Our President and Co-Founder Dr Tony Parkes presented an update on our Science Saving Rainforests program at the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators AGM a few weeks back.
The program has been expanded from a total of 23 species to now incorporate 60 species – 30 key canopy and other structural species and 30 threatened species – in the plantation. Covid and now the floods have hampered progress with leaf collection, but we will have completed collection for 30 of the species by September. These will go for DNA sequencing and genome analysis to establish up to 20 target individuals or populations from across the range of each species that represent the optimal mix of genetic diversity to avoid inbreeding, adapt to climate change and provide resilience to new diseases and insect predators. Propagules will then be collected from each target and propagated to provide planting stock for the plantation near Wollongbar.
Due to the increased number of species involved, we are also investigating additional sites to house the expanded plantation.
For a full explanation of the current status of the program, watch Tony’s presentation below: