- Evolutionary ecology research
- Horticultural research
- Save a Species
- Control of flowering in waratahs
- NSW Seedbank
- Plant Conservation Course
- Seed biology
- Rainforest seed project
- Seed germination of high-altitude species
- Terrestrial Orchid Conservation
- Terrestrial orchids
- Plant diversity research
- Plant pathology research
- Herbarium & resources
- Scientific publications
Why seedbanking? - Our conservation role in NSW
Well sampled and documented seed collections provide a very cost effective means of conserving genetic diversity for future conservation work, and may include reintroduction into the wild. Under good storage conditions, some species may retain viability for hundreds of years.
NSW contains many biogeographical regions, supporting over 6000 vascular plant taxa. However, continued pressure on the landscape for human use has altered the native vegetation, and there are now nearly 600 threatened plant species and 81 threatened ecological communities listed under NSW state legislation. The diversity of vegetation and the need to conserve what we can, provides the impetus for the NSW Seedbank to continue collecting and storing seed as an important aspect of plant conservation. The NSW Seedbank holds collections of both threatened and non-threatened native species.
Recognising the conservation role that ex-situ seedbanking can provide, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation has a target of 60% of threatened plant species in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 10% of them included in recovery and restoration programmes.
Seed collection, storage and research are some of the strategies identified in the NSW Priorities Action Statement (Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water), to complement in situ (on-site) conservation measures. Building on many years of experience in seedbanking for threatened species recovery plans, the NSW Seedbank is expected to play a key role in the implementation of ex situ actions identified in the Priorities Action Statement. However, it is important to note that not all types of seed will survive conventional seedbanking conditions, and so other methods for conservation of these seeds must be investigated.