General Seed Information
- You will often hear people refer to "indigenous seed"but what does this really mean. The term indigenous refers to "Originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment" In relation to seed this then refers to the seed which is naturally occurring in an area - whether that area be the country, state or small local bioregion.
- Is it important - The seed which occurs naturally in a specific regions is adapted to the environment, soil types, geology,rainfall and other flora and fauna which occurs in that region. It has the best chance of sucessful establishment, provides a great food source for the local fauna and helps maintain the unique diversity that occurs in local areas.
How Local is local?
Much discussion has occured over the years in relation to what does local provenance mean, where does a provenance end and a new one begin.
This question requires local knowledge and the application of some comon sense.
To determine how far we should disburse seed we should look at the following factors:
- The pollination mechanisms of the plant - Wind pollinated species will have wider dispersal than insect pollinated species.
- Any barriers to the movement of pollen and seed - whether they are in the form of hills, valleys, waterways or forests.
- The continuity of the vegetation in the landscape.
- The geological structure of the area.
- The size of the population of a species - ie: is it a large forest block such as the Wombat, or is it a smaller isolated population.
As a general rule we should try to source the seed for our revegetation projects from within as close as practical to our revegetation sites, whilst matching the rainfall, soil type and position in landscape.
A guide for the determination of local provenance for the Corangamite CMA region has been developed as part of the Corangamite Seed Supply and Revegetation Network -you should read this for more specific information:
Discover more about provenance, genetic diversity and seed - Seed supply for broadscale resotration: Maximizing evolutionary potential
Using Indigenous Seed
- The species and quantity of seed required will depend upon the purpose of you project and the region that the project is being undertaken in. Seedbank staff can provide more specific information in relation to suitable species for your project.
- Quantity of seed for direct seeding projects is usually around 1 kg per Hectare or 350 gms per linear Kilometre of a mix of Acacias, Eucalypts and other shrubby species. The ratio of the mix and the exact rate should be refined with reference to your particular soil types, rainfall and the direct seeding method to be adopted.
Direct Seeding or Planting
Each method of establishment has its place. Direct seeding over recent years has been very successful in establishment of large areas of revegetation, even through the difficult dry years. Its success is dependant upon ensuring that there is adequate site preparation prior to sowing.Crops would not be sown without adequate site preparation and the same is applicable for direct seeding in revegetation works.
Planting of tubestock is often used to supplement direct seeding for those species which are more difficult to establish. Some sites may also be unsuitable for direct seeding due to access, waterways or other limitations.
Most sites require a combination of both methods to ensure that the full range of species required is reestablished on the site.