Final report to Science Council of B.C. (463 KB pdf)
Promoting Genetic Diversity in the Production of Large Quantities
of Native Plant Seed -- Ecological Restoration 20(2):117-123. (394 KB pdf)
Project Summary through November 1998 -- Poster Presentation
Seeding Density Trials through August 2000 --
Poster Presentation (124 KB pdf)
Seeding Density Trials through September 2001 --
Thesis Summary (885 KB pdf)
A Manual for Growing and Using Seed from Herbaceous Plants
Native to the Northern Interior of British Columbia
How to Produce Seeds of Native Herbaceous Plants in Cultivation
How to Develop a Seeding Prescription for Revegetation and Restoration
Current Seed Availability -- species, amounts, prices
Please contact us for more information or to contract our advisory services
The objectives of this project were to evaluate candidate grass, sedge, legume and other forb species
native to the northern Interior of British Columbia, develop methods for enhanced seed production
while maintaining genetic variability, and determine appropriate seed mixtures, densities and soil
amendments for revegetating roadsides, landings and other industrial disturbances. In meeting these objectives, knowledge on
how to grow and use native plant seed has been acquired, and an embryonic native seed industry has
has been developed in northern B.C. Results have been summarized in various posters, technical reports,
M.Sc. theses, a manual, and linked web pages (see links on left).
Of 45 species evaluated, 31 were assessed in detail; their range, ecology, propagation and use are described on associated web
pages, and in a spiral bound hard-copy colour manual, available for purchase. Growing accessions from diverse locations in
cultivation results in uneven ripening, which poses challenges for harvesting. Although this unevenness confirms that some level
of genetic diversity is being maintained, some diversity is lost through unintentional selection as well. Weed control is the
biggest challenge to cultivating native plants for seed production! Plant longevity and seed yields have been monitored in seed
production plots for 5 years.
Mixtures consisting of species with different statures, growth forms, rates of germination, soil
preferences, drought tolerances, growth rates, etc. can be devised to match site conditions where revegetation is needed.
Field trials have indicated that very successful cover establishment using native plant mixtures can be achieved if
disturbed soil is promptly sown. Our research also indicates that a modest amount of commercial fertilizer can significantly
increase the rate of cover build-up, which generally achieves maximum levels two growing seasons after sowing. High densities of native plant seeds
can also deter establishment by exotic plant species. Shifts in the species composition of constructed native plant
communities continue to be followed, with an emphasis on testing their ability to deter exotics while facilitating the recovery of indigenous
trees, shrubs, and other non-sown native plant species.
This research and development project was conducted by Symbios Research & Restoration,
with major support provided by Forest Renewal B.C. (Research Program administered by Science Council of B.C.,
1996-2001; Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration Program, 2001-2002) and its replacement agency, Forestry Innovation
Investment (2002-2004). Additional in-kind support was provided by Woodmere Nursery Ltd. and the Canadian Forest Service.