The new Pilbara Seed Atlas and Field Guide is the culmination of more than five years' collaborative research into seeds to improve land rehabilitation in the region.
The book is the first practical guide of its kind for non-scientific users to help them identify local plant species and vastly improve our capacity to re-establish native flora. It follows decades of mining activity in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. BHP Billiton Iron Ore and researchers from the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) and The University of Western Australia (UWA) have teamed up to face a new frontier – landscape restoration on a massive scale using native seeds.
BGPA Acting Chief Executive Officer Marcelle Broderick says the book comes at an important time when there is increasing need to manage environmental values alongside resource development.
'Community expectations of our ability to restore damaged landscapes successfully have rightly increased in recent years. The effective use of seeds from native species is fundamental to this success on such a large scale', said Ms Broderick.
'The Pilbara Seed Atlas and Field Guide is the first book to combine a key to plant identification alongside science-based information on seed biology. It includes an easy-to-use plant identification guide for 103 common species, along with advice on how to collect, clean, store and germinate their seeds.'
'The book translates complex science into practical guidelines to help miners, pastoralists and conservation managers rehabilitate their land. It offers seed-based solutions to common challenges faced in the Pilbara, but is also applicable to other arid regions.'
The book is a major outcome of the Pilbara Seed Atlas Project (2008-2013) and the Restoration Seedbank Initiative (2013-2018): two combined research partnerships spanning 10 years between BGPA, BHP Billiton Iron Ore and UWA.
The Pilbara Seed Atlas and Field Guide is published by CSIRO Publishing and co-authored by WA scientists Todd E Erickson, Russell L Barrett, David J Merritt and Kingsley W Dixon and was launched 31 May 2016 by the WA Minister for Environment, the Hon. Albert Jacob MLA at an event in Aspects of Kings Park Gallery Shop.