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Developing native grass seed industries for revegetation in Australia and the western United States: A contrast in production and adoption


Waters, C. M.; Shaw, N. L. 2003. Developing native grass seed industries for revegetation in Australia and the western United States: A contrast in production and adoption. In: Allsopp, N; Palmer, A. R.; Milton, S. J.; Kirkman, K. P.; Kerley, G. I. H.; Hurt, C. R.; Brown, C. J., eds. Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangeland Congress; 26 July-1 August, 2003; Durban, South Africa. African Journal of Range and Forage Science. 20: 1152-1160.

Globally, an increased desire to restore, rehabilitate or revegetate with native plants represents a shift toward more ecologically focused restoration goals. In the Australian rangelands, an increasing need to address revegetation is not being matched by an availability of seed material. This contrasts with the United States where a well-structured native seed industry, capable of large-scale revegetation is developing. Most native revegetation programs in the United States are undertaken on Federal or State lands, or on private lands where use of native material is federally mandated, leading to a 'top-down' approach to the development and use of seed material. In Australia, most revegetation is being undertaken on privately owned land, primarily through community Landcare groups, resulting in broad community adoption of a conservation ethic. The Australian 'bottom-up' approach has encouraged landholders to establish their own seed orchard areas or community seed banks and contributes to a developing 'cottage' native seed industry. However, most revegetation programs are of small scale and of short duration, thus prohibiting the further development of a commercial native seed industry. This paper traces the evolution of the Australian and American native grass seed industries, and evaluates their relative merits and shortcomings. We compare the different roles of the two governments in shaping and facilitating development of these industries.

Keywords: native grass seed industries, revegetation


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Developing native grass seed industries for revegetation in Australia and the western United States: A contrast in production and adoption
Electronic Publish Date: June 6, 2012
Last Update:
June 6, 2012

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