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Mulch for Revegetation in Tropical Northern Territory: Establishment Elixer or Trojan Horse?

Bellairs, Sean M. and Calnan, Taegan A. (2005). Mulch for Revegetation in Tropical Northern Territory: Establishment Elixer or Trojan Horse?. In: Adkins, S.W., Ainsley, P.J., Bellairs, S.M., Coates, D.J. and Bell, L.C. 5th Australian Workshop on Native Seed Biology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia, 21-23 June 2004.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 77258851xPUB2
Author Bellairs, Sean M.
Calnan, Taegan A.
Title Mulch for Revegetation in Tropical Northern Territory: Establishment Elixer or Trojan Horse?
Conference Name 5th Australian Workshop on Native Seed Biology
Conference Location Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Conference Dates 21-23 June 2004
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the Fifth Australian Workshop on Native Seed Biology
Editor Adkins, S.W.
Ainsley, P.J.
Bellairs, S.M.
Coates, D.J.
Bell, L.C.
Place of Publication Kenmore, Qld, Australia
Publisher Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research
Publication Year 2005
ISBN 0975030426   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 251
End Page 262
Total Pages 12
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract Mulch can be highly beneficial for rehabilitation, stabilising the ground surface and providing establishing seedlings with a protected microenvironment. Mulch and compost from green waste material are used for landscaping, roadside revegetation and degraded land rehabilitation projects in northern Australia. A major concern is the presence of weed seeds, including the presence of seeds of the many declared weed species. Mulch can be pasteurised by microbiological activity and seeds destroyed by exposure to high temperatures for a sufficient duration. Information on lethal temperature and storage conditions was not available for weed species in the tropical conditions of the Northern Territory. This project determined the temperature, moisture and storage requirements to kill a range of weed seeds in mulch in Darwin. Seeds of Andropogon gayanus, Caryotis mitis, Centrosema molle, Hyptis suaveolens, Leucaena leucocephala, Mimosa pigra, Pennisetum pedicellatum, Pennisetum polystachion and Stachytarpheta australis were assessed. Seed viability and dormancy mechanisms were investigated to determine if viability could be assessed using germination after application of dormancy-breaking treatments. Seeds were then exposed to various temperature, moisture ans storage conditions in controlled temperature incubators and in experimental mulch piles. Under dry heat conditions, seeds could survive for three months at 70°C, but significant mortality occured after 1 month if the seeds were stored at 80°C. Under moist conditions mortality was acieved at lower temperatures. In the experimental mulch piles, significant mortality occured for some species even when stored for one week. It is necessary to maintain appropiate temperature and moisture conditions, as well as storing the mulch for over a month, to achieve high levels of weed seed mortality and to minimise the spead of weed seeds to revegetation projects via the application of mulch.
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator