Seed networks for upscaling native seed supply in Brazil

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Danilo Urzedo

Publication Date:

Brazil has committed to restore 12 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030, however, there is a shortage of native seed supply. In this research, we assess the outcomes of six Brazilian seed networks in the Amazon, Cerrado, and Atlantic Forest Biomes, and estimate the plant material demanded to achieve the national restoration goal. Seed networks have operated through non-governmental and governmental organisations that link local communities who have produced seeds with restoration markets. Overall, these initiatives have produced 386 tonnes of seeds and engaged 1,046 collectors over the last 10 years. Each collector produced on average 45.5 kg of seed per year, receiving approximately US$270 yearly as cash income, regardless of the year, network or region. We also estimated – based on 2,152 germination tests of 122 species – a germination rate of 39.9 ± 7.9%. Running a Markov Chain Monte Carlo with 10,000 rounds we found a minimum germination rate of 17.75% for the mix of 122 species. Our finds show implementing Brazil’s targets will require from 18,876 to 88,861 tonnes of seeds, and between 9,796 and 14,994 million seedlings depending on the restoration methods adopted. Although there are caveats in these estimates because of lack of knowledge about seed ecology and the complex field interactions and responses, restoration clearly requires a broader investment compared with the current structure and technology available. Although the community-based model is a potential productive arrangement, for spreading initiatives it is essential to overcome the limitations in knowledge and uncertain policies and markets.  

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration