Australian Seed Scaling Initiative
Dr Todd Erickson
Efficiently using wild-collected native seeds to initiate plant establishment is a critical challenge to large scale ecological restoration and rehabilitation. As climate change reduces the availability of viable seed stock, current failings and inefficiencies in native seed handling and planting will impact restoration outcomes more severely. Therefore, this Australia Seed Scaling Initiative (ASSI) has a core focus on increasing the efficiency of seed performance in ecosystem rehabilitation for mined and agricultural landscapes and is paramount to ensure positive restoration outcomes.
To achieve this, this project builds upon new seeding mechanisms that have been designed by the UWA and Kings Park Science research group for use in the Pilbara. These mechanisms process, enhance and more efficiently precision sow diverse mixes of wild-collected seeds in sloped and rock landforms. Expanding on this knowledge base, the ASSI project aims to test, modify, and optimise these new mechanisms in the south-west region of Western Australia in Alcoa’s bauxite mine rehabilitation, before testing and deploying these mechanisms to similar systems across Australia. Future deployments will initially focus on highly altered landforms commonly found in mined landscapes and severely degraded agricultural environments across Australia, with a goal to make equipment available to industry and restoration practitioners as the devices are proven across Australia.
University of Western Australia; Alcoa, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions
BHP Group Operations, Rio Tinto, Rangelands NRM, Peel Development Commission