Seed biology and rehabilitation in the arid zone: a study in the Shark Bay world heritage area, Western Australia

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    Abstract

    Research into seed biology and restoration ecology of areas disturbed by mining is crucial to their revegetation. Shark Bay Salt, a solar salt facility in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia has several areas of disturbance as a result of 'soil borrowing'. Soil from these areas termed 'borrow pits' was used to create infrastructure such as the roads and embankments surrounding the evaporation ponds. Many of the pits contain little to no vegetation after >10 years since disturbance ceased, hence research into their restoration is now essential. A vegetation survey at the site established the key species in the undisturbed vegetation, and investigated the vegetation in borrow pits subject to natural migration and topsoil replacement. The vegetation communities in the borrow pits were vastly different to those in the undisturbed vegetation, highlighting the need for research into revegetation. An investigation into the use of 'borrowed' topsoil on a small scale showed that seedling recruitment from 'borrowed' topsoil was generally similar in the donor site (natural vegetation) and the borrow pits. Due to the absence of topsoil for further revegetation, it was necessary to understand seed germination and dormancy characteristics to establish seed pre-treatments prior to seed broadcasting and seedling (greenstock) planting. An investigation into seed germination and dormancy characteristics of 18 common species revealed that most species germinated equally well at 26/13oC and 33/18oC, however seven species had improved performance at 26/13oC. Untreated seeds of seven species exhibited high germination. Seeds of two species had low imbibition, which increased with hot-water treatment, and hence require scarification for germination. Germination of seeds of three species substantially increased with gibberellic acid (GA3), smoke water (SW) and karrikinolide (KAR1, a butenolide isolated from smoke). Seeds of the remaining six species had low germination regardless of treatment. As a result, species were classified as likely to be non-dormant (44%), physiologically dormant (44%) or physically dormant (11%). Physiological dormancy of three species was at least partly alleviated by dry afterripening, whereby moisture content of seeds was adjusted to 13% or 50% equilibrium relative humidity and seeds were stored at 30oC or 45oC for several months. All iv after-ripening conditions increased germination percentage and rate of two species with one only germinating when treated with GA3 or KAR1. The germination of the third species was dependent on after-ripening temperature and seed moisture content.
    LanguageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    StateUnpublished - 2008

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    sharks
    Western Australia
    arid zones
    Biological Sciences
    seeds
    vegetation
    after-ripening
    topsoil
    germination
    land restoration
    seed germination
    seed dormancy
    smoke
    salts
    water content
    hot water treatment
    ecological restoration
    imbibition
    gibberellic acid
    infrastructure

    Cite this

    @phdthesis{20541ce3a7d54f72a321dee9083bf140,
    title = "Seed biology and rehabilitation in the arid zone: a study in the Shark Bay world heritage area, Western Australia",
    abstract = "Research into seed biology and restoration ecology of areas disturbed by mining is crucial to their revegetation. Shark Bay Salt, a solar salt facility in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia has several areas of disturbance as a result of 'soil borrowing'. Soil from these areas termed 'borrow pits' was used to create infrastructure such as the roads and embankments surrounding the evaporation ponds. Many of the pits contain little to no vegetation after >10 years since disturbance ceased, hence research into their restoration is now essential. A vegetation survey at the site established the key species in the undisturbed vegetation, and investigated the vegetation in borrow pits subject to natural migration and topsoil replacement. The vegetation communities in the borrow pits were vastly different to those in the undisturbed vegetation, highlighting the need for research into revegetation. An investigation into the use of 'borrowed' topsoil on a small scale showed that seedling recruitment from 'borrowed' topsoil was generally similar in the donor site (natural vegetation) and the borrow pits. Due to the absence of topsoil for further revegetation, it was necessary to understand seed germination and dormancy characteristics to establish seed pre-treatments prior to seed broadcasting and seedling (greenstock) planting. An investigation into seed germination and dormancy characteristics of 18 common species revealed that most species germinated equally well at 26/13oC and 33/18oC, however seven species had improved performance at 26/13oC. Untreated seeds of seven species exhibited high germination. Seeds of two species had low imbibition, which increased with hot-water treatment, and hence require scarification for germination. Germination of seeds of three species substantially increased with gibberellic acid (GA3), smoke water (SW) and karrikinolide (KAR1, a butenolide isolated from smoke). Seeds of the remaining six species had low germination regardless of treatment. As a result, species were classified as likely to be non-dormant (44{\%}), physiologically dormant (44{\%}) or physically dormant (11{\%}). Physiological dormancy of three species was at least partly alleviated by dry afterripening, whereby moisture content of seeds was adjusted to 13{\%} or 50{\%} equilibrium relative humidity and seeds were stored at 30oC or 45oC for several months. All iv after-ripening conditions increased germination percentage and rate of two species with one only germinating when treated with GA3 or KAR1. The germination of the third species was dependent on after-ripening temperature and seed moisture content.",
    keywords = "Germination, Restoration ecology, Western Australia, Shark Bay, Revegetation, Seeds, Dormancy, Soils, Arid regions, Vegetation dynamics, Shark Bay (W.A.), Seed biology, Shark Bay World Heritage area, Rehabilitation, Arid zone",
    author = "Lucy Commander",
    year = "2008",
    language = "English",

    }

    TY - THES

    T1 - Seed biology and rehabilitation in the arid zone: a study in the Shark Bay world heritage area, Western Australia

    AU - Commander,Lucy

    PY - 2008

    Y1 - 2008

    N2 - Research into seed biology and restoration ecology of areas disturbed by mining is crucial to their revegetation. Shark Bay Salt, a solar salt facility in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia has several areas of disturbance as a result of 'soil borrowing'. Soil from these areas termed 'borrow pits' was used to create infrastructure such as the roads and embankments surrounding the evaporation ponds. Many of the pits contain little to no vegetation after >10 years since disturbance ceased, hence research into their restoration is now essential. A vegetation survey at the site established the key species in the undisturbed vegetation, and investigated the vegetation in borrow pits subject to natural migration and topsoil replacement. The vegetation communities in the borrow pits were vastly different to those in the undisturbed vegetation, highlighting the need for research into revegetation. An investigation into the use of 'borrowed' topsoil on a small scale showed that seedling recruitment from 'borrowed' topsoil was generally similar in the donor site (natural vegetation) and the borrow pits. Due to the absence of topsoil for further revegetation, it was necessary to understand seed germination and dormancy characteristics to establish seed pre-treatments prior to seed broadcasting and seedling (greenstock) planting. An investigation into seed germination and dormancy characteristics of 18 common species revealed that most species germinated equally well at 26/13oC and 33/18oC, however seven species had improved performance at 26/13oC. Untreated seeds of seven species exhibited high germination. Seeds of two species had low imbibition, which increased with hot-water treatment, and hence require scarification for germination. Germination of seeds of three species substantially increased with gibberellic acid (GA3), smoke water (SW) and karrikinolide (KAR1, a butenolide isolated from smoke). Seeds of the remaining six species had low germination regardless of treatment. As a result, species were classified as likely to be non-dormant (44%), physiologically dormant (44%) or physically dormant (11%). Physiological dormancy of three species was at least partly alleviated by dry afterripening, whereby moisture content of seeds was adjusted to 13% or 50% equilibrium relative humidity and seeds were stored at 30oC or 45oC for several months. All iv after-ripening conditions increased germination percentage and rate of two species with one only germinating when treated with GA3 or KAR1. The germination of the third species was dependent on after-ripening temperature and seed moisture content.

    AB - Research into seed biology and restoration ecology of areas disturbed by mining is crucial to their revegetation. Shark Bay Salt, a solar salt facility in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area in Western Australia has several areas of disturbance as a result of 'soil borrowing'. Soil from these areas termed 'borrow pits' was used to create infrastructure such as the roads and embankments surrounding the evaporation ponds. Many of the pits contain little to no vegetation after >10 years since disturbance ceased, hence research into their restoration is now essential. A vegetation survey at the site established the key species in the undisturbed vegetation, and investigated the vegetation in borrow pits subject to natural migration and topsoil replacement. The vegetation communities in the borrow pits were vastly different to those in the undisturbed vegetation, highlighting the need for research into revegetation. An investigation into the use of 'borrowed' topsoil on a small scale showed that seedling recruitment from 'borrowed' topsoil was generally similar in the donor site (natural vegetation) and the borrow pits. Due to the absence of topsoil for further revegetation, it was necessary to understand seed germination and dormancy characteristics to establish seed pre-treatments prior to seed broadcasting and seedling (greenstock) planting. An investigation into seed germination and dormancy characteristics of 18 common species revealed that most species germinated equally well at 26/13oC and 33/18oC, however seven species had improved performance at 26/13oC. Untreated seeds of seven species exhibited high germination. Seeds of two species had low imbibition, which increased with hot-water treatment, and hence require scarification for germination. Germination of seeds of three species substantially increased with gibberellic acid (GA3), smoke water (SW) and karrikinolide (KAR1, a butenolide isolated from smoke). Seeds of the remaining six species had low germination regardless of treatment. As a result, species were classified as likely to be non-dormant (44%), physiologically dormant (44%) or physically dormant (11%). Physiological dormancy of three species was at least partly alleviated by dry afterripening, whereby moisture content of seeds was adjusted to 13% or 50% equilibrium relative humidity and seeds were stored at 30oC or 45oC for several months. All iv after-ripening conditions increased germination percentage and rate of two species with one only germinating when treated with GA3 or KAR1. The germination of the third species was dependent on after-ripening temperature and seed moisture content.

    KW - Germination

    KW - Restoration ecology

    KW - Western Australia

    KW - Shark Bay

    KW - Revegetation

    KW - Seeds

    KW - Dormancy

    KW - Soils

    KW - Arid regions

    KW - Vegetation dynamics

    KW - Shark Bay (W.A.)

    KW - Seed biology

    KW - Shark Bay World Heritage area

    KW - Rehabilitation

    KW - Arid zone

    M3 - Doctoral Thesis

    ER -