YAN Climate Ready

Yass Valley native plant survival in changing climatic conditions

YAN Climate Ready

Yass Valley native plant survival in changing climatic conditions


The issue

It is well understood that the climate is changing, and projections for south east Australia are generally for hotter and probably drier conditions in the future. This project aims to assist the long-term survival of native plants in the Yass Valley under the changing climatic conditions. It has been inspired and guided by scientists at Macquarie University who developed the Climate Ready Revegetation Guide. The underlying premise is that genetic diversity is likely to improve the ability of a species to adapt to climate change, although exactly which gene combinations will contribute to survival is unknown.

The solution

In this project, genetic diversity of local species is being  enhanced by growing plants from ‘admixture seed’ that has been collected from a variety of regions – including places that are hotter, drier, colder and wetter than the Yass region.  Seed  is being sourced through Greening Australia’s seed collectors’ network.

The Climate Ready Revegetation project has two main streams- firstly to run a small trial, and second to introduce admixture seed into YAN nurseries as standard practice. The overall approach is to assess local species for likelihood to tolerate the projected climate, and for those species that look tolerant, to then acquire admixture seed. Eighteen out of 28 species assessed so far suggest they will grow in the projected hotter climate. For the trial we are studying three species found locally in the Yass Valley

The impact

Introducing greater genetic diversity into plant communities for climate ‘readiness’ is a relatively new endeavour for scientists and land managers. This project will give us some information about how well plants grown from local seed grow and survive, compared with plants grown from seed sourced from climatically diverse areas.


One of the big challenges in this project is sourcing the seed; attempting to source genetically diverse native seed requires time and access to an extensive network of seed collectors . Admixture seed is not available for all species.  Even though the plants grow in a variety of places, there are not necessarily local seed collectors to go with them! Working with scientific collaborators has been invaluable and flexible funding arrangements means that we are able to germinate the seed and plant tube-stock when conditions are favourable. This project is also creating interest in local native plant identification and seed collecting techniques and best practice management of plant nurseries.  

Key facts

  • Plants included in this trial will include:
  • a large tree, Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora);
  • a small tree, Green Wattle (Acacia deanei subsp. paucijuga);
  • a shrub, Slender Hop Bush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima);
  • Seed was sourced from numerous bioregions across Qld, NSW and Victoria