[Science News] - Seed origin is a major factor in the development of reintroduced plant species

Tue 26 Mar

In 2014 and 2015, Meise Botanic Garden raised and transplanted into the wild more than 9,000 plants of several endangered species (Arnica montana, Campanula glomerata and Helichrysum arenarium), as part of the LIFE "Herbages" project (LIFE+11NAT/BE/001060), a project to discover in this video

The research team monitored the development of the plants over the years by recording, for each individual, its survival, its fertility, and depending on the species, the number of flower stems and the number of flowers (or flower heads) per flower stem.

The results show that the origin of the seeds significantly impacted the three species studied for at least three performance variables. This is the first time that such an effect has proven to be so pronounced both on vegetative and floral performances for three species translocated using seeds from wild populations within the same ecoregion. The seed origin effect persisted over the years, suggesting that this factor is at least as important as habitat suitability or environmental stochasticity. 

These results show the importance of the choice of the source population in the context of translocations and strongly support a multisource and multisite approach for future translocations of threatened species.

Source: Tardy R., Godefroid S. 2024. Effect of seed origin on vegetative and floral performances of plants reintroduced into the wild. Plant Ecology: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-024-01403-y