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Home / Activities / Perth's Banksia Woodlands / Banksia Woodlands Symposium

Banksia Woodlands Symposium


NEW: Our Banksia Woodlands video Launched.

Hosted by internationally renowned Perth botanists Bronwen and Greg Keighery. Let Bronwen and Greg take you through the wonderland that is Perth's bushland treasure. See the video here:

Download Proceedings of Perth's Banksia Woodlands Symposium here:

Or Order a hard copy version ($20 plus $3 postage)


banksia symposium proceedings front cover

The Urban Bushland Council organised a Banksia Woodlands Symposium in March 2011. Sponsored by Lotterywest, more than 150 people attended the event - all levels of Government, industry, nature conservation groups and the general public.

Speakers discussed the evolutionary history of the Banksia genus and ecophysiology of groundwater use by Banksias and the understory plants of the woodlands. Studies of the fungi and the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna found in Banksia woodlands were also presented along with management issues such as climate change, fragmentation of the bushland and invasive plants.

The speakers notes have been compiled into proceedings of the symposium which covers Perth's Bansia woodland, its flora, fauna and fungi ecosystem, its threats and aspects of management.

See below for edited short videos of Symposium speakers:

Banksia Woodlands: A Perth Icon

Greg Keighery, Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation.

Banksia as a genus is an ancient West Australian. Banksia woodlands, including the dominant trees of the woodland define the Perth Metropolitan area and are hence an Iconic Community of our City. They should be regarded as icons as much as the eight Perth Heritage Icons of the 13 selected in 2004 (Swan River, Fremantle Harbour, Kings Park, Albany ANZAC Day dawn service, Rottnest, Broome pearls, Ningaloo Reef, Western AFL Derby, Kalgoorlie Gold, Perth Royal Show, Bungle Bungle Ranges, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Midland Railway Workshops).......


 The Significance of Rooting Depth in Perth's Banksias

Philip K. Groom, Curtin University.

 Perth’s Banksia woodlands inhabit nutrientimpoverished coarse sands of low waterholding capacity overlying shallow unconfined groundwater aquifers with a depth-to-groundwater ranging from < 1 m in the low lying depressions, damplands and wetlands to > 30 m atop the dune crests. These soils tend to dry out to considerable depths during the hot, dry summer months (Dec–Mar), rewetting when rain falls in autumn and winter (May–Aug).......



 Macro-Invertebrate Fauna of the Banksia Woodlands 

David Knowles, Director of Spineless Wonders.

 Macro-invertebrates include the insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and other fauna without backbones. In fact there are far more species of macro-invertebrates on the Swan Coastal Plain than there are vertebrate species (less than 3%). Over 2,250 macro-invertebrate arthropods are listed on the Greater Perth Metro Invertebrate Database.........



Turtle Frogs: Bizarre Breeders in the Banksia Woodlands

Nicola Mitchell, University of Western Australia.

 The Banksia woodlands of south-western Australia are home to a variety of amphibians, including Pobblebonk, Motorbike and Moaning frogs (Limnodynastis dorsalis, Litoria moorei and Heleiporus eyrei) that forage on the forest floor and sit out dry periods in moist retreat sites. In addition, one very unusual amphibian not only feeds in the woodlands, but breeds there as well, despite the absence of standing water. Turtle frogs (Myobatrachus gouldii), perhaps the strangest and most secretive inhabitants of Banksia woodlands, spend most of year buried deep underground in sandy soils and only emerge following rainfall for feeding and courtship.......



Maintaining the Biodiversity in our Banksia Woodlands

Judy Fisher, Fisher Research.

 One of the major threats to the world’s biodiversity is the transformation of ecosystems through invasion. In fact, invaders are as important as a driver and direct threat to biodiversity as human transformation of ecosystems and production of greenhouse gases.

Invasive alien species have affected native biodiversity in almost every ecosystem type in the world and are considered to be one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, human health and the economy, threatening the ecological and economic well being of the planet.  The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment indicated that tackling the drivers of biodiversity loss in an integrated manner is much more likely to achieve the 2010 targets than tackling them independently, hence the importance of understanding the effects and interactions of invasion on various components of the ecosystem........



Below the Knees Diversity and how we Survey It

Bronwen Keighery, Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, WA.

 The Banksia woodlands of Perth’s Swan Coastal Plain are an integral part of the city’s natural environment. However, the eucalypt dominated plant communities with tall Tuart, Jarrah and/or Marri trees are often considered to be the ‘real’ bushland. People’s attraction to all things large, the usefulness of eucalypt timber, the persistence of these trees in the built environment and the ease with which eucalypts can be grown appear to be the foundation of this belief. While all Perth’s plant communities are distinctive and biodiverse, it is the Banksia woodlands that are the most diverse and restricted plant communities......