Completed research projects:

  • Assessing the impact of fire suppressing agents on native vegetation in Western Australia. (Funding: Fire and Emergency Services Authority, Western Australia).

  • Deriving research benchmarks for nationally threatened plant species occurring on Westralia Airports Corporation Land. (Industry partner: Westralia Airports Corporation).

  • Developing conservation of two rare plant species; Centrolepis caespitosa and Eleocharis keighery, on the RAAF Base Pearce. (Industry partner: Department of Defence).

  • Weed control and biodiversity rehabilitation for Newcrest Operations at Telfer, Western Australia. (Industry partner: Newcrest Operations).

  • An integrated research program into the ecology, conservation and restoration of the rare plant species Darwinia masonii and Lepidosperma gibsonii. (Industry partners: Extension Hill (Asia Iron) and Mount Gibson Iron).

Key highlights:

  • Banksia woodland restoration principles developed by the group have improved the understanding of the critical path to restoring the Banksia woodland community.

  • The finding that the commonly reconstructed soil profile (constructed by mined-land restorers in Australia) of topsoil over overburden reflects the highest soil compaction values, highest soil moisture levels, least favourable root development and architecture and consequently, the highest seedling mortality than any other reconstructed profile in sandy soils (e.g., within Banksia woodland) is a research finding of substantial interest. As a result, soil compaction may be an important criterion for estimating rehabilitation success and a benchmark for defining 'restorability' of sandy soils.

  • Improved methods in topsoil handling and storage, seed broadcasting and greenstock planting are increasing the biodiversity index of restored sites.

  • The Kings Park Escarpment Restoration Monitoring and Reporting Program is providing an evaluation, across the escarpment, of restoration progress and the processes of ecosystem recovery, identifying appropriate follow-up restoration measures and, recommending 'best management practices' in order to maximise restoration success of this iconic landscape feature.

  • Rainfall simulationUse of Posidonia seed as a source of propagules for restoration of seagrasses in Cockburn Sound. For the first time, Posidonia seed can be germinated, grown and manipulated under controlled tank conditions for translocation.

  • A definitive field guide to the native and weedy plants of the Kings Park and Bold Park bushlands was released, representing the first comprehensive plant guide for both bushlands.

  • The group organised the SERI (Society for Ecological Restoration International) World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Perth in 2009 and organised the inaugural SERA (Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia) Conference on Ecological Restoration in Perth in 2012