Seed banks

In 2004, scientists at the University of Queensland announced their inclusion in the Millennium Seed Bank Project. This United Kingdom initiative aims to collect the seeds of 10 per cent of the world's flora (24,000 species) by 2010, and 25 per cent by 2020.

Reasons for making such a collection include:

  • building up stocks of rare and threatened species to ensure they do not become extinct
  • preserving local stocks of seeds well-adapted to Queensland conditions
  • researching seed biology to address current environmental problems
  • identifying the optimum:
    • time for collecting high quality seed
    • post-harvest handling and storage practices
    • germination protocols
    • dormancy-breaking techniques.

With this information, seeds and plants could be quickly employed to rejuvenate mine sites, assist floriculture and help with forest and other ecological restoration projects in less than ideal conditions.