Views about sourcing plant material for restoration, habitat reconstruction, and revegetation have developed substantially in recent years. In particular, recognition of the prevalence of local adaptation has been incorporated into guidelines that now often recommend local sourcing of germplasm. Demand for these materials frequently outstrips supply, and land management professionals repeatedly report inadequate availability of plant materials at appropriate geographic scale and affordable price. Here, we use focus group interviews to investigate the obstacles impeding production and use of source-identified native seeds in Minnesota prairie. Focus groups included both producers and users of locally sourced seeds and allowed for open-ended conversations among professionals within each group. Participants emphasized that unpredictability in demand severely restricts supply. To increase use of locally sourced seeds in restorations, participants identified key priorities: working toward more consistent standards and policies, including revising those of agencies that manage lands; promoting awareness of large ramifications from small changes to relevant laws; increasing communication and education; and increasing the number of seed producers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund of Minnesota for funding their work and the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment for funding this project and assisting with logistics. The authors thank K. Nelson for her guidance. The authors also thank G. Quiram, H. Bernardo, D. Larson, P. Tiffin, C. Geyer, members of the Ruth Shaw lab, P. Török, and four anonymous reviewers for feedback. The authors are tremendously grateful to the participants for devoting their time and open communication in this process.
© 2021 Society for Ecological Restoration.
- climate change
- local adaptation
- seed sourcing
- source-identified seed