US National Seed Strategy Goal 3: Decision Tools for Managers

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Vicky J. Erickson

Publication Date:

Goal 3 of the US National Seed Strategy addresses development of tools to enable managers in making informed decisions in all phases of restoration, from seed planning, selection, and production through project implementation and monitoring. This presentation focuses on Goal 3 progress in a critical but often overlooked facet of successful restoration: seed sourcing tools and protocols for ensuring the availability and use of adapted planting material for current and projected future climates. Over the last decade, land managers and researchers have collaborated in genetic studies of key restoration species to create species-specific seed zones within which plant materials can be moved with little risk of maladaptation. For the many restoration species still lacking empirical seed zones, generalized provisional seed zones have been developed using climate data (e.g., winter minimum temperature and aridity) along with ecoregional boundaries to delineate areas that have similar climates but differ ecologically. SeedZone Mapper ( is a dynamic online catalogue of available seed zone information, providing end-users quick access to maps and GIS data for seed sourcing and outplanting activities. To ensure seed sources are well adapted to changing climate conditions, the Seedlot Selection Tool (https// and the Climate Smart Restoration Tool ( are powerful new analytical tools for matching seed sources with planting sites under near- and longer-term climate projections. This snapshot of Goal 3 accomplishments illustrates the utility of the National Strategy in advancing effective seed planning and use and improving the availability of adapted seed supplies in the US commercial market.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program