Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
Australian National Herbarium

Botanical Research, Conservation, Management
and Use of the Australian Flora

CPBR logo


4 November 2002


Scientists at CSIRO Plant Industry are breathing life back into degraded patches of native bushland by identifying ways to increase its survival, health and re-establishment.

Join Dr Peter Thrall and Dr Linda Broadhurst at CSIRO Discovery this Wednesday 6 November as they explain the problems our remnant vegetation is facing and the solutions under investigation in the last Biodiversity Bites free public lecture presented by the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.

Recent dust storms over Canberra have focused public attention on land degradation issues facing rural areas. Land clearing contributes to problems like these dust storms, as well as salinity and loss of biodiversity.

Australia has one of the highest rates of land clearing in the world, and in rural areas much of our native vegetation now only remains in small, isolated patches.

"Plants within these patches are at risk of inbreeding," Dr Broadhurst of CSIRO Plant Industry says. "Inbred plants, tend to be more unhealthy and so reduce the viability of a plant population, putting the patch at risk of further deterioration."

"We are identifying the minimum number of plants required in plant populations to avoid problems associated with inbreeding and we can then make recommendations as to how to restore the genetic viability of a plant population," she says.

Another important component of conservation that complements this restoration work is to re-establish new areas of native vegetation.

Trials undertaken by Dr Peter Thrall and his team at CSIRO Plant Industry have found that the survival and growth rate of certain native plants is significantly increased when they are grown in association with specific naturally occurring soil bacteria.

"We will be able to provide recommendations on which tree species to grow with which bacteria to provide the maximum benefit," Dr Thrall says.

"This could help landholders achieve better success in their tree planting projects, which in turn will help reduce the problems brought about by land clearing in the first place."

‘Biodiversity Bites – Plant Invaders’ Public Lecture

Date: Wednesday, 6 November 2002

Time: 6.00pm – 7.00pm (seating available from 5.00pm)

Venue: CSIRO Discovery Lecture Theatre
CSIRO Black Mountain laboratories
Corner of Clunies Ross Street and Barry Drive

Cost: Free – everyone welcome

Media are invited to attend this "Biodiversity Bites" public lecture.

Dr Peter Thrall and Dr Linda Broadhurst are available for interview.

The Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research is a joint initiative between the Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO Plant Industry.

For more information on "Biodiversity Bites" visit www.cpbr.gov.au/cpbr/lectures.


Media information:

Sophie Clayton, CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5139, 0418 626 860


Attendance information:

Val Oliver, CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5533 val.oliver@csiro.au


Updated 5 November, 2002 by Murray Fagg (anbg-info@anbg.gov.au)