Translocation of four species of Declared Rare Flora from the Scott Coastal Plain Ironstone Community to the BHP Billiton Beenup Rehabilitation Project.

Beenup 2003The following species were translocated: Grevillea brachystylis subsp. australis, Darwinia ferricola, Dryandra nivea subsp. uliginosa (now Banksia nivea subsp. uliginosa) and Lambertia orbifolia subsp. Scott River Plains.

This 'one year' pilot project including propagation, translocation requirements and population genetics was managed and monitored for six years. The project has performed well beyond our expectations, considering the poor growing conditions on a pre-mined site, which is exposed to strong winds. All of the four rare ironstone species are flowering as well as producing viable seed resulting in seedling recruitment of all species. Grevillea brachystylis subsp. australis has been recruiting seedlings in large numbers via seed generated from the translocated plants since 2004.

For this project we used good quality pathogen free topsoil placed over the top of solid ironstone. All the rehabilitated area on the mine site was direct seeded with a wide range of indigenous species. Combined with the seed bank from this quality topsoil it has resulted in 50% more species recorded on site, compared to the surrounding poorer quality soils. Unfortunately the root pathogens Phytophthora and a Pythium species have been isolated from the site, probably due to free water flowing onto the site. The problem was addressed by spraying with half strength phosphoric acid twice a year, which appears to be controlling these diseases. The last monitoring results indicated 54% of the original plantings were still surviving. A brief site visit in November 2009 indicated there were few weeds on site. Natural recruits were increasing, especially in the Grevillea as more than double the original number of plants were found on site.

This project was funded by BHP Billiton.

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