Which provenance and where? Seed sourcing strategies for revegetation in a changing environment

Martin F. Breed, Michael Stead, Kym Ottewell, Michael Gardner, Andrew Lowe

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    261 Citations (Scopus)


    Revegetation is one practical application of science that should ideally aim to combine ecology with evolution to maximise biodiversity and ecosystem outcomes. The strict use of locally sourced seed in revegetation programs is widespread and is based on the expectation that populations are locally adapted. This practice does not fully integrate two global drivers of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss: habitat fragmentation and climate change. Here, we suggest amendments to existing strategies combined with a review of alternative seed-sourcing strategies that propose to mitigate against these drivers. We present a provenancing selection guide based on confidence surrounding climate change distribution modelling and data on population genetic and/or environmental differences between populations. Revegetation practices will benefit from greater integration of current scientific developments and establishment of more long-term experiments is key to improving the long-term success. The rapid growth in carbon and biodiversity markets creates a favourable economic climate to achieve these outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalConservation Genetics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


    • Climate change
    • Habitat fragmentation
    • Inbreeding
    • Local adaptation
    • Outbreeding depression
    • Plant genetic resources
    • Revegetation


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