Scaling Up Ecologically Appropriate Seed Supply in Canada: How the National Tree Seed Centre Can Help

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Donnie McPhee, Martin Williams , Melissa Spearing

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The National Tree Seed Centre (NTSC) is Canada’s only national seed bank conserving the genetic diversity of temperate and boreal forest species. Since 1967, the NTSC has curated a living library for the global research community, with over 18,000 unique collections of 120 native woody species, detailed by collection coordinates. This diverse collection is available to anyone researching any aspect of ecology, biochemistry, breeding, genomics, restoration, reclamation, climate change or for educational purposes. Seed collections to protect and study herbaceous plant species at risk are also underway with First Nations, Parks Canada, NGOs and jurisdictional governments. In this virtual workshop, NTSC staff will lead a tour of the seed bank, tissue culture and cryogenic facilities in Fredericton, New Brunswick. We will demonstrate the core collection activities, seed quality control, standard and exploratory testing, and 50 years of seed trait data available for restoration planning. Federal collaborators will present related research from the fields of genomics, Species at Risk recovery, and climate-based seed transfer. The NTSC will engage SER2021 participants to help overcome challenges related to seed supply and conservation in Canada, before cumulative stressors accelerate. Key questions include “How can NTSC support your projects and supply chain of native plant materials?”, “How do we encourage policies requiring appropriate seed outside of industrial forestry?”, and “What Canadian species need a seed based action plan now?”. Workshop polling and post-conference surveys will harness the power of this conference to improve seed-based restoration outcomes in all temperate forest biomes.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program