Search is On for European Native Seed Collections
A plea has gone out for information to all institutes holding conservation collections of European native seeds.
Participants speaking at the Third Annual European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET) meeting in Warsaw, Poland recently expressed the need to compile a complete inventory of samples conserved in seed banks.
ENSCONET coordinates seed conservation activities of wild plants within Europe.
Seed collections could be the only hope for hundreds
Their activities will help guide the prioritisation of collecting, and determine the need for future resources to support the collections made.
Simon Linington, Chair of ENSCONET said "Although great progress has been made in assembling data from the network’s partners, the inventory needs to represent all relevant collections from the continent."
He urged institutes that maintain seed banks of native European seeds to contact ENSCONET’s co-ordinator, Dr Jonas Müller.
The threats to the flora of Europe have never been greater. Through the impacts of habitat destruction, invasive weeds, over-collecting and pollution, as many as one in three plant species are under threat.
Climate change is likely to increase the number of plants threatened. For many of these species, ex situ conservation using seed banks provides the only realistic hope for their survival until re-introduction or population reinforcement can be carried out, perhaps many years later.