Conservation seedbanks maintain collections of many seed-bearing plant species, providing propagation material and data to support management of wild populations. But some plant species produce seeds that are difficult to collect, dry, store and utilise; collectively recognised as ‘exceptional’ species.
In this paper recently published by ANPC, Australian Seed Bank Partnership, and their collaborators in the journal Plants, People, Planet, we test a framework for identifying exceptional species within the Australian flora.
Our expert working group document examples and case studies for each ‘Exceptionality Factor’. We also want to make it easier for conservation practitioners to recognise exceptional species and work around the challenges they present, so the paper includes a workflow that may be used to identify additional exceptional species, and direct efforts to establish appropriate collection types.
This work was co-authored by researchers from The Botanic Gardens of Sydney, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, the Western Australia Seed Centre, WA Parks and Wildlife Service, CSIRO, The University of WA, Alcoa Australia, and the Australian Academy of Science.