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Seed banking! Whats our balance?

September 20, 2010

I posted this seed banking paper on my CWR listserve recently but only got around to reading it at the weekend. My interest was drawn to a reference to work by Peter Wyse Jackson formerly of the National botanic Gardens. The paper in question addresses the issue of the status of ex situ conservation of endangered plants in light of changing climate. The reference to the Wyse Jackson is a study (which the authors highlight as the only other similar type of study they are aware) is the overlap between distribution of threatened native Irish flora  and habitats susceptible to climate change. Wyse Jacksons study revealed that, conservatively, there are at least 170 native plant species (20% of the total native flora) that appear to be particularly vulnerable to climate change during the period 2007 to 2050. On his list are a number of nationally important and threatened CWRs including Trifolium spp., Vicia spp., Lathyrus japonicus, Salvia verbenaca, Asparagus officinalis, Hordeum secalinum and I couldn’t help wondering what is the current ex situ status of these and other important species. Anyone? Can’t seem to find much on the Irish Threatened Plants Seedbank.

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