Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seed collecting for genetic diversity, re the Springhouse Run Restoration Project

I, we've, been waiting for the Springhouse Run Restoration Project for a long time. Now it seems like it's going to happen. The stream is to be freed from the masonry enclosed linear canal that it has been since the last time it was reengineered, and reconfigured to meander appropriately. And the invasive trees, draped with invasive vines will be replaced with appropriate wetland plants propagated from local collections. Wow!

To prepare for the collections, we had a training session today taught by Mary Byrne Roger. I remember when Mary worked at the Arboretum. Anyway, she bravely led this session aimed at both complete novices and professional germplasm managers. Hey, that doesn't sound that doable, but it went really well. She reviewed basics and then went into the specific protocols for collection for genetic diversity. I knew the former, not the latter. After most of the day in the classroom we were all pretty excited to go outdoors and apply those principles to an actual location with actual plants.

Collecting for genetic diversity is different from most of the the collecting most of us have done. We normally focus on particularly outstanding plants; often those exhibit notable variation from the norm. This "restoration collection" focuses on random inclusiveness and quantity. I'm intrigued.

1 comment:

Bioloque said...

Glad you found the class helpful! It's was nice to be back at the Arboretum.