Currency Creek Arboretum Eucalypt Research

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Currency Creek Arboretum
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Research at Currency Creek Arboretum
Currency Creek Arboretum Statistics
Map of collection sites
Species List
Currency Creek Arboretum open days, tours and consultancy

Currency Creek Arboretum (CCA) is a specialist eucalypt arboretum ('zoo of trees'), with its main purpose being research into Australia's most dominant natural group of plants, the eucalypts (genera Angophora, Eucalyptus and Corymbia).

Currency Creek Arboretum was established and is managed by Dean Nicolle and is largely self-funded. The arboretum has the largest collection of eucalypt species in the world, with over 900 species and subspecies (and over 8000 individual plants) having been planted on the site, more than double the number of eucalypt taxa being grown on any other one site elsewhere. Major plantings continue at CCA most years.

Currency Creek Arboretum (CCA) is named after the nearby geographical feature and town of Currency Creek in South Australia. Major plantings of eucalypts have taken place most years at CCA since 1993.

All plants growing at CCA have been grown from seed collected from wild populations by D. Nicolle, along with accompanying dried and pressed herbarium specimens of the parent (seed or mother) tree, with specimens mostly housed at herbaria in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. Other data collected at the time of each seed collection includes GPS locality information and other field recorded individual and site data including associated eucalypt taxa, which help when identifying and isolating hybrid seedling progeny. Eight seedlings of each accession (mother-tree) are grown as part of the CCA project, with four seedlings planted out at CCA and the remainder being pressed and dried as a preserved seedling specimens and housed at AD or PERTH.

A complete voucher is therefore present for every accession grown at CCA. The complete voucher consists of the following material and data:
  1. Herbarium specimen(s) of adult material from the wild mother (seed) tree, including branchlets, adult leaves, flower buds, flowers fruit and seed
  2. Specimen label data (collected from the wild mother tree and site), including habit and bark characteristics, live vegetative and floral characteristics, GPS locality, habitat characteristics, species frequency and associated species
  3. Herbarium specimen(s) of whole seedlings grown from seed collected from the wild mother tree (F1s from the mother tree), including data of all seedling characteristics
  4. The live individual trees growing at CCA from seed collected from the wild mother tree (F1s from the mother tree, and sister trees of the seedling specimens), which include all adult characteristics. Four trees from each mother tree are usually planted at CCA
Unlike many arboreta, multiple plants have been planted out from each seed plant (usually four), giving a more accurate representation of each mother tree’s phenetic and genetic variation. Information on most collections at CCA has been recorded since the projects beginning. Such records include survival, health and growth rates, time to first bud initiation and flowering, and the potential of all collections for various uses.

Research at Currency Creek Arboretum
Current/ongoing studies using the data and/or resources of CCA include:
Carbon storage and regenerative capacity in eucalypt lignotubers.
Prof. Susan Trumbore and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany.
Investigating taxonomic barriers to gene flow between plantation and native eucalypts.
Matthew Larcombe and colleagues at the CRC for Forestry/University of Tasmania.
Investigation of polyploidy in the eucalypts.
Jane Harbard and colleagues (University of Tasmania).
Phylogeny of the eucalypts using molecular methods.
Dr Michael Bayly, Prof Pauline Ladiges (University of Melbourne) and colleagues.
Regenerative strategies in the eucalypts using simulated and real fire destructive events.
Dr Dean Nicolle (Currency Creek Arboretum).
Species divergence and hybridisation in eucalypts.
Dr Rebecca Jones and colleagues (University of Tasmania).
Systematic and evolutionary relationships in the eucalypts using molecular methods.
Dr Dorothy Steane, Prof Brad Potts (University of Tasmania), and colleagues.
Systematics and taxonomy in the eucalypts using comparative morphology in a common garden.
Dr Dean Nicolle (Currency Creek Arboretum) and colleagues.
Previous studies using the data and/or resources of CCA include:
Carbon isotope ratios, specific leaf areas and nitrogen concentrations in the leaves of eucalypts in a common garden experiment.
Prof. Detlef Schulze (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany) and colleagues.
Composition and variation over time of essential leaf oils in the eucalypts.
Dr. P. Dunlop (Adelaide University) and colleagues.
FloraSearch agroforestry species and regional industries - Low rainfall farm forestry options for southern Australia.
Trevor Hobbs & colleagues (FloraSearch).
Identifying chemical mediators of mammal-plant interactions.
Dr Ian Wallis (Australian National University, Canberra) and colleagues.
Testing of the interactive computer key Euclid, Eucalypts of Southern Australia.
Ian Brooker & colleagues (CSIRO, Canberra).
Over 90 publications have been published that have acknowledged the use of data and/or the resources of CCA.

Currency Creek Arboretum Statistics

Currency Creek Arboretum has the following eucalypts, as of October 2017:

Number of individuals planted: 9602

Number of seed accessions planted (populations from mother trees): 2650

Number of
known taxa
Number of taxa
planted at CCA
Number of taxa
flowered at CCA
Angophora 13 8 4
Corymbia 108 91 28
Eucalyptus 867 854 752
total 988 953 784

Map of collection sites
Collection sites of eucalypts growing at Currency Creek Arboretum (Google Earth map)
Click on map to enlarge
CCA collection sites

Species List
CCA species listA summary list of eucalypt accessions grown at Currency Creek Arboretum. This list excludes most hybrids (both wild-collected and F1 –identified hybrids), duplicate accessions, accessions vouched by individuals other than D. Nicolle, and non-eucalypt accessions.

Free arboretum open days and guided tours
Free open days are organized occasionally, the dates and times of which will be advertised here. As the site is a private research arboretum, with restricted access, lacking on-site plant labels, and with limited facilities, casual visits by the public are not possible.

Currency Creek Arboretum free open days and guided tours
Sat 24th and 25th March 2018 and
Sat 22nd and 23rd September 2018
For details click here.

Personalised arboretum tours and consultancy
Visitors to CCAVisitors to CCA
Dean Nicolle can lead walk-and-talk groups or individual tours of the arboretum, which can focus on the group or individual’s interests and/or requirements.
Currency Creek Arboretum tour and consultancy fees are $400 per half-day (inc. GST).
Contact Dean Nicolle to organise a tour or visit.

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