Researchers from the University of Queensland have partnered with Aboriginal rangers at Camooweal near the Queensland-Northern Territory border to farm spinifex grass for the commercial manufacture of the world's strongest, thinnest condoms.
Eremophila is a large genus of woody shrubs (and a few small trees) found solely in Australia; the only New Zealand species, the prostrate E. debilis, appears to have been introduced from eastern Australia. There are over 220 named species, with at least another 40 awaiting description. Some have small distributions, most live in remote areas.
Indigenous Australian practices, honed over thousands of years, weave science with storytelling. In this Indigenous science series, we look at different aspects of First Australians' traditional life and uncover the knowledge behind them. In this installment, we examine some medicinal plants and ceremonies.
There are calls for a national plan to fight the fugal disease myrtle rust, which is destroying native trees and, experts say, has the potential to cause regional extinction of iconic Australian animals.
Banksia plants are Australian emblems, famous for their colourful flowers and dark, knobbly seed pods — the inspiration of May Gibbs’ big bad banksia men. Just like those banksia men, unerringly creepy after all those decades, their real-life counterparts may be just as resilient to the impacts of climate change.
LOCAL researchers have unravelled the germination secrets of WA’s strangely-named snottygobble tree (Persoonia longifolia R.Br.), thereby opening the door for the species to help rehabilitate WA’s landscape.
The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Inc was formed to create a florilegium, a collection of contemporary botanical paintings of some of the most significant plants in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
Substantial climate changes are evident across Australia, with declining rainfall and rising temperature in conjunction with frequent fires. Considerable species loss and range contractions have been predicted; however, our understanding of how genetic variation may promote adaptation in response to climate change remains uncertain.
Tree invasions have substantial impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and trees that are dispersed by animals are more likely to become invasive. In addition, hybridisation between plants is well documented as a source of new weeds, as hybrids gain new characteristics that allow them to become invasive. Corymbia torelliana is an invasive tree with an unusual animal dispersal mechanism: seed dispersal by stingless bees, that hybridizes readily with other species. We examined hybrids between C. torelliana and C. citriodora subsp. citriodora to determine whether hybrids have inherited the seed dispersal characteristics of C. torelliana that allow bee dispersal.
For thousands of years Australia’s aborigines thrived on the country’s wide variety of flora and fauna. Their diet included lillipilli, kangaroo apples and bush tomatoes – foods which few of today’s Australians are likely to have heard of let alone tasted.
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