Documenting Rare Plant Collections And Reintroductions

  • Photo of two conservations collecting soil samples

    Collecting soil samples may help cultivation of rare species (2011).

  • Photo of two conservationists conducting Santa Lucia Fir surveys

    T Keeler-Wolf and Dylan Neubauer conduct Santa Lucia Fir surveys.

  • Photo of conservationist documenting two long-term and two curation packages for an accession

    Joe Davitt, San Diego Zoo Global, documents two long-term and two curation packages for an accession. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

  • Photo of a conservationist recording the unique codes that identifies the species, the location and date of seed collection

    Each package of seeds carries a unique code that identifies the species, the location and date of the collection. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

  • Photo of seed collections divided into four packages

    Seed collections are divided into four packages: 2 curation packages and 2 long term storage packages. Photo credit: Joyce Maschinski.

Summary

  • Conservation collections require appropriate documentation to retain their highest conservation value.
  • When documentation is kept according to international standards, it can be easily shared with other institutions.
  • Conservation translocations may require years or decades to establish; therefore, records kept at the institution will help ensure that the efforts and success of the endeavor can be assessed and contribute to reintroduction science.

Conservation collections must have documentation to have highest value to support species survival in the wild. Increasingly important is our ability to input information rapidly into a database so that the information will be available for internal and external use. It is important for collectors and researchers to document collection information at time of collection, during care at our facilities, and after it returns to the wild. When done well, these data form the basis of the best plant conservation practice that can be accessible to partners throughout the world.

Document the collection appropriately.

  • Essential accession information includes: institution name, accession number, collector, collection date, species name, family, locality information, georeferenced latitude and longitude, site ownership, permit documentation, and population information (the total number of individuals in the population, number of reproductive individuals, and number of individuals sampled for seeds that were harvested). (See CPC Field Collection Form.)
    • Providing habitat information may provide clues to germination or tissue culture requirements of the species. Recommended fields include light and moisture conditions, soil type, slope orientation, and associated species. Provide photos of habitat and plant in its habitat.
    • Be sure to document any associated collections (for example, leaf litter, soil, mycorrhizal fungi) and maintain the link through processing of samples.
    • Gather and report additional accession data according to their institutional protocols. Complying with International Transfer Format for Botanic Garden Plant Records and/or Darwin Core standards will allow easy transfer of information to partners.
  • Complete one field form per accession. Multiple accession numbers and field forms only need to be created for collections made from populations, which are separated by at least 1 kilometer.
  • Transmit accession data to CPC and if storing seeds at NLGRP, transmit accession data to ARS-USDA National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP) via online form provided to Participating Institutions through the CPC PI portal.

Document the conservation collection treatment at your facility.

  • Track germination tests conducted, propagation details, soil media used for propagation, and any horticultural steps taken to care for the species.
  • Record growth to maturity details. Note timing of germination, flowering, and seed set.

Document experimental protocols carefully.

  • Whenever steps of protocol are compared to controls, report survival of controls and treated groups. Remember that steps that are NOT successful will help future practitioners.
  • Note the age of the material used for tissue culture or cryopreservation.
  • Take photos of your shoot tips in vitro culture.
  • Note average shoot tip size and photograph this. Note condition of tips and any appearance differences across treatments (hairy, shape, leaves present or not, etc.). Note survival of phenotypes.
  • Track the type of medium used for pre-culture, stock and recovery culture; note any additives used (ABA, antibiotic, etc.); cryoprotectant used; cold hardening treatment; cooling rate and vitrification method used; and any modifications in standard procedures.
Photo of conservationist recording ecological data on endangered Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana)

Stephanie Steele, San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research, records ecological data on endangered Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) at Torrey Pine State Park. Photo credit: Christa Horn.

Document details of the recipient site and reintroduction.

The recipient site characteristics, location, and predicted climate envelope may influence reintroduction success. Thus, careful documentation is important. (See Figure 4.2, Maschinski, Falk et al. 2012.) Specific details of the reintroduction are a necessary contribution to the science and are essential for long-term monitoring. (See Maschinski, Albrecht et al. 2012, North Carolina Reintroduction Documentation Form.)

Share publications with CPC Network partners.

Reference for CPC Guidelines

FAO Genebank Standards for Plant Genetic Diversity (FAO 2014)

Standards for Documentation for Orthodox Seed

4.7.1 Passport data of 100 percent of the accessions should be documented using FAO/Bioversity multi-crop passport descriptors. 4.7.2 All data and information generated in the genebank relating to all aspects of conservation and use of the material should be recorded in a suitably designed database. Standards for Documentation for Field Genebanks 5.8.1 Passport data for all accessions should be documented using the FAO/ Bioversity multi-crop passport descriptors. In addition, accession information should also include inventory, map and plot location, regeneration, characterization, evaluation, orders, distribution data and user feedback. 5.8.2 Field management processes and cultural practices should be recorded and documented. 5.8.3 Data from 5.8.1. and 5.8.2 should be stored and changes updated in an appropriate database system and international data standards adopted. Standards for documentation in vitro and cryopreservation 6.6.1 Passport data for all accessions should be documented using the FAO/ Bioversity multi-crop passport descriptors. In addition, accession information should also include inventory, orders, distribution and data user feedback. 6.6.2 Management data and information generated in the genebank should be recorded in a suitable database, and characterization and evaluation data (C/E data) should be included when recorded. 6.6.3 Data from 6.6.1. and 6.6.2 should be stored and changes updated in an appropriate database system and international data standards adopted.

MSB Partnership Collections (Millennium Seed Bank Partnership 2015)

Data management 5.1 A data management system, using recognised seed bank data standards, is in use and capable of export in standard format.

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Suggested Citation

Center for Plant Conservation. Documenting Rare Plant Collections And Reintroductions in CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild. Web Version. https://plantnucleus.com/best-practices/documenting-rare-plant-collections-and-reintroductions Accessed: 02/17/2020 - 8:16am