Translocation trials confirm specific factors affecting the establishment of three endangered plant species


  • Manfred Jusaitis

  • Manfred Jusaitis is a Senior Biologist with the Plant Biodiversity Centre (Department for Environment and Heritage, Hackney Road, Hackney 5069, SA, Australia. Email: This paper was prepared to highlight some of the factors limiting the success of plant translocations, based on Manfred's work with experimental translocations of endangered plants in South Australia.


Summary  Experimental translocations of three endangered plants undertaken in South Australia confirmed the impact of specific factors thought to affect the survival and establishment of seedlings of each species. A trial involving Prostanthera eurybioides planted into several different microsites, found microsite to be a critical determinant of survival and growth. Herbivore grazing and weed competition adversely affected survival and growth of Acacia cretacea and Acacia whibleyana translocants, respectively. While these findings may not necessarily extrapolate to all species, common sense suggests that these three factors should be important considerations when planning other plant translocations. For example, attention needs to be given to the exact placement of individuals in relation to suitable edaphic, biotic and climatic factors around the receptor site. Where weeds threaten the population, they need to be controlled either before or at the time of planting. Furthermore, protection of new plantings from herbivores is likely to be crucial, particularly during the first few months after planting.