threatened species, considering factors such as propagation methods, translocation size/age, planting techniques, and plant care. This approach is particularly important for species with high costs for germplasm collection and production, minimising risks associated with stochastic climate events. Protective measures, such as fencing and sturdy plant guards, are essential for short and long term plant survival, and should be included as part of ongoing maintenance. Mulching with local leaf litter can aid in moisture retention, while post translocation care should include watering to mitigate shock and to support plants through their initial summer of growth. Root systems of Persoonia seedlings are typically larger after three years compared to cutting grown plants, suggesting greater potential resilience to environmental stressors in seedling grown plants. Optimal planting sites for Persoonia species should offer partial canopy cover and limited competition from other vegetation. Long-term monitoring (minimum 5-10 years) is vital to assess successful plant recruitment post-translocation.

Multiple experimental studies were conducted on Persoonia hirsuta to address key knowledge gaps, and these findings can be extended to conservation and restoration endeavours for other Persoonia species.

The comprehensive methodology developed in this research has increased proficiency of ecological restoration of Persoonia species, encompassing study of a range of ecological variables to enhance translocation success rates.

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