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Seeds for Life and Cockatoo Coal

Queensland’s Seeds for Life project has teamed up with Cockatoo Coal to collect and conserve the seeds of three endangered solanum species (S. dissectum, S. johnsonianum and S. elachophyllum) that are locally endemic to central Queensland.

Collectors Jason Halford and Simon Bush took advantage of good summer rains to make solid collections on each species over two collection trips during March. The collections of S. dissectum and S. johnsonianum are the first time these species have been targeted by Australian seed banks, whereas the S. elachophyllum collection represents a valuable duplicate collection for this species, bolstering ex situ genetic stocks.

These solanums have very limited distributions and naturally occur in nationally listed endangered brigalow plant communities. Ongoing threatening processes include habitat destruction and being outcompeted by invasive pasture grasses such as buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and green panic grass (Magathyrsus maximus var. pubiglumis).

Once any germination issues are resolved, seed from these collections may be utilised in future rehabilitation works in the area where they were collected. This valuable conservation work carried out by Seeds for Life and Cockatoo Coal will go some way to ensuring the long term survival of these species.

Story prepared by Jason Halford at Brisbane Botanic Gardens





Left to right: Solanum elachophyllum, Solanum dissectum, Solanum johnsonianum (Photos: Jason Halford, BBG)