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Smoke, Mulch, and Seed Broadcasting Effects on Woodland Restoration in Western Australia


Address correspondence to D. P. Rokich, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, WA 6005, Australia. Tel.: 08 94803640; Fax: 08 94803641; E-mail


Smoke, canopy-derived mulch, and broadcast seeds were used to maximize the establishment of Banksia woodland species in sand quarries in Western Australia. Smoke, particularly aerosol smoke, had a positive effect on total seedling recruitment. Pre-mined (woodland) sites showed a 42-fold increase in total germinants and a 3-fold increase in the number of species with aerosol smoke application. Post-mined (restored) sites showed only a 3.6-fold increase in total germinants and a 1.4-fold increase in the number of species. Two water-based smoke chemicals, DC10 (pH 4.5) and SC63 (pH 2.5), increased seedling recruitment at both sites but were not as effective in stimulating recruitment as aerosol smoke. Neither of the chemicals were effective in significantly increasing species richness. Application of aerosol smoke directly to seeds as a pretreatment before broadcasting had no effect on seedling recruitment. Broadcasting of seeds onto restoration sites significantly increased seedling abundance and richness. Application of a single layer of mulch from the canopy vegetation after seed broadcasting gave optimum seedling recruitment. Two layers of mulch significantly reduced recruitment, as did applying mulch before seed broadcasting. For broad-scale restoration, the application of smoke on newly restored sites would be more effectively achieved using smoke water sprayed over the soil surface. Species that do not recruit from replaced topsoil could be effectively recovered from broadcast seed rather than from mulch.