For species that have no or limited information on genetic variation and adaptability to nonnative sites, there is a need for seed collection guidelines based on biological, climatological, and/or geographical criteria. Twenty-eight hardwood species are currently grown for reforestation purposes at the East Tennessee State Nursery. The majority of these species have had no genetic testing to define guidelines for seed collection location and can be distributed to sites that have a very different environment than that of seed origin(s). Poor survival and/or growth may result if seedlings are not adapted to environmental conditions at the planting location. To address this problem, 30 yr of Tennessee county precipitation and minimum temperature data were analyzed and grouped using a centroid hierarchical cluster analysis. The weather data and elevational data were entered into a Geographic Information System (GIS) and separately layered over Bailey's Ecoregions to develop a seed zone system for Tennessee. The seed zones can be used as a practical guideline for collecting seeds to ensure that the resulting seedlings will be adapted to planting environments.
Additional publication details
Development of hardwood seed zones for Tennessee using a geographic information system