Research Supervision: Dr Shane Turner, Prof Kingsley Dixon and Prof Grant Wardell-Johnson
Objectives: Develop researchers that (1) Understand the distribution and ecological, demographic and physiological behaviour of rare and range restricted species to minimise impacts and enhance restoration approaches (linked to Theme 2), (2) Create ex situ production methods to generate genetically diverse propagules for translocation as required, (3) Optimise translocation success within restored landscapes (linked to Theme 3) and; (4) Establish standardised criteria for ranking translocation success within restored landscapes.
Outcomes: (1) Identify the environmental drivers of threatened and range-restricted species; (2) Identify ecological factors limiting the distribution of threatened species that influence their reinstatement in restored landscapes; (2) Solutions for propagation and assembly of self sustaining translocated populations to offset losses due to mining; (3) Establishment of success criteria for the translocation of rare and range restricted taxa into restored landscapes.
PDF4 (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Threatened flora restoration: defining the ecological drivers of rarity to inform restoration approaches for mine site management of narrow range endemic species.
Identify the key ecological drivers of rarity for taxa that may be impacted by current and future mining operations and investigate whether BIF ranges function as refugia for narrow range endemic species, and develop the management framework for rapid assessment of the ecological attributes delineating species occurrence. This information will be used to construct species distribution models to inform managers of the macro and micro habitat requirements to both predict, select, and construct niche environments for the establishment of translocated populations as required.
Development of novel translocation approaches for restoration of rare and short-range endemic flora.
Develop the technologies and processes necessary for restoration of short-range endemics whose functional attributes resemble those of natural populations. Assess moisture as the key limiting factor regulating translocation success for narrow range endemics, and whether narrow range endemics have niche habitat requirements that may impact translocation success.
Integrated propagation of endemic and range restricted recalcitrant species.
Many range restricted species are difficult to propagate using conventional approaches due to low seed production, deep seed dormancy or poor seed quality, yet are still required in large numbers for restoration purposes . When other approaches prove unsuccessful, propagation through plant tissue culture may be a viable alternative as the limitations encountered using seed or cuttings are avoided. This project will develop robust and reproducible biotechnology for the large-scale propagation of recalcitrant species as well as field planting of tissue culture derived greenstock.
Seed ecology of short-range endemics and implications for restoration of minesite impacted taxa.
Temperature and moisture represent two of the most important factors regulating seed dormancy and seedling emergence yet nothing is currently known about how these factors may differ in niche environments occupied by narrow range endemics and how narrow range endemics respond to changes in these two factors in terms of dormancy regulation, germination and seedling emergence. The seed ecology of short-range endemics will be assessed against commonly occurring sympatric taxa in several different mineral rich environments.