Streczynski, R, Clark, H, Whelehan, LM, Ang, ST, Hardstaff, LK, Funnekotter, B, Bunn, E, Offord, CA, Sommerville, KD & Mancera, RL 2019, 'Current issues in plant cryopreservation and importance for ex situ conservation of threatened Australian native species', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 1-15.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 CSIRO. An alarming proportion of Australia's unique plant biodiversity is under siege from a variety of environmental threats. Options for in situ conservation are becoming increasingly compromised as encroaching land use, climate change and introduced diseases are highly likely to erode sanctuaries regardless of best intentions. Ex situ conservation is currently limited to botanic garden living collections and seed banking, with in vitro and cryopreservation technologies still being developed to address ex situ conservation of species not amenable to conventional storage. Cryopreservation (storage in liquid nitrogen) has been used successfully for long-term biosecure storage of shoot tips of several species of threatened Australian plants. We present a case for building on this research and fostering further development and utilisation of cryopreservation as the best means of capturing critical germplasm collections of Australian species with special storage requirements (e.g. recalcitrant-seeded taxa and species with short-lived seeds) that currently cannot be preserved effectively by other means. This review highlights the major issues in cryopreservation that can limit survival including ice crystal damage and desiccation, toxicity of cryoprotective agents, membrane damage, oxidative stress and mitochondrial function. Progress in understanding and mitigating these stresses is vital for advancing cryopreservation for conservation purposes.
Murray, BR, Hardstaff, LK & Phillips, ML 2013, 'Differences in Leaf Flammability, Leaf Traits and Flammability-Trait Relationships between Native and Exotic Plant Species of Dry Sclerophyll Forest', PLOS ONE, vol. 8, no. 11.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Bishop, M, Konarzewski, TK, Coleman, MA, Kelaher, BP, Hardstaff, LK & Evenden, R 2009, 'Facilitation Of Molluscan Assemblages In Mangroves By The Fucalean Alga Hormosira Banksii', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 392, no. 0, pp. 111-122.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The fucalean macroalga Hormosira banksii facilitates diverse rocky intertidal communities. Along the east coast of Australia, the alga can also persist in mangroves as a free-living form trapped amongst pneumatophores. We investigated (1) whether the alga has an effect on molluscan species richness and abundance in mangroves similar to that on rocky shores, and (2) whether, in mangroves, the source (phenotypically distinct estuarine or rocky shore populations) of H. banksii influences the outcome of its interspecific interactions. Sampling of 3 rocky shore and 3 mangrove sites along the east coast of Australia revealed that patches of H. banksii consistently supported a greater species richness of molluscs than adjacent substratum. Whereas the alga increased the abundance of molluscs in the mangrove forest, it had no effect or decreased molluscan abundance on the rocky shore. Transplant of H. banksii from rocky shores and estuarine tidal flats into the mangrove indicated that the source of the algae influenced the magnitude of effects. Although all algae enhanced molluscan abundance and species richness, estuarine H. banksii, which had larger vesicles and a longer thallus, supported more molluscs of more species than rocky shore H. banksii. These results support the growing consensus that the influence of foundation species at the community level is dependent on environmental conditions. As human activities place increasing pressure on coastal ecosystems, it will be important to understand the mechanisms and conditions that determine community-level effects of foundation species so that biodiversity may be conserved.