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Search is On for European Native Seed Collections

10 July 2007

ENSCONETA 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.

Get collecting those seeds!

 Seed collections could be the only hope for hundreds
of species - so tell ENSCONET about your collection today
Image courtesy ENSCONET

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.  


Find Out More

Plant Conservation in European Countries
This rich database on the Plant Talk website provides information on conservation status of European plants, plus contacts, information and web links. Users are invited to help out in filling the gaps, adding more web links and in keeping the information up to date.

ENSCONET was formed to improve the quality, co-ordination and integration of Europe’s native seed conservation. The network is formed of 27 institutes from 19 countries and is currently in the third of a five year EU-funded programme.

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Seeds - Time Capsules of Life
Rob Kessler, artist, and Wolfgang Stuppy seed morphologist at the Millennium Seed Bank, have produced a lavishly illustrated natural history of seeds, their evolution, and dispersal. Enhanced electron microscope images give breathtaking detail, making this a great gift for the botanist in your life.