The Millennium Seedbank.


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2003-2004

FUNDING AMOUNT

47439 GBP

ABSTRACT

The Millennium Seed Bank project is a major international initiative by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew or the ex situ conservation of wild plant diversity. The Project, which involves the collaboration of organisations in the UK and at least 18 other countries, will collect and conserve the seeds of almost the entire UK spermatophyte flora and a further 10% of the world's spermatophyte flora. Overseas collecting will focus on the world's drylands, which are under threat from desertification, and will include endemic species and plants with local uses. Following collection and processing, seeds will be dried to an equilibrium at 15% relative humidity. They will then be stored at -20° in a secure, underground vault in the Millennium Seed Bank building, which will be located at Wakehurst Place in Sussex. Predictive models and retest data indicate that the majority of orthodox (desiccation tolerant) seeds stored under optimal conditions will remain viable for hundreds of years. Banked seed will be made available under the terms and conditions of the Convention on Biological Diversity for reintroduction into the wild, for academic research and for screening for potential new uses of plants or their products. Seed conservation will be supported by applied and strategic research aimed at optimising and collecting, processing and storage methods for both orthodox and non-orthodox (desiccation intolerant) seeds of wild species. Much of the project's work will be carried out by scientists from collaborating countries, working on their national floras, with guidance from Millennium Seed Bank staff. The project will further encourage technology transfer by running training courses and giving advice in all aspects of seed conservation. In addition, the project will help to educate the public in the importance of biodiversity conservation, through displays and observing scientists at work. More... »

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