When a native plant population has declined drastically, the remaining plants become inbred. While these inbred plants clearly have what it takes to get through what ever caused the decline, seed supplies can be small and inbred in ways not beneficial to restoring a population.
The answer to successful revegetation of native flora is in sourcing genetically diverse seed, not necessarily relying on seed sourced from remnant local native vegetation.
“A common belief is that local native plants are the best source of seed for revegetation projects,” says CSIRO Plant Industry scientist, Dr Linda Broadhurst, “It has been presumed that local seed is adapted to local conditions and therefore provides the best results for restoration projects.
“However, the research shows that where vegetation loss is high and across large areas, ‘local’ seed sources are often small and isolated and can be severely inbred resulting in poor seed crops.
“This can lead to germination failure and poor seedling growth.”
The findings are based on a review the results of which have been published in an article entitled; ‘Seed supply for broadscale restoration: maximising evolutionary potential’ which appears in the latest edition of the journal, Evolutionary Applications. . . . read more “Local see not best for revegetation