With more than 2,100 plant species, 2,250 invertebrates and 256 vertebrates, these woodlands are truly unique!
Around 80% of the woodland plants depend on pollinators such as native insects, birds, and mammals. Therefore, it is critical to restore and maintain a connected network of woodland remnants across the metropolitan region, so that these pollinators can move freely throughout the habitat.
The good news is that Banksia woodlands can be successfully restored, and indeed some small pockets have been already restored by Hanson. Roughly 70% of species returned to a restored site previously used for collecting construction sand, when topsoil is available.
However, when topsoil is not available, seeds must be collected from local wild populations and either propagated and planted out or dispersed through direct seeding. Very large quantities of seeds are required in order to achieve restoration goals. Unfortunately many seedlings do not survive post-summer conditions, and many fail to establish long-term. Banksia attenuata seed alone can cost up to A$220 per 1,000 seeds, so making sure we can increase the chances of seedling survival is critical.
This is where this project comes in - how can we enhance seed to increase the chances of it becoming a seedling, establishing and surviving in post-mine quarries.
Stay tuned for more updates as we progress through the project.