Neville Walsh tells the story of how collecting seeds near the Mitchell River in Victoria led him to realise the need for taxonomic revisions.
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The Victorian Conservation Seedbank
VCS coordinator Jeff Jeanes collecting alpine species on the Bogong High Plains
Photo: N. Walsh
VCS technician Meg Hirst sorting collections in the Victorian mallee
Photo: N. Walsh
VCS manager Neville Walsh collecting seeds of Kelleria laxa, Bogong High Plains
Photo: J. Walsh
The Victorian Conservation Seedbank is housed in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. It holds seed of more than 540 (15 per cent) of the State’s plant species.
The seed bank includes species that are:
- endemic to Victoria
- regarded as rare or threatened in Victoria
- regarded as ‘keystone’ species of significant plant communities, such as grasslands, saltmarsh, or rainforest.
Victorian Conservation Seedbank staff are researching the genetic diversity and physiological variability within alpine and subalpine species. Victoria has proportionately more alpine vegetation than any other mainland state, and alpine plant and animal communities have been identified as those most vulnerable to extinction in the face of a warming climate.
The Seedbank’s research aims to identify plant populations that have the ability to withstand a warming climate. The research is expected to expand to include collaborative, comprehensive survey of Australian alpine plant seed biology.
Posted: 18 Sep 2014
Posted: 05 Sep 2014
Collaborative research by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia is advancing efforts to conserve Ballantinia antipoda (F.Muell.) E.A.Shaw.
Posted: 16 May 2011
The only known population of the rare and threatened shining nematolepsis was destroyed in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire. Conservation efforts before the fire have gone a long way towards saving this species.
Posted: 02 May 2011
Fire is traditionally viewed as a stranger to the alpine plant communities of south-eastern Australia. However, the wildfires of 2003 and 2007 are suggestive of more regular burning in our warming climate. What will this mean for the rare species of the Australian Alps?