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Dr Ganesha Liyanage

Rainforest Conservation Scientist

Research Interests

  • Dormancy mechanisms of Australian native plants from fire-prone ecosystems and rainforests
  • Germination behaviour of threatened species
  • Seed heteromorphism
  • Seed biology in restoration and ex situ conservation

Current Projects

The Rainforest Seed Conservation Project

Understanding seed and reproductive biology of Geijera parviflora and its implications for conservation and restoration

Geijera parviflora, known as Wilga, Sheepbush and Dogwood, is found in both dry woodlands and dry rainforests in Australia. In dryland areas, G. parviflora is widespread in western NSW, north-eastern South Australia and Queensland, but rare in Victoria, whereas in dry rainforests, the species is more likely to disappear from many smaller and isolated remnants. Part of the reason is limited natural recruitment of this obligate-seeding species.

In NSW, G. parviflora is a key species in several Endangered and Critically Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC) and has been identified as a species suitable for planting under the Biodiversity Offset Strategy in the Southwest Slopes Bioregion on the western slopes and plains of the Great Dividing Range, NSW.

Although it is acknowledged as a useful plant species, knowledge on seed biology and reproduction is still limited and impedes its uses in ecological restoration, dry rainforest conservation, ex situ conservation through seed banking and drought tolerant planting.

In this Australian Flora Foundation funded project, we are testing dormancy breaking, seedling establishment and pollination behaviour of G. parviflora.