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Genetically Appropriate Plants for Restoration

Seed Collections:

RCRCD staff collects native seed for propagation, future restoration, water quality, and bank stabilization projects. Staff works with seed companies and partners to collect seed from local, native populations to maintain the genetic diversity of our region’s biological resources. RCRCD stores native seed in refrigerated storage rooms and also provides a limited seed storage service.

RCRCD is interested in working with partners to train practitioners in seed collection, processing, and storage methods to support genetically appropriate seed lots for restoration.

Project on Native Plant Materials for Southern California Ecoregions:

May contain: field, outdoors, nature, plant, agriculture, countryside, flower, and blossom

In 2008, RCRCD organized a facilitated workshop with 50 representatives from local and federal agencies, restoration companies, universities, land conservancies, and seed companies to develop a list of native species of primary importance to seeding and revegetation projects in southern California. There was concern that some seeds would need to be farmed to make appropriately adapted seed more available for southern California planning projects. Since that time, the RCRCD has been developing plant profile tables with information about each species.

The plant profile tables contain ecological, taxonomic, and genetic information to help botanists and land managers determine collection protocols and seed deployment strategies. They also contain details about seed biology and plant culture to help guide choice and production of plant materials in a way that reduces the chance for unintentional selection, loss of genetic diversity, or cross contamination of seed resources. Dr. Arlee Montalvo, Plant Restoration Ecologist (RCRCD), and Dr. Jan Beyers, Ecologist, US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, are project primaries. Dr. Laurel Goode assisted with literature searches and early drafts of profiles. Devoree Kopp from the US Forest Service, Region 5, Crystal Sheehan of the RCRCD, and Dr. Jutta Burger from the Irvine Ranch Conservancy have provided data or helped to edit tables. Jody Miller of S & S Seeds provided data on seed longevity and propagation for various species. The project was funded by the US Forest Service Plant Materials Program and the RCRCD.

Native Plant Materials:

See page on Plant Materials for downloading information about many of the important species used in restoration practice in southern California.