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The Yass Area Network of Landcare Groups (YAN) is excited to be undertaking the Climate Ready Revegetation Project in partnership with landholders and scientists.
The main aim of the Climate Ready project is to assist the long-term survival of native plants in the Yass Valley under changing climatic conditions. This is being done by carefully introducing greater genetic diversity into existing plant populations. With greater genetic diversity, it is likely that plants will be better able to adapt as temperatures and rainfall become more variable and extreme.
It is well understood that the climate is changing, and projections for south east Australia are generally for hotter and drier conditions in the future. While genetic diversity is likely to improve plants’ ability to adapt to climate change, exactly which gene combinations will contribute to survival is unknown. So, in this project, genetic diversity is being introduced by growing plants from seed collected in a variety regions – including places that are hotter, drier, colder and wetter.
As a first step, the Climate Ready project has identified four species to work with. These include:
A large tree, Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora);
A small tree, Green Wattle (Acacia deanei subsp. paucijuga);
A shrub, Slender Hop Bush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima);
A herb, Clustered Everlasting Daisy (Chrysocephalum semipapposum).
All of these species are found locally in the Yass Valley, and their range also extends into areas with climates that Yass Valley may experience in the future. One of the big challenges in this project is sourcing the seed; even though the plants grow in a variety of places, there are not necessarily local seed collectors to go with them! Each species will be grown in one of four YAN nurseries, operated by Murrumbateman Landcare Group, Yass Landcare Group, and Bowning-Bookham Landcare Group at the Wattle Valley and Bango sites.
Introducing greater genetic diversity into plant communities for climate ‘readiness’ is a relatively new endeavour for scientists and land managers. So, this project will involve setting up trials that will give us some information about how well plants grown from local seed grow and survive, compared with plants grown from seed sourced from climatically diverse areas.
This project has been inspired and guided by scientists at Macquarie University who developed the Climate Ready Revegetation Guide, which can be found here.