The International Seed Society’s Second Seed Longevity Workshop

The International Seed Society’s Second Seed Longevity Workshop

The USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation hosted the International Society for Seed Science’s (ISSS) Second Seed Longevity Workshop at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, on July 20 – August 1, 2018.  About 100 participants from 22 countries attended.  ISSS aims to foster and promote research, education and communication in the scientific understanding of seeds.  The workshop is held to discuss current findings and propose new directions for future research on seed longevity. Papers from the meeting will be available later in a Special Issue of Seed Science Research “Seeds, Conservation and Biodiversity”.

Roadside Revegetation – An Integrated Approach to Establishing native Plants and Pollinator Habitat and the Ecoregional Revegetation Application Tool

Roadside Revegetation – An Integrated Approach to Establishing native Plants and Pollinator Habitat and the Ecoregional Revegetation Application Tool

Roadsides can play an important role in the conservation of both native plants and declining wild and managed pollinator species.  In an effort to enhance the success of roadside revegetation projects and create habitat that is favorable for pollinators, the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USFS) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) partnered with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Chicago Botanic Garden to release a new DRAFT manual:  Roadside Revegetation – An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants and Pollinator Habitat. 

How to pellet seeds

How to pellet seeds

This publication provides the first public domain and practical step-by-step guide on how to do seed pelleting, along with the list of materials and equipment needed. These instructions and materials will help scientists develop seed coating technologies capable of overcoming logistical and biological barriers to the more effective use and deployment of native seed across the world while enabling the native seed industry to improve seed-based restoration.

Formation of the European Native Seed Producers Association

Formation of the European Native Seed Producers Association

A Dutch, a French and an Irishman walk into a German native seed farm.

That’s quite a good start for a joke based on national stereotypes. But when the Dutch, French and Irishman are followed by the Scottish, Spanish, Danish, German, Italian, English, Swedish, Czech, Polish, Swiss, Austrian and a Portuguese (on crutches) the joke might be getting a bit out of hand. And they’re not visiting just one farm. They’re on a mission to fit as many native seed companies as possible in a super tight five days schedule across most of Germany, and Switzerland.

The Sagebrush Seed Work Group

The Sagebrush Seed Work Group

The sagebrush biome in western North America (Fig. 1) is experiencing degradation principally from increased frequency of disturbances and the displacement of sagebrush, primarily big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), and other native shrubs, forbs, and grasses by invasive species. This process has resulted in the loss of flora and fauna (e.g., greater sage-grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus) that depend on these ecosystems. Restoration of sagebrush ecosystems, either by seeding or planting nursery stock of sagebrush and other native plants, is our best defense to reduce the expansion of invasives and improve degraded lands. 

Grassland Restoration in the White Carpathian Mountains

Grassland Restoration in the White Carpathian Mountains

The White Carpathian Mountains in the southeast of the Czech Republic, Central Europe, host extremely species-rich grasslands. Unfortunately many of them were destroyed in the second half of the 20th century. Since 1990, however, a large area of arable land has been converted to grasslands, partly by applying a regionally produced seed mixture.

The White Carpathian grasslands situated in the Czech Republic, Central Europe, belong to the most species-rich grasslands worldwide (Wilson et al. 2012) and harbour many rare and endangered plant and animal species, especially vascular plants and insects (Jongepierová 2008; Jongepier & Jongepierová 2009). The current area of White Carpathian species-rich grassland sites amounts to 4,000 hectares (15.4 sq. mi).

Restaura Cerrado leads a community-based effort to restore grasslands and savannas in central Brazil

Restaura Cerrado leads a community-based effort to restore grasslands and savannas in central Brazil

The Restaura Cerrado restoration project began in 2010, lead by Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) on a 300 ha tract of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park. The project aim was to develop efficient techniques for restoring grasslands and savannas on abandoned grazing lands. Historically, these areas underwent almost complete loss of native vegetation and were replanted with exotic forage grasses, which still dominate most sites. These areas are largely neglected in Brazil’s restoration efforts. Of the few plant recovery efforts that took place, most were actually afforestation plantings, in which seedlings of forest tree species are planted in habitats where they would not occur naturally instead of reestablishing native plant communities. To change this approach and foster the return of the native plant communities, Restaura Cerrado set out to test a variety of methods for direct seeding native grasses, shrubs, and forbs – the propagation of which was previously unknown. Beginning with a single investment to serve as start-up capital, the group was able to leverage additional funds and catalyze research partnership between ICMBio, University of Brasília, Rede de Sementes do Cerrado (Cerrado Seeds Network) and Embrapa (Brazilian Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Research Enterprise).