Seeds for Life
Seeds for Life (SfL) is a joint venture between the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB), a project of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom, and a number of Queensland research, non-government organisations and government bodies, collectively called the Q-Seed Partnership.
The purpose of the SfL joint venture is to improve the conservation of plant biodiversity through researching the restoration of species and ecosystems and establish long-term conservation collections of seed from priority species from Queensland. Over a six year timeframe, the SfL project will collect at least 1 000 species as seed for storage at both the MSB and in Queensland, and conduct research into seed quality, storage, and restoration programs.
Australia is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Queensland is a signatory to the National Strategy for the Conservation of Biological Diversity. Both of these agreements contain provision for significant ex-situ conservation and research to support in-situ programs for the conservation of biodiversity. 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 programs. The SfL venture will provide for a major component of this ex-situ conservation and research commitment.
The Millennium Seed Bank will contribute considerable direct funding (approx. $1 590 000) and in-kind support to the Seeds for Life (SfL) project. The Queensland Partnership will also contribute significant funds (approx. $400 000), together with in-kind contributions. Financial support from the Australian mining industry has also enabled a more comprehensive program.
The Seeds for Life Project is looking for new partners to be involved in seed collection activities as part of the volunteer program. Seed collectors can get involved through attending a seed collection training program; this includes an optional accreditation component.
Key Project Themes
Conservation of threatened species and ecosystems
The SfL project’s seed collection strategies will target rare and threatened species, and species found in rare and threatened ecosystems. Research results from these species will provide information that will inform conservation and recovery programs and improve their efficiency. Griffith University and the Brisbane Botanic Gardens will coordinate this aspect of Seeds for Life. Key personnel in this area are Dr Sarah Ashmore from Griffith University and Mr Phil Cameron from Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
Landscape rehabilitation, as a component of sustainable land use, has emerged as a major theme in natural resource management in Australia. In recognition of this, the University of Queensland and the Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research (ACMER) will focus their efforts on improving seeding efficiency for those species that are the mainstay of landscape revegetation, particularly those used by the mining industry. Key personnel in this area are Associate Professor Stephen Adkins from the University of Queensland and Dr Owen Nichols from ACMER.
Training and extension
Industry and community seed collectors across the state will receive seed collection training and ongoing seed system support to encourage their participation as Collection Partners. Greening Australia Queensland and the Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research will deliver these services as well as seed quality data in return for contributions of seed. Research results from the Seeds for Life research partners, the University of Queensland and Griffith University, will be disseminated through web and printed products that will assist on-ground revegetation projects.
Seeds for Life targets high priority flora for seed collection.view
Training and Extension are major components of the project.view