A very floriferous and compact form of Verticordia lindleyi subsp. lindleyi. These plants flower for two to three months during summer and into autumn. Photo: I.R. Dixon.

Project title: Translocation of Verticordia lindleyi subsp. lindleyi

Dates: 2005 - 2009

Funding: Public Transport Authority

Location: Perth International Airport, Western Australia

Research themes

  • tissue culture and seed propagation
  • genetic diversity maintenance
  • self sustaining ecosystems restoration

Project description

Clonal material, from numerous plants, to provide genetic diversity, was propagated by macro cuttings in 2005. Two winter plantings, using clonal material, were made due to commencing the project during one of our driest winters on record.

No irrigation system is used on this translocation site, a reconstructed wetland (compensation basin to aid drainage), at Perth International Airport. Survival rates were much improved after the second planting and most plants produced copious amounts of flowers and viable seed (up to 45% viability).

A small experiment planting seedlings at the cotyledon stage (first two leaves) indicates seedlings can be successfully planted at this stage late in the planting season and survive summer drought conditions. Unfortunately the following winter all three sites were completely inundated with water for several months reducing the entire populations down to less than 30 plants. Seed originally sourced from the donor population was sown and the resulting seedlings potted up and later planted on site.

Planting due to the dry winter in 2009 was in a low lying area as well as above the previous winter’s water line. About 25 survivors from this planting flowered and produced seed last summer. Though the total number of plants on site has declined, one natural recruit was recorded on site 3 in 2010 and 27 more seedlings in spring 2011. Seedling numbers have increased to a total of about 50 in 2014. These numbers are small, however it is possible that a self-sustainable population could eventuate.

Key staff

Bob Dixon, Dr Siegy Krauss

Collaborators

Public Transport Authority, site provided by Westralia Airports Corporation

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