Florabank Guidelines Module 5: Seed Sourcing

Peter A. Harrison, Martin F. Breed, Linda Broadhurst, Margaret Byrne, Lucy Commander, David Coates, Siegfried Krauss, Marlien van der Merwe, Melissa Miller, Maurizio Rossetto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The extent of modern-day human disturbance on natural ecosystems is vast, and evident across aquatic and terrestrial biomes. It has been estimated that over 2-6 billion hectares of terrestrial ecosystems have been degraded or damaged through land-use and climate change (Gibbs and Salmon 2015). These disturbances are contributing to the loss of biodiversity at a pace exceeding background extinction rates, heralding the 6th mass extinction (Ceballos et al. 2015). Restoring ecosystem functions and services is a key mitigating pathway to stem the loss of biodiversity. Where available, a reference ecosystem is often used as a benchmark to guide and monitor the recovery and adaptive management of the restoration activity (Gann et al. 2019; Camarretta et al. 2019; Module 1 - Introduction). A reference ecosystem may be one that was historically present at the site prior to the disturbance or based on nearby, undisturbed sites with similar ecological conditions. However, given the rapid pace of climate change and continued land-use change, it has been suggested to view the historical or contemporary reference ecosystem as a guide to work towards rather than a target (Higgs et al. 2014; Jones et al. 2018).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlorabank Guidelines
Subtitle of host publicationbest practice guidelines for native seed collection and use
EditorsLucy E Commander
PublisherFlorabank Consortium
Number of pages33
Edition2nd Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9780975219157, 0975219154
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Seed sourcing
  • human disturbance on natural ecosystems
  • aquatic and terrestrial biomes
  • climate change
  • background extinction rates
  • 6th mass extinction
  • Restoring ecosystem functions
  • loss of biodiversity
  • reference ecosystem


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