Journal Article

Priority Actions to Improve Provenance Decision-Making

Martin F Breed, Peter A Harrison, Armin Bischoff, Paula Durruty, Nick J C Gellie, Emily K Gonzales, Kayri Havens, Marion Karmann, Francis F Kilkenny, Siegfried L Krauss, Andrew J Lowe, Pedro Marques, Paul G Nevill, Pati L Vitt and Anna Bucharova

in BioScience

Published on behalf of American Institute of Biological Sciences

Volume 68, issue 7, pages 510-516
Published in print July 2018 | ISSN: 0006-3568
Published online June 2018 | e-ISSN: 1525-3244 | DOI:
Priority Actions to Improve Provenance Decision-Making

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  • Environmental Science
  • Biological Sciences
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Selecting the geographic origin—the provenance—of seed is a key decision in restoration. The last decade has seen a vigorous debate on whether to use local or nonlocal seed. The use of local seed has been the preferred approach because it is expected to maintain local adaptation and avoid deleterious population effects (e.g., maladaptation and outbreeding depression). However, the impacts of habitat fragmentation and climate change on plant populations have driven the debate on whether the local-is-best standard needs changing. This debate has largely been theoretical in nature, which hampers provenance decision-making. Here, we detail cross-sector priority actions to improve provenance decision-making, including embedding provenance trials into restoration projects; developing dynamic, evidence-based provenance policies; and establishing stronger research–practitioner collaborations to facilitate the adoption of research outcomes. We discuss how to tackle these priority actions in order to help satisfy the restoration sector's requirement for appropriately provenanced seed.

Keywords: assisted migration; ecological restoration; local adaptation; restoration genetics

Journal Article.  5012 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Biological Sciences ; Environment

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