How to increase the supply of native seed to improve restoration success: The US native seed development process

Restoration Ecology
By: , and 

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Abstract

With the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, restoration of damaged ecosystems is turning into a global movement. Restoration actions that are not based on science and an understanding of ecosystem function can thwart desired restoration outcomes at best and cause further damage to ecosystems at worst. Restoration often includes revegetation using seed. Where we source seed for restoration can make a difference for species establishment, restoration outcomes, and recovery of ecosystem function. However, sourcing seeds of native species, let alone genetically appropriate seed, is not currently possible for many restoration projects. The process of increasing and sourcing suitable seed for restoration includes many steps that need to be addressed typically years before a restoration project is initiated. These steps of seed collection, evaluation and development, field establishment, production, certification and procurement, storage, and finally restoration, need to be considered ideally at a scale larger than individual restoration projects and with research conducted in each step. We describe these steps as implemented in the United States, the challenges therein, and provide suggestions and examples of how groups can make efficient and effective progress toward getting the right seed in the right place at the right time.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title How to increase the supply of native seed to improve restoration success: The US native seed development process
Series title Restoration Ecology
DOI 10.1111/rec.13499
Edition Online First
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
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