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Domestication for Conservation of an Endangered Species: The Case of the Wollemi Pine

Trueman, Stephen J. and Pegg, Geoff S. and King, Judith (2007) Domestication for Conservation of an Endangered Species: The Case of the Wollemi Pine. Tree and Forestry Science and Biotechnology, 1 . pp. 1-10.

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Publisher URL: http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Journals/TFSB.html

Abstract

A small population of tall slender conifers was discovered in 1994 in a deep rainforest canyon of the Wollemi National Park, New SouthWales, Australia. The living trees closely resembled fossils that were more than 65 million years old, and this ‘living fossil’ was recognised as a third extant genus in the Araucariaceae (Araucaria, Agathis and now Wollemia). The species was named the Wollemi pine (W. nobilis). Extensive searches uncovered very few populations, with the total number of adult trees being less than 100. Ex situ collections were quickly established in Sydney as part of the Wollemi Pine Recovery Plan. The majority of the ex situ population was later transferred to our custom-built facility in Queensland for commercial multiplication. Domestication has relied very heavily on the species’ amenability to vegetative propagation because seed collection from the natural populations is dangerous, expensive, and undesirable for conservation reasons. Early propagation success was poor, with only about 25% of cuttings producing roots. However, small increases in propagation success have a very large impact on a domestication program because plant production can be modelled on an exponential curve where each rooted cutting develops into a mother plant that, in turn, provides more rooted cuttings. An extensive research program elevated rooting percentages to greater than 80% and also provided in vitro methods for plant multiplication. These successes have enabled international release of the Wollemi pine as a new and attractive species for ornamental horticulture.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:DEEDI, QPIF
Additional Information:© Global Science Books. Publisher's Version reproduced with permission.
Keywords:Araucariaceae; propagation; rooting; Wollemia nobilis.
Subjects:Forestry > Conservation and protection
Science > Botany > Plant ecology
Deposited On:16 Feb 2010 06:08
Last Modified:08 Jun 2015 15:54

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