Pearl Bluebush Restoration Project

The aim of this project is to ensure the ongoing restoration of a key Australian arid zone shrub, Pearl Bluebush (Maireana sedifolia).

Pearl Bluebush is an ecosystem dominant in arid lands of southern Australia, making it a common restoration target in post mine-site rehabilitation. However, the species is an unpredictable seeder and natural recruitment is often low. Together with our industry partner, Iluka Resources Ltd., we are working to provide long-term solutions for the restoration of this key restoration species.

There are three core components to this:

1.     Seed sourcing guidelines
developed through rangewide analysis of the genetic architecture of the species. This incorporates genetic diversity, inbreeding and gene flow, plus the genetic adaptation potential of populations to climate.

2.     A growth trial
exploring the phenotypic adaptation of populations across the species range. This component focuses on traits which convey climate adaptation and the results will be used in combination with the genetic analysis.

3.     A seed orchard experiment
to inform on-ground management actions to trigger seeding in this unpredictable species. This information will be used to develop a seed orchard that gives practitioners access to a long-term and reliable supply of seed.