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Abstract Detail

At the Intersection of Applied and Academic Botany: Fertile Ground for an Interdisciplinary Botanical Renaissance

Chau, Marian [1], Chambers, Timothy [2], Weisenberger, Lauren [3], Keir, Matthew [4], Kroessig, Timothy [5], Wolkis, Dustin [6], Kam, Roy [2], Yoshinaga, Alvin [7].

Interisland, interagency partnerships empower Hawai‘i as a global leader in seed conservation research.

Ex situ seed banking is critical for wild plant conservation globally, especially for threatened floras in tropical ecosystems like Hawai‘i. The Lyon Arboretum Seed Conservation Laboratory was founded through a partnership between university and federal scientists, to answer the question: Can we bank Hawaiian seeds for biodiversity conservation? The answer was yes, and ongoing, increasing collaboration with other government and NGO partners helped establish and expand the Hawai‘i Seed Bank Partnership (HSBP), now with >50 members from >30 organizations, across Hawai‘i and internationally. The HSBP was also the foundation for Laukahi: The Hawaiian Plant Conservation Network, has built botanical capacity in ex situ conservation, and has contributed over two decades of Hawaiian seed storage research, culminating in recent groundbreaking discoveries. Lyon Arboretum and HSBP partners U.S. Army Natural Resources Program on O‘ahu, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and National Tropical Botanical Garden combined data from hundreds of accessions to delve deeper into the question of how best to bank Hawaiian seeds. We investigated temperature-intermediate seed storage behavior in the native flora, and recommend re-collection intervals (RCI) to optimize viability of seeds in a genebank. Using 20+ years of viability data, including paired tests of accessions stored at 5°C and -18°C, we tested for seed freeze-sensitivity in 197 species, and calculated RCIs at 70% of highest germination (P70) for 295 species. We identified four families (Campanulaceae, Cyperaceae, Rubiaceae, and Urticaceae) and four genera with freeze-sensitive seeds, and six additional genera with likely freeze-sensitive seeds. Storage longevity was variable, but 195 species had viability >P70 at the time of most recent tests (i.e., they have not yet reached RCIs), 123 species had RCIs >10 yr, and 45 species had RCIs ex situ longevity within a regional flora, and numerous species with freeze-sensitive seeds have RCIs >10-20 yr, despite storage at 5°C, challenging the idea that conventional seed banking can only include frozen storage. Our results will guide applied restoration practices in Hawai‘i, reveal numerous new research questions to address conservation challenges, and inform seed conservation efforts globally, especially in tropical, subtropical, and island regions.

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1 - Lyon Arboretum, University Of Hawai'i At Manoa, Hawaiian Rare Plant Program, 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, United States
2 - U.S. Army Natural Resources Program on Oahu, Schofield Barracks, HI, USA
3 - U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, Honolulu, HI, USA
4 - State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Honolulu, HI, USA
5 - Lyon Arboretum/University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
6 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, Science & Conservation, 3530 Papalina Rd, Kalaheo, HI, 96741, United States
7 - Lyon Arboretum/University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, United States

Seed Bank
seed germination
ex situ

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SYM5, At the intersection of applied and academic botany: Fertile ground for an interdisciplinary botanical renaissance
Location: San Ignacio/Starr Pass
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: SYM5008
Abstract ID:732
Candidate for Awards:None

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