You are here

The Victorian Conservation Seedbank

VCS coordinator Jeff Jeanes collecting alpine species on the Bogong High Plains. Photo: N. Walsh
VCS coordinator Jeff Jeanes collecting alpine species on the Bogong High Plains
Photo: N. Walsh
  VCS technician Meg Hirst sorting collections in the Victorian mallee. Photo: N. Walsh
VCS technician Meg Hirst sorting collections in the Victorian mallee
Photo: N. Walsh
  VCS manager Neville Walsh collecting seeds of Kelleria laxa, Bogong High Plains. Photo: J. Walsh
VCS manager Neville Walsh collecting seeds of Kelleria laxa, Bogong High Plains
Photo: J. Walsh

The Victorian Conservation Seedbank is housed in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. It holds seed of more than 540 (15 per cent) of the State’s plant species.

The seed bank includes species that are:

  • endemic to Victoria
  • regarded as rare or threatened in Victoria
  • regarded as ‘keystone’ species of significant plant communities, such as grasslands, saltmarsh, or rainforest.

Victorian Conservation Seedbank staff are researching the genetic diversity and physiological variability within alpine and subalpine species. Victoria has proportionately more alpine vegetation than any other mainland state, and alpine plant and animal communities have been identified as those most vulnerable to extinction in the face of a warming climate.

The Seedbank’s research aims to identify plant populations that have the ability to withstand a warming climate. The research is expected to expand to include collaborative, comprehensive survey of Australian alpine plant seed biology.

Leadership | Website [external link]

OUR STORIES

Posted: 18 Sep 2014

Neville Walsh tells the story of how collecting seeds near the Mitchell River in Victoria led him to realise the need for taxonomic revisions.

Posted: 05 Sep 2014

Collaborative research by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia is advancing efforts to conserve Ballantinia antipoda (F.Muell.) E.A.Shaw.

Stem of shining nematolepsis showing damage by Sambar antlers. Photo: N. Walsh
Posted: 16 May 2011

The only known population of the rare and threatened shining nematolepsis was destroyed in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire. Conservation efforts before the fire have gone a long way towards saving this species.

Alpine cress (Drabastrum alpestre)
Posted: 02 May 2011

Fire is traditionally viewed as a stranger to the alpine plant communities of south-eastern Australia. However, the wildfires of 2003 and 2007 are suggestive of more regular burning in our warming climate. What will this mean for the rare species of the Australian Alps?