Pioneering climate future plots for our region
Posted on 15 March, 2021 by Ivan
Connecting Country has secured funding through the Ross Trust to establish two climate future plots of 500 plants right here in Mount Alexander region during 2021-23.
We will focus on two species from our local area: Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) and Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa).
We are looking to include a variety plant provenances, grown from seed from areas that are hotter and drier, as well as areas that are cooler and wetter. Even though our climate is predicted to become hotter and drier, there may be other genetic information stored within a particular provenance, such as ability to survive an insect attack, or frost resilience, which plants from the hotter and drier area do not have.
To select our provenances we are looking at the Bureau of Meteorology’s climate predictions for our region. We have paired these predictions with species distribution and the availability of seed for our chosen plants.
Our climate future plots will create seed production areas and provide climate-adapted seed for use in future revegetation projects. They will also help to identify individuals and provenances most suited to survive in our changing climatic conditions.
Monitoring will allow us to assess and track the plants. Randomisation of provenances will help mix up pollen so it is more likely to be shared between plants when they flower and reproduce. This sharing of diverse genetic information may help the plants adapt as our climate changes.
Landholder expressions of interest
We are currently looking for a landholder interested in hosting a climate future plot for Sweet Bursaria on their property. Not every property is suitable for a climate future plot. It requires a long-term commitment and there are some important criteria that must be met for site selection. These criteria are provided below.
If you meet the criteria and are keen to host a climate future plot for Sweet Bursaria, please fill in our expression of interest form – click here
Please return your expression of interest form to Bonnie at Connecting Country via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Expressions of interest close on 30 March 2021.
Criteria for site selection
Criteria for the ideal climate future plot are:
- Minimum of 3 hectares (7.5 acres) of clear space for Sweet Bursaria planting in a square block (excluding existing vegetation and structures).
- Proximity to Castlemaine in central Victoria (maximum 20 km), with easy vehicle access to the site for installation, monitoring, maintenance and community involvement.
- Suitable conditions for the target species to facilitate healthy growth.
- No livestock grazing.
- Legal protection through land tenure, nature covenant or planning scheme (e.g., zoning and overlays that restrict development).
- Long-term commitment to retaining their property and the plots intact.
- Demonstrated history of managing the property for biodiversity conservation and restoration.
- Capacity to understand the climate future plot concept and scientific importance of correct plot maintenance.
- Capacity to commit to future land management actions (e.g., weed and rabbit control, grazing exclusion, maintaining plant guards).
- Willingness to allow ongoing access for Connecting Country and volunteers for monitoring, maintenance, seed collection and community education.
Learn more about climate future plots
For more information on climate future plots, see: