Updates to the Missouri Botanical Garden Seed Bank

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Meg Engelhardt, Missouri Botanical Garden As a founding member of the CPC, the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) has been seed banking for decades. The seed bank contains three core collections resulting from MBG’s global field programs in plant conservation, horticulture, and ethnobotany. It currently holds over 2,400 accessions of orthodox seeds representing 1,190 different species, of […]

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Seedbanking of Scotts Valley Polygonum

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Holly Forbes, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley Polygonum hickmanii (Scotts Valley polygonum) is a small annual species in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) restricted to a small area of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. Populations have historically occurred across three privately owned properties. Population numbers were critically low in 2009 when the 5-Year Review […]

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Conservation on the Home Front

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Jim Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens Lauritzen Gardens is dedicated to the conservation of plants and the biological diversity they support. Seed banking projects and rare plant surveys are major elements of our conservation program, but the subjects of this work are mostly obscure species growing in remote settings in faraway places. Having an on-site component to our […]

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Collecting and Working with Orchid Seeds

Screenshot of Collecting and Working with Orchid Seeds video.

David Remucal, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum While many seedbanks avoid working with orchids, more groups are taking them on, or collecting them for groups that are. Collecting rules and protocols are not different for orchids but there are enough complexities in their biology to intimidate collectors new to orchids. Orchid seeds are the smallest in […]

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Can alpine species “bank” on conservation?

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Alex Seglias, Denver Botanic Gardens Plant biodiversity is being lost at an accelerated rate. To conserve native plants, many institutions are turning towards ex situ conservation methods, such as storage in seed banks. However, not all seeds are able to survive in seed bank conditions or they may be short-lived. Alpine species in Italy and Australia […]

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Flexible Seed Harvest: Revisiting the 10% Rule

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Michelle DePrenger-Levin, Denver Botanic Gardens; Michael Kunz, North Carolina Botanical Garden; Emily Coffey, Atlanta Botanic Garden; Tom Kaye, Institute for Applied Ecology; Anna Lampei Bucharová, Institute of Landscape Ecology (ILÖK), University of Münster Seed collection is a vital conservation method used to ensure global food security by maintaining a source of genetic diversity in food […]

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Testing the Relative Humidity of Seed Accessions Prior to Freezing

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Authors: Stacy Anderson, Tobin Weatherson, Joe Davitt – San Diego Zoo Native Plant Seed Bank We are all taught in school that water expands when frozen. That’s why ice floats, sealed bottles explode in the freezer, and frost kills living tissues. All living cells are comprised largely of water and can rupture and die when […]

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How to Prepare a Saturated Salt Solution to Dry Seeds

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Lisa Hill – National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (USDA-ARS) Drying seeds to appropriate relative humidity is the first step to long term seed storage. NLGRP and CPC recommend drying seeds to 25-35% relative humidity at room temperature. One way to acheive specific relative humidities is to use saturated salt solutions. Here, Lisa shows the […]

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Revealing the Details of Hawaiian Seeds Through Microscope Photography

Screenshot from Revealing the Details of Hawaiian Seeds Through Microscope Photography video

Tim Kroessig, Harold L. Lyon Arboretum The Hawaiian flora represents ~45% of all plants listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened or endangered. The Lyon Arboretum’s Seed Conservation Laboratory (Lyon S.C.L.) conserves many of these imperiled plants through conventional seed banking. However, the seeds of many rare Hawaiian plants have never been […]

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It’s Complicated: The Launch of a New Seed Banking Project

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Jim Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) is a critically imperiled (G1) plant listed as an endangered species by the USFWS. It is presently known from ten occurrences in the Nebraska Sandhills and three in the Ferris Dunes of Wyoming. This species is associated with areas of active wind erosion within a grassland matrix. […]

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Germination Testing

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Cheryl Birker, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden The California Seed Bank at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has a germination testing program to monitor the viability of its many conservation seed collections. Germination tests are conducted on all incoming seed collections before they are placed in freezer storage, and for all rare seed collections, follow-up […]

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Special considerations in the seed collections of two NC rare plant species

Screenshot from Special considerations in the seed collections of two NC rare plant species video

Michael Kunz, North Carolina Botanical Garden Recently updated Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild detail guidelines for seed collection of rare plants. These include multiple aspects to consider in making seed collections regarding target species characteristics, collection timing, seed collection amount, population genetics and maintaining site quality. Here we outline […]

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Conserving the Alpine: From Tiny Seeds to Big Collaboration

Screenshot of Conserving the Alpine: From Tiny Seeds to Big Collaboration video

Jennifer Ramp Neale, Denver Botanic Gardens Alpine plants are at risk of population decline and/or extinction due to climate change. Understanding these plants and the environments in which they survive and thrive involves a multi-tiered approach including in-situ and ex-situ efforts. At Denver Botanic Gardens we are working to collect and study seed of alpine […]

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All in the family – the case for collecting by maternal lines

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Heather Schneider, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Conservation seed collections support species’ survival by acting as an insurance policy in the face of extinction. They can also provide resources for research, restoration and reintroduction. A high-quality conservation seed collection has both depth and breadth – capturing genetic diversity within and geographic diversity among populations. Collecting and […]

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