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Seed-based webinar follow-up #29 In what settings might mycorrhizal... 1 M. De Vitis It's an interesting question. We have always had satisfactory establishment of our plant species so haven't really investigated it. I've heard a lot of conflicting information and advice about inoculation, but don't really have a good feel for what makes sense and what is marketing.
by C. Helzer
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #21 Do you have recommendations for rapid... 2 M. De Vitis In our prairies, we are pretty subjective during the first several years. We rarely visit the sites during the first year or two because the early establishment is so variable from year to year that it can be more frustrating than productive to go look at them. We generally trust that good things are happening or will happen. If I do go look, I'll get down on hands and knees and see if I can find a native grass seedling and forb seedling within a few feet of where I'm sitting. If I do, I'm ecstatic. If I don't, I don't worry too much about it... By about year three, we expect to see native grass plants every square meter or so, and at least a couple native forbs in the same area. That's pretty easy to check by just walking through it. sorry not to be more quantitative, but based on years of experience (and conversations with other practitioners) it doesn't seem worthwhile to worry too much in those first couple years.
by C. Helzer
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #22 If we want to restore a tropical rain... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:This is a very difficult question to answer in short. One aspect of any restoration program is to ensure the right scientific questions are being asked from the start of the project. I can only point you towards this recent paper that highlights some of the key questions that need to be considered – Miller et al (2017) A framework for the practical science necessary to restore sustainable, resilient, and biodiverse ecosystems. Restoration Ecology, in press DOI 10.1111/rec.12475
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #20 In some circles in the western US, the ... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:We are currently investigating the current levels of amendments used in the mining situations here in Western Australia. Mainly fertiliser and gypsum are spread prior to seeding occurring. However, I cannot provide any further comments here at the moment as the research is still underway. A PhD student, Ms Amber Bateman, has just commenced this research.
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #19 Can you expand on the seeding method ... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:Current seeding practices in the Pilbara broadcast seeds onto the soil surface immediately after ripping the reconstructed soil profile with a dozer tyne. This practice is employed by the industry to allow the incorporation of seeds in the upper soil layer as the soil settles (no harrowing or chains are used). We have made no large-scale comparisons with different broadcasting versus direct seeding pre-treatments to date. Our research in the rain manipulation shelter comparing the ‘precision sown’ at 3-5mm versus seeds left on the surface highlights this need incorporate seeds into the soil whereby we have demonstrated a significant increase in seedling emergence occurs once below the soil surface. In the next few years we plan to compare various direct and broadcast seeding options with our agricultural engineering research collaborations (on-going funding until 2021 has just been confirmed).
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #18 Have microfauna/spp mix relationships ... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:We have been investigating some of the microbial relationships present in our ecosystems to see if we can incorporate this knowledge into our seeding designs and treatments. Our lead soil scientist, Dr Miriam Munoz Rojas, continues to work in this space. Please see: Muñoz-Rojas et al (2016) Soil physicochemical and microbiological indicators of short, medium, and long term post-fire recovery in semi-arid ecosystems. Ecological Indicators, 63, 14-22 and Muñoz-Rojas et al (2016) Soil quality indicators to assess functionality of restored soils in degraded semiarid ecosystems. Restoration Ecology, 24, S43-S52.
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #17 Do you think pellets work better than ... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:Our research team has not investigated the possibility of seed dibbling. But, with the large areas that are seeded in mined landscapes (e.g. 10-100 hectares in one pass) seed dibbling may be inefficient and too costly. The development of the seed pellets, coats, and combined with agricultural engineering solutions is our on-going research. I hope to have an update in a few years regarding these new seeding options. Ultimately we aim to combine all these technologies to deal with the diverse seed shapes and species we want in large-scale biodiverse restoration scenarios
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #16 Looking at various media, are differenc... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:We are still analysing our rain manipulation shelter data but believe the largest driver of germination and emergence patterns in the various growth media is due to differing water holding capacities of the reconstructed soil profiles. The chemical characteristics of the soil do not appear to be very different. Please see this study that investigated some of these ideas - Muñoz-Rojas et al (2016) Climate and soil factors influencing seedling recruitment of plant species used for dryland restoration. Soil, 2, 287-298.
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed-based webinar follow-up #15 What type of seeding rates (PLS) are... 1 M. De Vitis Todd's reply:At least in the northern Western Australian mining industry, these pure live seed (PLS) figures are hard to come by. Unfortunately, we do not have a certification system that has been adopted by all members of the industry so many seeding rates are just ad-hoc (e.g. typically 6-8kg / ha for grasses). Some recent unpublished evaluations we have the main grass genus (Triodia spp.) is seeded at ca. 200 PLS / m2. This is far below the rate of ca. 400 PLS that I have heard of in some Great Basin restoration scenarios in the western US. In my opinion this is too low to re-instate sufficient seed numbers to the soil seed bank in completely baron (mined) land. Taking dormancy and germination impediments into consideration, there is a very high likelihood that zero germination, emergence and establishment occurs even after large rainfall events (e.g. see Lewandrowski et al (2017) Increasing the germination envelope under water stress improves seedling emergence in two dominant grass species across different pulse rainfall events. Journal of Applied Ecology, in press, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12816.). This is one reason why many grass seeding attempts fail and the are not represented sufficiently in rehabilitation sites (e.g. Shackelford et al (in press) Restoration of open-cut mining in semi-arid systems: a synthesis of long-term monitoring data and implications for management. Land Degradation and Development, DOI 10.1002/ldr.2746).
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Seed transfer zones: levels of reference and approaches 0 M. De Vitis Seed transfer zones (STZ) represent a very useful tool to advice movement of native seeds between appropriate geographical areas. Different approaches have been used so far to define STZ, such as the ecoregional approach which involves the overlap of different layers (climate, geology, vegetation, soils, etc.) to find similar ecological conditions; the genetic approach, to study the level of population differentiation; and the adaptive approach using common-garden experiments to find the best adaptive plant population for a specific restoration goal (relevant publications: Vander Mijnsbrugge et al. 2010; Durka et al. 2016; Jørgensen et al. 2016). Even if we know that "Nature ignores borders", it may be practical to define STZ at specific geographical-administrative levels. What's the best approach to define STZ and what's the best level at which they should be defined, so as to ensure that movement of seeds for ecological restoration does not cause outbreeding in local populations?
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Should agro-chemical corporation be involved in ecological restoration? 1 S. Pedrini I would suggest not to involve agro-chemicals companies in native seed coating, but instead I would suggest to a native seed producer with appropriate facilities and resources, to create an eco-friendly coating recipe to use to enhance seed germination and seedling establishment in restoration activities and to offer this service to all the native seed producers who need it.Your review, Simone, also represents an useful guideline to follow as starting point for who may want to expand the businesses and start providing coating services.
by M. De Vitis
Thursday, February 9, 2017
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