Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The significance of ex situ seed conservation to reintroduction of threatened plants

J. A. Cochrane A B , A. D. Crawford A and L. T. Monks A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.

B Corresponding author: anne.cochrane@dec.wa.gov.au

Australian Journal of Botany 55(3) 356-361 https://doi.org/10.1071/BT06173
Submitted: 17 August 2006  Accepted: 8 January 2007   Published: 18 May 2007

Abstract

Ex situ seed conservation aims to support species survival in the wild. This can be achieved by contributing genetic material for reintroduction. The goals of reintroduction are to increase both plant and population numbers, create self-sustaining populations and ultimately remove a species from its threatened listing. Quality seed collections with a broad genetic base are required to achieve this goal. Storage conditions that minimise deterioration of seeds will maximise the quality of seeds available for future use. Additionally, ex situ seed conservation provides long-term insurance against species or genotype loss until actual or potential threats can be removed. As threats to biodiversity escalate the most judicious conservation strategies will be ones that combine available resources to provide the highest possible degree of protection. Banked seeds are available irrespective of season and periods of low fecundity. Forward planning of reintroduction projects can be achieved with knowledge of the quantity and quality of banked seed. This paper discusses the challenges facing ex situ seed conservation while highlighting the benefits of integrating ex situ seed storage and plant reintroduction to help provide for better conservation outcomes.


References


Barrett SCH , Kohn JR (1991) Genetic consequences of small population size in plants. In ‘Genetics and conservation of rare plants’. (Eds DA Falk, KE Holsinger) pp. 3–30. (Oxford University Press: New York)

Brown AHD , Briggs JD (1991) Sampling strategies for genetic variation in ex situ collections of endangered plant species. In ‘Genetics and conservation of rare plants’. (Eds DA Falk, KE Holsinger) pp. 75–86. (Oxford University Press: New York)

Coates DJ, Hamley VL (1999) Genetic divergence and the mating systems in the endangered and geographically restricted species, Lambertia orbifolia Gardner (Proteaceae). Heredity 83, 418–427.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Cochrane A (2004) Western Australia’s ex situ program for threatened species: a model integrated strategy for conservation. In ‘Ex situ plant conservation: supporting species survival in the wild’. (Eds EO Guerrant, K Havens, M Maunder) pp. 40–66. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Cochrane A, Barrett B (2006) A safe haven for threatened plants. Landscope 21, 24–29.

Cochrane A, Kelly A, Brown K, Cunneen S (2002) Relationships between seed germination requirements and ecophysiological characteristics aid the recovery of threatened native plant species in Western Australia. Ecological Management & Restoration 3, 45–58.

Convention on Biological Diversity (2002) ‘Global strategy for plant conservation.’ (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity: Montreal)

Crawford AD, Steadman KJ, Plummer JA, Cochrane A, Probert RJ (2007) Analysis of seed bank data confirms suitability of international seed storage standards for the Australian flora. Australian Journal of Botany 55, 18–29.
CrossRef |


FAO/IPGRI (1994) ‘Genebank standards.’ (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations/International Plant Genetic Resources Institute: Rome)

Gomez-Campo C (1985) Seed banks as an emergency conservation strategy. In ‘Plant conservation in the Mediterranean area’. (Ed. C Gomez-Campo) pp. 237–247. (Dr W Junk: Dordrecht, The Nethelands)

Guerrant EO (1996 a) Designing populations: demographic, genetic and horticultural dimensions. In ‘Restoring diversity. Strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants’. (Eds DA Falk, CI Millar, M Olwell) pp. 171–207. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Guerrant EO (1996 b) Experimental reintroduction of Stephanomeria malheurensis. In ‘Restoring diversity. Strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants’. (Eds DA Falk, CI Millar, M Olwell) pp. 399–402. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Guerrant EO , Fiedler PL (2004) Accounting for sample decline during ex situ storage and reintroduction. In ‘Ex situ plant conservation. Supporting species survival in the wild’. (Eds EO Guerrant, K Havens, M Maunder) pp. 365–386. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Guerrant EO , Pavlik BM (1998) Reintroduction of rare plants: genetics, demography, and the role of ex-situ conservation methods. In ‘Conservation biology for the coming decade’. (Eds PL Fiedler, P Kareiva) pp. 80–108. (Chapman and Hall: New York)

Guerrant EO , Raven A (2003) Supporting in situ conservation: the Berry Botanic Garden, an ex situ regional resource in an integrated conservation community. In ‘Seed conservation. Turning science into practice’. (Eds RD Smith, JB Dickie, SH Linington, HW Pritchard, RJ Probert) pp. 879–896. (The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: London)

Guerrant EO , Fiedler PL , Havens K , Maunder M (2004) Appendix 1. Revised genetic sampling guidelines for conservation collections of rare and endangered plants. In ‘Ex situ plant conservation. Supporting species survival in the wild’. (Eds EO Guerrant, K Havens, M Maunder) pp. 419–441. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Hanson J (1985) ‘Procedures for handling seeds in genebanks.’ (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute: Rome)

Hopper SD , van Leeuwin S , Brown AP , Patrick SP (1990) ‘Western Australia’s endangered flora and other plants under consideration for declaration’. (Australian Heritage Commission and Department of Conservation and Land Management: Perth)

IUCN (2001) ‘IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1.’ (IUCN Species Survival Commission: Gland, Switzerland)

IUCN (2002) ‘IUCN Policy on the management of ex situ populations for conservation.’ (IUCN Species Survival Commission: Gland, Switzerland)

Ledig FT (1996) Focus. Pinus torreyana at the Torrey Pines State Reserve, California. In ‘Restoring diversity. Strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants’. (Eds DA Falk, CI Millar, M Olwell) pp. 265–271. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Linington SH , Pritchard HW (2001) Genebanks. In ‘Encyclopedia of biodiversity, volume 3’. (Ed. S Levin) pp. 165–181. (Academic Press: Princeton, NJ)

Maunder M, Culham A, Alden B, Zizka G, Orliac C, Lobin W, Bordeu A, Ramirez JM, Glissmann-Gough S (2000) Conservation of the Toromiro Tree: case study in the management of a plant extinct in the wild. Conservation Biology 14, 1341–1350.
CrossRef |

Maunder M, Lyte B, Dransfield J, Baker W (2001) The conservation value of botanic garden palm collections. Biological Conservation 98, 259–271.
CrossRef |

Maunder M , Guerrant EOJR , Havens K , Dixon KW (2004) Realising the full potential of ex situ contributions to global plant conservation. In ‘Ex situ plant conservation. Supporting species survival in the wild’. (Eds EO Guerrant, K Havens, M Maunder) pp. 389–418. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Maxted N , Ford-Lloyd BV , Hawkes JG (1997) Complementary conservation strategies. In ‘Plant genetic conservation. The in situ approach’. (Eds N Maxted, BV Ford-Lloyd, JG Hawkes) pp. 15–39. (Chapman and Hall: London)

Menges ES (1991) The application of minimum viable population theory to plants. In ‘Genetics and conservation of rare plants’. (Eds DA Falk, KE Holsinger) pp. 45–61. (Oxford University Press: New York)

Monks L, Coates D (2002) The translocation of two critically endangered Acacia species. Conservation Science Western Australia 4, 54–61.

Offord CA, McKensy ML, Cuneo PV (2004) Critical review of threatened species collections in the NSW seed bank: implications for ex situ conservation of biodiversity. Pacific Conservation Biology 10, 221–236.

Pavlik BM (1996) Defining and measuring success. In ‘Restoring diversity. Strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants’. (Eds DA Falk, CI Millar, M Olwell) pp. 127–155. (Island Press: Washington, DC)

Pavlik BM, Nickrent DL, Howald AM (1993) The recovery of an endangered plant. I. Creating a new population of Amsinckia grandiflora. Conservation Biology 7, 510–526.
CrossRef |

Roberts EH (1973) Predicting the storage life of seeds. Seed Science and Technology 1, 499–514.

Roberts EH (1991) Genetic conservation in seed banks. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 43, 23–29.

Sainz-Ollero H, Hernandez-Bermejo JE (1979) Experimental reintroductions of endangered plant species in their natural habitats in Spain. Biological Conservation 16, 195–206.
CrossRef |

Shearer BL, Crane CE, Cochrane A (2004) Quantification of the susceptibility of the native flora of the South-west Botanical Province, Western Australia, to Phytophthora cinnamomi. Australian Journal of Botany 52, 435–443.
CrossRef |

Smith RD , Hawtin G (2003) The future of seed banks. In ‘Seed conservation. Turning science into practice’. (Eds RD Smith, JB Dickie, SH Linington, HW Pritchard, RJ Probert) pp. 981–992. (The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: London)

Vallee L , Hogbin T , Monks L , Makinson B , Matthes M , Rossetto M (2004) ‘Guidelines for the translocation of threatened Australian plants.’ 2nd edn. (The Australian Network for Plant Conservation: Canberra)

Walsh DGF, Waldren S, Martin JR (2003) Monitoring seed viability of fifteen species after storage in the Irish Threatened Plant Genebank. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section B: Biological, Geological, and Chemical Science 103B, 59–67.

Walters C, Wheeler LM, Grotenhuis JM (2005) Longevity of seeds stored in a genebank: species characteristics. Seed Science Research 15, 1–20.
CrossRef |

Way M (2003) Collecting seed from non-domesticated plants for long-term conservation. In ‘Seed conservation. Turning science into practice’. (Eds RD Smith, JB Dickie, SH Linington, HW Pritchard, RJ Probert) pp. 163–201. (The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: London)

Wyse Jackson PS , Sutherland LA (2000) ‘International agenda for botanic gardens in conservation.’ (Botanic Gardens Conservation International: London)








Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (37)

View Altmetrics