WorldWideWattle is a collaborative project involving the Western Australian Shire of Dalwallinu, the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management and the Canberra-based Australian Tree Seed Centre (part of CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products). The impetus for this site originated from an Acacia symposium that was conducted in Dalwallinu in 2001. Its further development will, in part at least, be linked to the proposed Dalwallinu Environmental Interpretive Centre project which is a major initiative being undertaken by the Dalwallinu community.
The aim of the WorldWideWattle is to deliver authoritative information relating to Australian species of Acacia in order to inform, educate and promote the conservation, utilisation and enjoyment of this important group of plants. The information presented here is intended for use by a wide range of users, both professional and amateur, including taxonomists, ecologists, foresters, etc. to school children and others who simply want to learn more about this fascinating genus.
Acacia is the largest group of woody plants in Australia, with around 1 000 species currently recognized (these are generally known by the common name of Wattle). Many of these species are grown, not only within Australia but also world wide, for economic, environmental and social reasons. These are the reasons for naming the site WorldWideWattle.
Within Australia Wattles dominate large areas of the continent and are especially common and conspicuous in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-tropical areas. Acacia species exhibit an amazing range of variation in morphological, ecological, geographic, biological, biochemical, genetic and other attributes. Understanding these species with respect to their names, variation and relationships is the essential starting point for effectively using this vast genetic resource. It is this sort of information that WorldWideWattle delivers, along with a range of other topics of general and specific interest concerning Australian Acacias.
WorldWideWattle also hosts the International Group for the Study of Mimosoideae site. This specialist group is concerned with the dissemination of information concerning the Legume subfamily Mimosoideae, of which Acacia is the largest genus.
The stakeholders of World Wide Wattle are extremely grateful to the many people who have helped us developthis site. We therefore wish to acknowledge the professional assistance provided by the following individuals and institutions, and to thank them for their contribution.
Stephen Midgley (formerly of CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra) provided the initial concept of World Wide Wattle, and facilitated its early design that was drawn up by Dr Peter Stevens (Canberra). Ben Richardson, Paul Gioia and Nicholas Lander (Western Australian Herbarium, Perth) for developing and implementing the World Wide Wattle site, and for their support, knowledge and guidance in bringing the concept to fruition. Ben in particular made a crucial contribution to the construction and development of the site, and posted most of the initial content. Simon Woodman (Woodmans Computer Solutions, Perth) provided the essential back-end database systems that are so necessary for the effective maintenance of the site. Milton Andrews (Square Peg Design, Perth) designed and produced the home page graphics.
We are very appreciative of the assistance received from a number of specialists. In particular we wish to thank Peter Kelly (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) for helping Bruce Maslin (Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth) prepare the children’s section under For Schools and Rebecca Monaghan (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) for formatting this contribution for posting to the site. Maurice McDonald (CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra) provided most of the detailed information concerning the utilisation of Acacia. Much of this utilisation content was originally prepared for the web by the Australian Biological Resources Study (Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra) and that organization is gratefully acknowledged for allowing us to use it here on World Wide Wattle. Dr Laurence Mound (CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Canberra) provided the essay on Acacia Thrips and Mrs Marion Simmons (Legana, Tasmania) contributed the chapter on the Cultivation of Wattles. John Maslin (Fremantle, Western Australia) prepared the distribution maps, Thais Eisen (Brisbane, Queensland) provided information and other content concerning the Acacia Study Group, Joy Wornes (Wubin, Western Australia) contributed her original poetry and Jack Lane (Hyden, Western Australia) provided information and photographs of Acacia lanei. Helen Dempsey and Jenni Goldsworthy (Dept. of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra) provided advice and other assistance concerning the Australian Coat of Arms and the Australian Honours and Awards. Murray Fagg (Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra) assisted with various content located under the Symbolic Usage of Acacia. Except where noted below the remaining content of the site was prepared by Bruce Maslin.
Regarding Species Gallery, the Department of Conservation and Land Management would like to thank Mary Colreavy (Director, Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra), Nicholas Alexander (Managing Publisher, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne) and the WATTLE custodians for allowing us to post the species fact sheets that were originally published on the WATTLE CD ROM. The almost 1 200 descriptions that are delivered here were expertly prepared for presentation on World Wide Wattle by Robyn Lawrence (Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra). We would also like to thank the following artists whose beautiful images appear on these pages: Margaret Pieroni, Marion Simmons, Grace Lithgow, Terry Tame, Kevin Thiele, Wil Smith, Marion Westmacott, Ludwick Dutkiewicz, Gilbert Dashorst, Suzanne Curry, John Rainbird, Anita Barley, Leon Costermans, D. Keane and Bruce Maslin.
A number of people and organizations provided photographs that appear in the Image Gallery and elsewhere on the site. In particular we wish to thank Martin O’Leary (State Herbarium of South Australia, Botanic Gardens, Adelaide), Gwilym Lewis (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), J. Plaza, J.M. Baldwin and M. Proteners (Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney), Dr Gordon Guymer (Director, Queensland Hebarium, Brisbane), for images provided by that institution), Murray Fagg (Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra), J. B. Williams (University of New England, Armidale, N.S.W.), B.R. Maslin (Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth) and CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products in Canberra for images provided by Maurice McDonald and other staff of that organization. Alun Jones (Community Newspaper Group) provided invaluable assistance with respect to image manipulation.
Brent Parkinson (Shire of Dalwallinu) is gratefully acknowledged for his encouragement and practical support for the World Wide Wattle project.