What is the standard for determination of Exceptional Species status?

Is it only species that have seeds that exhibit no viability in both desiccation and cold? Or is it a lower bar of reduced viability in both, and if so, how reduced?

1 Answer
Submitted by Valerie Pence on Fri, 05/03/2019 - 11:22am

There has been discussion around this question, but my current thinking is that it is "seeds that cannot be conserved long-term in conventional seed banks."  This includes species without seeds (either because they are not producing seeds, or sufficient seeds, or accessible seeds), recalcitrant seeds, cold sensitive seeds, and short-lived seeds. Of course the terms short-lived and long-lived are not precise, although one definition has been those species with longevities <20% of the maximum longevity of seeds.  I don't think that is published at this point.  Other definitions I've heard are 10 or 20 years longevity at -20oC. 

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