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Bush Blitz brings Partners onto the Plateau

The Australian National Botanic Gardens National Seed Bank and the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre recently conducted a joint collecting program on extensive private properties on Tasmania's Central Plateau. Collecting was primarily targeting components of EPBC Act listed Alpine Sphagnum bogs and associated fens (ASBAF) communities for conservation and research purposes.

Coprosma moorrei in fruit (Photo: RTBG)

The Bush Blitz program provided the first opportunity to collect seed in this part of the Central Plateau for Australia's seedbanking efforts. This was also the first time that the Tasmanian and Canberran seedbanks have collaborated together on a field trip.
Despite collecting in a seasonal lull over eight days a total of seventeen high quality seed collections were secured of 15 taxa. Eight of these collections were of taxa occurring within EBPCA listed Alpine Sphagnum bogs and associated fens. These fenland collections will feed into a research program currently underway at the Australian National Botanic Gardens researching longevity, dormancy and germination behaviour of species from these threatened communities. These collections may also become foundation material that may be used in a developing national program, the Australian Seed Bank Partnership's Plants on the Precipice project.
The remaining nine seed collections were made from various other habitats. Notable among these was a collection of Coprosma moorei (blue matcurrant) which represents a new species to Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre. The large population found presented the first opportunity to collect a conservation sized collection of this species and the eight thousand seeds harvested are an impressive achievement as matcurrant species are generally very difficult to collect.

Collecting coprosma (Photo: RTBG)