Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Finch, Jessamine [1], Kelly, Collin [2], Piantedosi, Michael [3], LoCascio, George [4].

Making a Withdrawal: Does germination of a coastal endemic decrease over 25+ years of storage in a conservation seed bank?

While seed banking has been employed for safeguarding agricultural germplasm for hundreds of years, these approaches only gained popularity in conservation of wild plant species in the 1990s. Results from crop and accelerated seed ageing studies suggest that seeds can survive for hundreds of years under dry, frozen conditions (15% RH, -18°C). However, seed biology of wild species is highly variable, and the seed bank longevity of many taxa of conservation concern have not been evaluated. Capitalizing on over two decades of seed collection of sandplain agalinis (Agalinis acuta Pennell) in coastal New England, we tested the hypothesis that time since seed collection (i.e. length of time in seed bank) would be negatively correlated with seed viability (n=23, 1989-2013). We assessed viability using germination trials; all collections received 12 weeks of cold, moist stratification (5°C), followed by incubation at 20/10°C (12/12h light/dark) for 4 weeks. Average final germination across collections ranged from 30-97%, but did not exhibit a relationship with collection year. Final germination significantly varied among states, with collections from MA (76%, n=14) demonstrating elevated germination as compared to CT (56%, n=5), but this difference may be explained in part by unequal sample sizes. Continued analysis will investigate the relationship between seed maturation climate and germination results. Other potential covariates include differences in seed collection and processing, such as seed maturity at time of collection, storage length and conditions prior to arrival at the processing facility, as well as population differences, such as size fluctuation and population genetics. Early results indicate that seed collections of A. acuta can be stored in seed banks for a minimum of 31 years and maintain relatively high seed viability (40-80%). Future work must isolate the impact of variation among populations, collection methods, and seed processing, to further hone best practices and maximize viability preservation in conservation seed banks.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - Native Plant Trust, Conservation, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA, 01701, United States
2 - Framingham State University, Biology, 100 State Street, PO Box 9101, Framingham, MA, 01701-9101, USA
3 - Native Plant Trust, 180 Hemenway Road, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA, 01701, United States
4 - Framingham State University, 100 State Street, PO Box 9101, Framingham, MA, 01701-9101, United States

seed banking
Seed Germination
seed longevity
seed viability
orthodox seed
ex situ

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1CB014
Abstract ID:943
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved