Indigenous species of actinorhizal plants of Casuarinaceae, Elaeagnaceae and Rhamnaceae are found in specific regions of Australia. Most of these plants belong to Casuarinaceae, the dominant actinorhizal family in Australia. Many of them have significant environmental and economical value. The other two families with their indigenous actinorhizal plants have only a minor presence in Australia. Most Australian actinorhizal plants have their native range only in Australia, whereas two of these plants are also found indigenously elsewhere. The nitrogen-fixing ability of these plants varies between species. This ability needs to be investigated in some of these plants. Casuarinas form a distinctive but declining part of the Australian landscape. Their potential has rarely been applied in forestry in Australia despite their well-known uses, which are being judiciously exploited elsewhere. To remedy this oversight, a programme has been proposed for increasing and improving casuarinas that would aid in greening more regions of Australia, increasing the soil fertility and the area of wild life habitat (including endangered species). Whether these improved clones would be productive with local strains of Frankia or they need an external inoculum of Frankia should be determined and the influence of mycorrhizal fungi on these clones also should be investigated.
Volume 46, 2021
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