Seed and seedling ecology

We have a long-standing interest in the seed and seedling ecology of Australian plants with an aim towards conseration and management under climate change. Work has focussed on Australian high country species, species of the Mediteranean-type ecosystem of WA, as well as grassland species: systems projected to be highly impacted by our changing climate. We investigate how climate change will affect the reproductive ecology and demography of Australian flora. We work closely with local seed banks and researchers therein.

Opportunities exist for projects for honours/MSC or PhD students in seed and seedling ecology. For more on this topic see these papers from lab members:

  • Satyanti, A., L. K. Guja and A. B. Nicotra (2019). "Temperature variability drives within-species variation in germination strategy and establishment characteristics of an alpine herb." Oecologia 189(2): 407-419.
  • Saatkamp, A., A. Cochrane, L. Commander, L. K. Guja, B. Jimenez‐Alfaro, J. Larson, A. Nicotra, P. Poschlod, F. A. Silveira and A. T. Cross (2019). "A research agenda for seed‐trait functional ecology." New Phytologist 221(4): 1764-1775.
  • Satyanti, A., A. B. Nicotra, T. Merkling and L. K. Guja (2018). "Seed mass and elevation explain variation in seed longevity of Australian alpine species." Seed Science Research: 1-13.
  • Cochrane, A., G. L. Hoyle, C. J. Yates, T. Neeman and A. B. Nicotra (2016). "Variation in plant functional traits across and within four species of Western Australian Banksia (Proteaceae) along a natural climate gradient." Austral Ecology 41(8): 886-896.
  • Hoyle, G. L., K. J. Steadman, R. B. Good, E. J. McIntosh and A. B. Nicotra (2015). "Mimicking seasonal temperature changes reveals multiple seed germination strategies: an investigation of 54 alpine species." Frontiers in Plant Science 6.
  • Cochrane, J. A., G. L. Hoyle, C. J. Yates, J. Wood and A. B. Nicotra (2015). "Climate warming delays and decreases seedling emergence in a Mediterranean ecosystem." Oikos 124: 150-160.
  • Cochrane, A., C. J. Yates, G. L. Hoyle and A. B. Nicotra (2015). "Will among-population variation in seed traits improve the chance of species persistence under climate change?" Global Ecology and Biogeography 24(1): 12-24.
  • Briceño Rodriguez, V. F., G. L. Hoyle and A. B. Nicotra (2015). "Seeds at risk: How will a changing alpine climate affect regeneration from seeds in alpine areas?" Alpine Botany 125: 59:68.
  • Hoyle, G. L., H. Cordiner, R. B. Good and A. B. Nicotra (2014). "Effects of reduced winter duration on seed dormancy and germination in six populations of the alpine herb Aciphyllya glacialis (Apiaceae)." Conservation Physiology 2(1): cou015.
  • Briceño, V. F., D. Harris-Pascal, A. B. Nicotra, E. Williams and M. C. Ball (2014). "Variation in snow cover drives differences in frost resistance in seedlings of the alpine herb Aciphylla glacialis " Environmental and Experimental Botany. 106(174-181)
  • Hoyle, G. L., S. E. Venn, K. J. Steadman, R. B. Good, E. J. McAuliffe, E. R. Williams and A. B. Nicotra (2013). "Soil warming increases plant species richness but decreases germination from the alpine soil seed bank." Global Change Biology 19: 1549-1561.


This project is a collaboration between ANU, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, the Friends of the ANBG and University of Queensland.