Seed banks help fight the effects of climate change

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Land development for housing and commercial interests also plays a role in the loss of biodiversity in natural ecosystems, which is why California has many restrictions to help species survive. But gaps in these protections have put additional pressure on already fragile populations.

Birker told the sad truth behind Linanthus maculatusa rare flowering herb found ten years ago in Ocotillo, California, near the border with Mexico.

“They found a population in an area that needed to be developed remotely,” she said, “but since it was a plant that had not yet been described and was not on any list of rare plants, they didn’t have to stop their work, and so they went ahead and razed and installed these gigantic wind turbines, and unfortunately, this project was not very successful.

The wind farm has a troubled history, including several turbine meltdowns – most recently in September, as reported by local authorities. residents and media outlets.

Although the California Botanic Garden has banked some samples of Linanthus maculatusits fate is a good example of how easily it is possible to lose a population of wild plants.

“We never know when future breakthroughs might come,” Fraga said, “and how we might learn to better restore populations. When you have nothing, you have nothing. But to have the seeds and the banks seeds, it’s kind of an insurance policy that these genetic individuals are represented somewhere, and can potentially be grown and introduced at some point.

Seed banks around the world, who share information with each other, act to promote biodiversity in natural ecosystems. To further attract public support, some seed banks have the ability to sponsor collections through donations.

Connecting with local seed banks is a great resource for anyone who wants to help preserve biological diversity.

“It just adds to a kind of life data collection and it contributes to our understanding of biodiversity,” Fraga said. “We hedge our bets, thinking, what if all these populations disappear?

“To lose it to extinction is to lose it forever.”

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