PRESIDENTS REPORT 2016

New Councillors

Carolyn Gillard and Associate Professor Jennifer Firn became Councillors in Dec 15, and have already made valuable contributions, Carolyn by producing a new brochure describing the activities of the Foundation, and encouraging people to join us, and Jennifer by taking over the work of managing the Foundation website. Her draft version of the new website is currently at http://aff.antl.com.au/ .

New Grants

Four grants were awarded, for work to begin in 2017.

Kerryn Chia, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens: Germination of Persoonia species $19,324. Persoonia has long been recognized for its potential as a garden ornamental but the entire genus has proven difficult to propagate. Kerryn’s research into Persoonia longifolia has been highly successful with some very exciting results of direct relevance to the mining, floriculture and horticultural industries. The aim of this project is to see if germination in this species can be further speeded, and if the techniques work with other members of this genus.

Laura Skates School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia: How hungry are carnivorous plants? $13,750. Laura aims to enable us to better understand the nutrition (how much of their nutrients come from animals?) and ecology (how do they interact with the plants and animals around them?) of carnivorous plants, focussing on the highly diversified carnivorous plants of Western Australia.

William Fowler, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University: Effects of urbanization on Banksia woodland communities $15,000. William aims to quantify vegetation change in the banksia woodlands of Perth over the last 20-25 years, to identify causes of species loss and gain, identify features that lead species or fragments to be vulnerable to such loss or gain, and provide information to help management of the woodlands for plant biodiversity conservation.

Ed Biffin, State Herbarium of South Australia, The evolutionary significance of range disjuncts among South Australian eucalypts  $20,000. The woodland communities of the Flinders-Lofty region of South Australia contain many isolated eucalypt populations, far from the extensive populations of these species in eastern Australia. Ed will determine whether the isolated populations are ancient remnants of once continuous populations which have survived in this region, or are recent arrivals. This will influence the management priorities of the South Australian populations.

Final reports

Two final reports were received this year:
Identifying cost-effective reforestation approaches for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in southern Australia by Corey J. A. Bradshaw & Briony Horner, The University of Adelaide and Succession Ecology Pty Ltd. This project has been initiated with Foundation funding. Of a total cost of $257,000, only $18,182 has come from the Foundation. The remainder of the funding has come from the Australian Research Council, as a Linkage Grant, the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, and Zoos SA. The report covers only the setting up the project, which will continue to be evaluated for the next 10 to 20 years.
The dynamics of formation and dissipation of patches associated with fallen logs in a chenopod shrubland of southern Australia  by Alexandra S. Bowman and José M. Facelli, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA 5005
Both reports are available on the Foundation website.

Finally I should like to thank you for your contributions over the year, whether as members of the executive, members of the Finance Subcommittee, of the Scientific Committee, and/or members of Council. A special thank you to all donors and benefactors of the Foundation: without you the Australian Flora Foundation could not function. Particularly noteworthy is a donation of $1,000 from APS Newcastle.

Peter Goodwin
President
21st November 2016