seed bank

Seed bank databases - what do you use?

We have been housing our seed bank and living collections data in Microsoft Access, but are looking to change. Our Horitculture team is interested in IrisBG, but I have no idea how well that would work for housing our seed bank accessions. What are folks using to manage their seed bank databases? I want to implement something that is user friendly and nimble enough to house all of the different types of data we record. We don't have a budget for this at this time, but I'm open to fee-based options if they are much more powerful than free databases.

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Foil vs. plastic pouches for seed bank storage

We have used both foil and plastic vacuum sealed pouches for packaging glassine envelopes prior to storage in the seed bank freezer. Are there major advantages to foil vs. plastic? We have used foil historically, but have also used plastic. The benefits to plastic that I see are not just that it is cheaper, but also that you can customize the size of your pouch more easily. Sometimes we have a very small collection and don't need a full foil pouch and sometimes if we have bulky seeds, it's helpful to make a slightly bigger pouch.

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Vanessa Handley, University of California Botanical Garden

University of California Botanical Garden (UCBG) has long been engaged in recovery efforts for State and Federally endangered large-flowered fiddleneck, Amsinckia grandiflora. Initially UCBG staff focused on creating a substantial seed bank for the species and, through nursery augmentation of wild-collections, generated a bank of over 100,000 seed (stored along maternal lines). In 2016, a subset of this seed was deployed for a large-scale reintroduction effort at three sites in San Joaquin County, California. The reintroduction was conducted in partnership with Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (with funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) and entailed cultivation and outplanting of over 4000 seedlings. This endeavor - made more challenging by severe terrain and freezing winter rains - resulted in modest persistence in 2017, followed by a banner spring in 2018. UCBG staff and volunteers completed a supplementary round of outplanting this past winter and, by March, all three introduction sites were awash with orange - the Amsinckia grandiflora Super Bloom! This exciting outcome was potentiated by engagement of diverse stakeholders: environmental consultants, multiple agency partners, public and private landowners and UCBG. While the taxon still has a long path to recovery, this preliminary success is a testament to the power of these partnerships. Our recovery implementation strategy will be discussed.

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Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 3, 2019

Insurance for Seed Bank?

I'm curious if others have insurance policies for their seed banks. Our herbarium collection has additional insurance so it seems like seed collections could as well. Does anyone have additional insurance for their seed collections? How do you apply value to your collections?