Wollemia nobilis: Modern Studies of an Ancient Plant
Offord, C .
Discovering the Wollemi pine: latest developments in this botanical adventure.
Since its discovery in 1994, the Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis, Araucariaceae) is the most intensely researched plant species in Australia. This research has been driven by the enormous popularity of the species, a large tree that has survived essentially unchanged for millions of years and which has no close living relatives. The research has also been driven by the need to conserve the species in the wild. Wollemi pine has survived many challenges, but the greatest challenge faced is due to its discovery and subsequent popularity. With fewer than one hundred adult plants in the wild, a comprehensive plan for conserving this highly endangered species has been in action since discovery. Many of the actions have required an understanding of the biology of Wollemi pine, especially how it might survive anthropogenic changes. Fire, disease, weeds, habitat destruction are some of the possible threats that need to be managed in wild populations. To alleviate threats posed by human contact, representative plants from the wild populations are grown ex situ and these have been used as the source of material for many studies on this species. Additionally, Wollemi pine has been developed for horticultural release, providing greater chances to learn about its curious characteristics. Recent advances in our understanding of this species include its response to cool temperatures, watering regimes and seed production in cultivation.
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1 - Mount Annan Botanic Garden, Botanic Gardens Trust, Mount Annan, NSW 2567, Australia
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 9:45 AM