Summary Snottygobble (Persoonia longifolia) is an ecologically and economically important species in the jarrah forest in Western Australia but is not well represented in jarrah forest restoration projects because it is difficult to germinate. In restored bauxite mines the establishment density of Snottygobble from the soil seed bank is variable and often inadequate. Alcoa considers it a priority to re-establish such key species at adequate densities in its restored mine areas The aims of the present research were: (i) to determine if the species could be cued to germinate; and (ii) to develop a practical method to re-establish the species in restored bauxite mines. We found that fresh Snottygobble seed has high viability (> 90%) but seed stored at 4°C rapidly loses viability over the first year after seed fall. We obtained up to 40% germination using fresh seed that had been treated with gibberellic acid (GA3) after having part of the endocarp chipped away, sown on the soil surface and watered twice daily in an ambient temperature glasshouse in winter/spring. We found that the key to successful germination was combining surface sowing, endocarp chipping and GA3 treatment. Germination involved the breakdown of mechanical and, probably, chemical dormancy. There also appears to be a cool temperature requirement for germination. Practical recommendations to germinate Snottygobble are made. This germination method will have application to land managers, restoration practitioners and the horticultural industry. Alcoa will continue work to translate this success into an adequate stocking of Snottygobble in restored bauxite mines.
Key words bauxite mine, dormancy, endocarp chipping, endogenous, germination, gibberellic acid, Persoonia longifolia, restoration, Snottygobble.