Maximizing Seed Resources for Restoration in an Uncertain Future

Maximizing Seed Resources for Restoration in an Uncertain Future


Forest loss is being experienced in many parts of the globe. Seed based plant restoration is now the goal of many land management agencies. There is a growing demand for seed to meet these restoration projects. The effects of climate change on seed availability, viability and the success of these restoration projects is still unknown.

Research Goals

The authors seek to understand the issue of seed availability, and the more effective use of seed resources, for broad scale restoration in temperate regions, where large amounts of seed are needed. They also seek to identify the limitations to having adequate seed and suggest what can be done in future to meet restoration needs.

Conclusions and Takeaways

The authors state that, wild seed collection is costly, unpredictable and has limitations, mores-so in highly fragmented landscapes. Therefore, they suggest planning restoration activities using a more agriculturally based approach, having Seed Production Areas (SPA’s) and stockpiling the seed under appropriate storage conditions. They also emphasize the need for strong national and international leadership to conduct strategic investment in science and infrastructure to meet the seed- related restoration challenges. Furthermore, it is noted that seed collection guidelines must be reviewed and regularly updated.


Broadhurst LM, Jones TA, Smith FS, North T, Guja L. Maximizing Seed Resources for Restoration in an Uncertain Future. BioScience. 2015;66:73–79. doi:10.1093/biosci/biv155.


  • CSIRO National Research Collections, Australia
  • Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, in Canberra, Australia
  • Department of the Environment at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Australia
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service, USA
  • South Texas Natives and Texas Native Seeds Projects, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, USA