Enabling continual learning in ecological restoration
Past investment in restoration across Australia has developed a distributed network of highly knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. Predicted growth in the restoration sector to meet national and international targets provides an opportunity to value-add to this investment by upskilling practitioners and building science-practitioner partnerships.
This can enable experimental plantings within some projects and could address a broad range of important questions. For example, to determine the role of seed choice, what influence microbial inoculation has on plant growth, how adaptable plants are to different environmental stressors.
This project provides the opportunity to develop networks and infrastructure that will better enable continual learning from ecological restoration. The establishment of experimental plots within practitioner based plantings can build science-practitioner partnerships and enhance the exchange of knowledge as well as support improved science and restoration outcomes.
The role of WABSI
WABSI provides active support by contributing to the development of a discussion paper, leading the science-partnership chapter of the ‘Guidelines for Experimental Plantings’ and working with key partners to develop a Western Australian pilot project.
The project is being delivered by CSIRO, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, WABSI, University of Western Sydney, University of Canberra, University of Adelaide and the Department of Environment and Energy.
Contributors to the development of the guidelines come from over 20 organisations from across Australia:
- University of Western Sydney
- Trees for Life (SA)
- Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney
- Murdoch University
- University of Canberra
- Greening Australia
- University of Tasmania
- Deakin University
- University of Adelaide
- Bush Heritage
- Australian Seed Bank Partnership
- Tree Project (Victoria)
- Oxford University/CSIRO
- Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
- Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
- Parks Australia
- Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
- Riverina Local Land Services, NSW
- Stringy Bark
- Natural Resources, SA Murray-Darling Basin
The development of the guidelines is supported by funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.