Seedbank and Rare and Threatened Species Collection
Image: Seeds of Swainsona purpurea. Photographer: Bob Hare.
Curation notes by: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.Contributors
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Copyright in image with Bob Hare. Copyright in text with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Life on Earth is critically dependant on plants. They feed us and all the other animals who share the planet.
They provide us with medicine, fibre and timber, they maintain soil fertility and they oxygenate the air we breathe. But plant diversity is at a crossroads. Land degradation, urban expansion and climate change threaten plant species and whole plant communities, and ultimately ourselves.
While the plight of many of our threatened species and landscapes is becoming better understood, even if we could halt the threatening processes immediately, species would continue to decline. For many species the situation is critical and they seem doomed to extinction. There needs to be urgent action and seed banks are a relatively easy, low-cost way to do this.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria maintains a seedbank of viable seeds kept in storage for the future. It is part of a global program to conserve genetically diverse seed from 25 per cent of the world's approximately 240,000 species of seed-bearing plants by the year 2020. These are held as duplicate collections at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in the United Kingdom and in the country of origin.
Curation notes by: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.