The Rainforest Seed Conservation Project was launched in October 2012 at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The project has been given a tremendous boost by the opening in October 2013 of the new conservation facility, the Australian PlantBank, located at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan. The co-location of the seed bank, tissue culture, cryostorage and other science facilities within Australia’s largest botanic garden, enables greater efficiency and outcomes from this world-class facility.
Collection and seed analysis for the project is led by Graeme Errington, while Dr Amelia Martyn was appointed to develop and deliver the communication strategy for the project. Dr Karen Sommerville was appointed to oversee the development of alternative conservation techniques - tissue culture and cryostorage with Amanda Rollason providing technical support in the laboratory and nursery.
By October 2013, 52 seed collections were analysed for their storage potential enabling the seedbanking of 24 species that would not otherwise have been collected nor stored.
One group of Myrtaceae species were intensively studied for an honours year project and the results are being prepared for publication.
A list of species requiring alternative conservation techniques was developed and work began on 18 species in the living collection and 8 species in tissue culture. The new tissue culture and cryogenic facilities became operational in October 2013 and will greatly enhance this component of the project.
Training was provided to a range of sectors including local government, NGO’s, academia and Aboriginal land councils. This included workshops on the conservation of rainforest species to representatives of the mining industry Australian Network for and the Science Teachers Association. Intensive training was provided over one month to two staff from Bidoup Nuba National Park (BNNP) in Vietnam
52 seed collections were analysed for their storage potential enabling the seedbanking of 24 species that would not otherwise have been collected nor stored.