Presenter: Wendy Gibble, Manager of Conservation and Education, University of Washington Botanic Gardens. A seed is one of nature’s marvelous adaptions. It makes the perfect receptacle for an embryonic plant, providing protection from the elements and transportation to a new home. Early humans took advantage of seeds’ resilient nature, storing them through winter months and transporting them over trade routes. One could argue that without the seed, the course of human society may have taken a drastically different trajectory. Today, seeds are serving another purpose, this time for their own species benefit. In seed banks across the country, scientists and land managers hold millions of seeds of the nation’s native rare plants, painstakingly gathered from wild populations.
In this talk, Wendy Gibble will explore the biology of seeds, seed dormancy and how it is used in seed banking, and some of the ways we break dormancy to initiate germination. She will also talk about seed banks in the US and their efforts to conserve rare native species.