South-western Australia is a global biodiversity hotspot, where the greatest plant diversity is found on the most severely phosphorus-impoverished soils in Kwongan (or Kwongkan).
This biodiversity is not just to be admired in our iconic national parks - the Perth metropolitan area is equally diverse. Why is it that we have this tremendous biodiversity, including in peri-urban parks in Perth?
In a free public talk, the 2015 George Seddon Lecture at The University of Western Australia, Professor Hans Lambers from the UWA School of Biology will discuss the incredible biodiversity that is to be found in Perth and our South West.
In particular, he will talk about the ecological success of Banksia and Hakea species, which are very sensitive to fertilisation with phosphorus and argue that “Less is better” for most south-western Australian Proteaceae in our gardens.
“Native plants in our gardens and on our verges provide important corridors for wildlife between our precious parks and reserves. To maintain Perth as one of the most biodiverse cities in the world, we need to look after our native plants more effectively.” notes Professor Lambers.
Professor Lambers’ research group has contributed significantly to our understanding of the mineral nutrition of Australian plants, especially Proteaceae, and crop legumes. A key finding has been discovering why fertilisation with phosphorus so readily leads to ‘phosphorus toxicity’ in several species of the Proteaceae.
Professor Lambers is a highly cited researcher and has edited twelve books. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2003 and the Australian Academy of Science in 2012.
The George Seddon Lecture is sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Studies and UWA’s Friends of the Grounds. It is held annually to honour the life and work of Emeritus Professor George Seddon AM (1927-2007) an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at University of Melbourne and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in English at UWA.
WHAT: The George Seddon Lecture: Species Richness on our Nutrient-Impoverished Soils - Help for Perth Gardeners
WHEN: 6pm, Thursday 23 July 2015
VENUE: Ross Lecture Theatre, Physics Building UWA
COST: Free, but RSVP essential.
Audrey Barton (Marketing and Communications Officer, UWA IAS) (+61 8) 6488 4797