Seeding and Protection of Natural Plants

During my volunteering experience, I first worked with Greening Australia to help seed local plants, then joined Frends of Mount Majura’s effort to protect the plants from local pests. Seeding the young plant at Greening Australia was interesting yet alarming regarding the seriousness of local weed problem. At Mount Majura Reserve, the issue of pest animal and soil erosion has been concerned, a method which suitable for the local condition is important to protect the species.

At Greening Australia, I took part in the weeding young plants. It was worrying that in protected area, culture seedling was also affected by the weeds. The weeds influenced the plants to a great extent, more weeds in pot will lead to weakening of plants and even their death.

In the eucalyptus melliodora, which is frequently referred as yellow box, it is obvious that the pot with more weed the yellow box seeding was much weaker.

In the picture, the bottom left pot and bottom right pot were apparently shorter than the others. The exceeding weed will also cause the death of plant. As Department of the Environment and energy reported (source link), weeds always “grow faster than native plants and successfully compete for available nutrients, water, space and sunlight.” The native plant will die due to lack of necessary source. During the cleaning of dead plant, the influence of weeds root to the plant has been observed.

From the picture, the weeds are not too much over the ground, however, under the ground soil, their roots occupied most of the available space. It is hence foreseeable that all the nutrient would be absorbed by the weeds. In open areas, weeds are a main risk of nature plants as it causes loss of biodiversity. The weed cleaning work is therefore important.


Grazing of rabbit is the other main risk of biodiversity loss. In Mount Majura Reserve, the overgrazing of rabbit has been a challenging issue to natural plant protections.  In fact, the rabbit droppings can be observed everywhere and the ground cover was also very short. From the leader of volunteer, I heard that the over-grazing rabbits caused these problems. Also, due to the damage to ground cover caused by them, the erosion becomes seriously, loss soil in raining days. (Source link of rabbit damage) Our volunteer work at that day was cutting and setting the branches to protect the seeding plant from the rabbits.

According to leader, local rabbits do not come close to the places with lots of branches; this can therefore be utilized to avoid the damage to the seeding. The branches were taken from the locally collected waste logs and the remaining logs were distributed on the ground. The leader explained that putting the logs in such a way can slow down the water flow to reduce the soil loss by rain in terrain with slopes, such as Mount Majura. Recycling and reuse of these local waste is a great method to protect the species. Meanwhile, the knowledge of pest animal is important. In protecting our species, how to uses less source to achieve a good result should be concerned.


Yuhao Zhou

About Biodiversity Conservation Blog

I am an Associate Professor at The Australian National University and convene a (very awesome) course called Biodiversity Conservation. Myself and students in the course contribute to this blog.
This entry was posted in biodiversity conservation, national seed bank, Volunteer work. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Seeding and Protection of Natural Plants

  1. Thanks Yuhao for your reflections on restoration. Phil

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