Category Archives: It’s All About the Plants

State Herbarium seminars in 2015

The dates for this year’s It’s All About the Plants seminar series have now been fixed. The talks will again take place in the Botanic Garden’s Goodman Building Lecture Theatre (Hackney Road, Adelaide) on the first Tuesday of every month from 10:00–12:00, except July, August and December. In August, the State Herbarium of South Australia plans a mini-symposium to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

The following speakers have agreed to give talks in 2015:

  • 14 Apr. — Ed Biffin (State Herbarium)
  • 5 May — Alexis Tindale (South Australian Museum)
  • June (TBC) — Teresa Lebel (National Herbarium of Victoria)
  • 8 Sep. — Jose Facelli (The University of Adelaide)
  • Nov (TBC) — Doug Fotheringham (State Herbarium, our newest Hon. Research Associate)

Hope to see you all.

Ruppia translocation in the Coorong

It’s All About the Plants
Tuesday, 3 March 2015, 10:00–12:00
Lecture Theatre, Goodman Building

by Katherine Ryan
Senior Project Officer, CLLMM Recovery Project

Come and hear how an excavator can be used for positive outcomes in large- scale aquatic plant restoration.

The aquatic plant, Ruppia tuberosa is a key primary producer in the Coorong, providing food (foliage, turions, seeds) for waterbirds, and habitat for fish and invertebrates. During the millennium drought, the population of R. tuberosa in the Coorong was severely depleted, including its seed bank. Therefore when improved water conditions returned, the plant was not able to respond quickly without intervention. Continue reading

Soil seed banks and the restoration of plant biodiversity in an arid zone habitat

It’s All About the Plants
Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 10:00–12:00
Ground Floor Meeting & Lunch Room, Tram Barn

by Molly Whalen, Rick Davies & Alison Nicolson
Flinders University School of Biological Sciences

Witchelina M.Whalen talk 600x450Predicting the response of native vegetation in Australia’s arid rangelands to management actions, such as changing grazing regimes, is often hampered by a lack of knowledge regarding the nature of native plant biodiversity at a local scale. Simply measuring above-ground plant species richness can be quite misleading because in arid habitats, much of a site’s plant diversity, particularly that of short-lived species, may be present as dormant seeds in the soil seed bank. We are investigating factors influencing variation in both above- and below-ground plant diversity in a large (ca. 420,000 km2) conservation reserve in arid South Australia. This reserve, Witchelina, has a long history (ca. 140 years) of pastoral use, but was destocked in 2010 when it was purchased by the Nature Foundation of South Australia. Particular factors being investigated include variation among different habitats and effects of past grazing intensities. For example, we are comparing the diversity and composition of the seed banks and above-ground vegetation in areas close to watering points with a history of heavy grazing with those of areas more distant from watering points that have been less heavily grazed. Alison Nicolson will also speak about her honours research on Witchelina, for which she used existing DEWNR photopoints monitoring sites at Witchelina to study regeneration since 1999. By comparing, photopoint photos taken in 2014 with field measurements, she has also been able to evaluate the reliability of using photopoints alone as a monitoring tool.

All Herbarium staff, honoraries, volunteers, students and guests welcome.
Morning tea provided.

Mundulla Primary School Herbarium Project

It’s All About the Plants
Monday, 15 December 2014, 2:00–3:00
Ground Floor Meeting & Lunch Room, Tram Barn

Note changed date and time!

by Dee Provis

Dee Provis, a local naturalist and community volunteer from Mundulla, in the upper South East, has kindly offered to come and tell us about the Mundulla Primary School Herbarium Project she set up. The project involved the State Herbarium’s Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie, who also attended the launch of the project. This is a great example of how different levels of government and the community can partner to achieve positive outcomes for education and the local environment.

The aims of the Herbarium Project are

…To involve students in basic plant science, using both indigenous and exotic plants from our rare Grey Box Grassy Woodland.

To teach students how to:

  • Identify both native plants and exotic species (weeds/garden escapees)
  • Collect, mount, arrange and catalogue plant samples according to the strict protocols required by the State Herbarium
  • Make this information available to the wider community by publications, DVD & website

To increase the body of knowledge held within the local community of both indigenous and exotic plants. This resource will support locals in identifying weeds for removal and facilitate native plant retention and regeneration.

The Herbarium Project has been funded by a Natural Resources Management Action Grant in 2014.

State Herbarium Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie with Mudalla Primary School students during the launch of the Herbarium Project. Photo by Benn Gransden, Border Chronicle.

All Herbarium staff, honoraries, volunteers, students and guests welcome.
Morning tea provided