BC Seedbank Collections Training


The Coastal Douglas-fir Conservation Partnership (CDFCP) and Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (WLRS) invited Wendy Gibble of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens to deliver training on the procedure they follow to collect herbaceous seed for the Miller Seed Vault. The Miller Seed Vault is a conservation seedbank focused on the long-term storage of rare plant species to safeguard against extinction and preserve unique genetic adaptations. 

BC intends to establish a similar seedbank for species at risk and of cultural significance. However, a lot of work still needs to be completed. Please refer to the Species at Risk and Cultural Value Seedbank Gathering website page to understand the conversation to date. 

This training session was delivered for experienced seed collectors to support organizations that will be travelling to remote, difficult to access areas that are particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change and to provide training to other groups interested in conservation seed collection.  WLRS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Tree Seed Centre that will enable BC seeds to be stored until permanent storage locations can be established in BC. If you would be interested in being part of this project please contact – info@cdfcp.ca, before collecting or sending seed. 

Seed Collecting for Ex Situ Conservation

Wendy Gibble from the University of Washington’s Rare Plant Care Program delivered training on how they undertake seed collection for the Millar Seed Vault, following the Centre for Plant Conservation guidelines. The seed bank holds more than 320 rare plant species in Washington with the objective to preserve rare species, capture genetic diversity, foster research and support restoration. The purpose of the training was to build on the skills of existing seed collectors in BC to support collection for long-term conservation storage of BC plants.

Topic areas discussed:

  • Collecting seed to capture genetics from multiple populations.
  • Collecting seed from distinct maternal lines.
  • 10% rule of seed collection.
  • How to calculate the number of seeds to collect.
  • When to collect and in what conditions.
  • Handling seed post collection.