Local Binjareb Winjan Rangers and PHCC staff have been collecting, cleaning and storing seed from local Banksia Woodlands for future restoration projects.
Seed collection is a skilled and time-consuming activity, and an important objective of PHCC’s ‘World for Woodlands’ Project. Native seeds are a valuable resource for plant regeneration as well as the native birds, mammals and insects that depend on them for a consistent food supply. Given the number of seeds consumed by animals and the proportion that fail to germinate or reach maturity, collecting the amount of seed needed for restoration projects can be challenging. Seeds of some Banksia species are notoriously difficult to collect and laborious to process, with burning often required, resulting in costs of more than $2.00 per seed!
Alongside the Bindjareb Winjan Rangers, PHCC staff recently undertook a seed collection program in local Mandurah Banksia Woodlands for restoration and storage. Seeds were collected sustainably and ethically, involving collecting viable seeds from at least 50 individuals from the population, taking less than 20% of seeds from any one plant or population and preventing the spread of dieback moving between sites. After collecting the seeds and placing them in heat tunnels to dry, PHCC staff and the Rangers cleaned and processed the seeds to prepare them for short-term storage. Part of the aim of the program was to provide skills and training for the Rangers in collection techniques as well as seed biology and seed evolution theory, to better understand how and when to collect seeds, and how to ensure we are collecting and storing viable seed only. All seeds collected will be used for local restoration projects. We thank the Winjan Rangers for their help and for sharing knowledge of native seeds, bush foods and cultural and site values.
This project is supported by PHCC’s ‘World for Woodlands’ project, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.