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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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A Consensus Study Report

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Cover photo: Lemmon’s marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), BLM AZ930, Seeds of Success.

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26618.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
×

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

Rapid Expert Consultations published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are authored by subject-matter experts on narrowly focused topics that can be supported by a body of evidence. The discussions contained in rapid expert consultations are considered those of the authors and do not contain policy recommendations. Rapid expert consultations are reviewed by the institution before release.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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COMMITTEE ON AN ASSESSMENT OF NATIVE SEED NEEDS AND CAPACITIES

SUSAN P. HARRISON (Chair), University of California, Davis

DELANE ATCITTY, Indian Nations Conservation Alliance, El Prado, NM

ROB FIEGENER, Independent Consultant, Corvallis, OR

RACHAEL GOODHUE, University of California, Davis

KAYRI HAVENS, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

CAROL C. HOUSE, Independent Consultant, Lyme, CT

RICHARD C. JOHNSON, Washington State University, Pullman

ELIZABETH LEGER, University of Nevada, Reno

VIRGINIA LESSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis

JEAN OPSOMER, Westat, Rockville, MD

NANCY SHAW, US Forest Service, Boise, ID (Emeritus)

DOUGLAS E. SOLTIS, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville

SCOTT M. SWINTON, Michigan State University, East Lansing

EDWARD TOTH, Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank, Cortland, NY

STANFORD A. YOUNG, Utah State University, Logan (Emeritus)

Study Staff

ROBIN SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

KRISZTINA MARTON, Senior Program Officer

JENNA BRISCOE, Research Associate (until September 2021)

SARAH KWON, Senior Program Assistant (until May 2022)

PAIGE JACOBS, Program Assistant (until November 2022)

SAMANTHA SISANACHANDENG, Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Acknowledgments

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by PETER H. RAVEN (NAS), Missouri Botanical Garden (Emeritus), and MAY R. BERENBAUM (NAS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Preface

Since the publication of our Interim Report in late 2020, the need to strengthen the nation’s supply of native seeds for ecological restoration and related purposes has only become clearer. The year 2021 came in just behind 2020 in terms of number of multi-billion-dollar climatic disasters (20 versus 22) and third in total costs (behind 2017 and 2005), with a price tag of $145 billion (www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/). Major climate-related events in 2021 alone included a severe cold wave in the South, massive wildfires and continued drought in the West, flooding in California and Louisiana, three tornado outbreaks, four tropical cyclones, and eight other severe weather events. The increasing magnitude and frequency of such climatic mega-disturbances is straining not only our economy but the recovery capacity of ecosystems, in synergy with other unceasing stresses including invasive species, energy and mineral extraction, urbanization, and land conversion. As the vulnerabilities of humans, wildlife, and critical ecosystem services to these disruptions grow, the need for ecological restoration in the 21st century will continue its trajectory toward a previously unmatched scale. In the United States just as elsewhere in the world, a limited supply of native seeds and other native plant materials is a widely acknowledged barrier to fulfilling our most critical restoration needs.

In our efforts to analyze the nation’s system of producing and using native plant materials for restoration and to identify the most impactful steps toward improving the supply, we were not helped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our meetings, presentations, and information gathering were slowed significantly, and the availability of our committee members, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff, and expert informants across the nation were drastically altered by the many changes to people’s professional and personal lives. “Nevertheless, we persisted.” We are now honored to release what we believe is a well-supported set of key recommendations for improving the native seed supply, backed by findings and conclusions reached through collecting input from native seed producers and users in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors across the United States.

I’d like to thank the committee members who have worked so hard to bring this report to its fruition, along with the staff from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. And together, all of us thank the expert informants whose professional dedication to the supply and use of native plant materials made this report possible.

Sincerely,

Susan P. Harrison, Chair
Committee on an Assessment of Native Seed Needs and Capacities

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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4-8 Importance of certain seed attributes to state departments, by region

4-9 Importance of certain seed attributes to state departments, by annual seed expenditures

4-10 Frequency of substitution when preferred native seeds and plant materials are unavailable

4-11 Typical reasons for substituting with non-natives

4-12 Typical reasons for substituting with non-natives, by region

4-13 Substitution with natives of different species when preferred natives are unavailable, by region and annual seed expenditures

4-14 Substitution with natives from different region when preferred natives are unavailable, by region and annual expenditures

4-15 Typical reasons for substituting with natives having different characteristics

4-16 Typical reasons for substituting with natives having different characteristics, by region

4-17 Time of last check on the survival of seed or plant materials after planting for a typical project, by region

4-18 Availability of in-house expertise for projects that use native seed and plant materials, by annual expenditures

7-1 Types of seed and plants sold by respondents to the supplier survey

7-2 Types of seed and plants sold by suppliers, by annual sales

7-3 Supplier’s source of native seed

7-4 Types of seed sold by native seed suppliers

7-5 Sale of native plants or seeds sourced from different locations to match different geographical conditions or seed zones (different ecotypes of the same species), by region and size

7-6 Types of native seed sold by suppliers in relation to total native seed sales

7-7 Types of native plants sold by suppliers in relation to total plant material sales

7-8 Portion of annual sales of native seed and plants represented by various customer types

7-9 Suppliers’ methods of communicating about what the business offers

7-10a Types of contracting arrangements used by suppliers

7-10b Types of contracting arrangements used by suppliers by region

7-10c Types of contracting arrangements used by suppliers, by annual sales

7-11a Importance of contract characteristics to suppliers

7-11b Importance of contract characteristics to suppliers, by annual sales (very important or somewhat important responses)

7-12 Typical timing of when a contract is signed, by annual sales

7-13 Types of information used by suppliers in anticipating future demand

7-14 Approximate percentage of inventory unsold at the end of the marketing year

7-15a Impact of lack of storage on the quantity of seed suppliers can sell, by storage type

7-15b Impact of lack of storage on the quantity of seed suppliers can sell, by storage type and annual sales

7-16a Challenges faced by suppliers of native seed and plant materials

7-16b Challenges (major or moderate) faced by suppliers of native seed and plant materials, by annual sales

7-16c Challenges (major or moderate) faced by suppliers of native seed and plant materials, by region

7-17 Suppliers’ ability to expand wild collection of seed if they were to anticipate higher demand, by region and annual sales

7-18 Suppliers’ ability to grow more native plants with the goal of producing and selling native seed if they were to anticipate higher demand, by region and annual sales

7-19 Suppliers’ ability to grow and sell more plants if they were to anticipate higher demand, by region and annual sales

8-1a Provisional seed transfer zones (colored areas) developed by the USDA Forest Service for the continental United States with an overlay of Omernik Level III ecoregional boundaries (black outlines) that distinguish areas with similar climate, but that differ ecologically

8-1b Omernik Level III Ecoregions

Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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TABLES

S-1 Uses of Native Seeds by Federal and State Agencies

2-1 Outcome of Cases for the Survey of Departments within State Government Agencies

2-2 Distribution of Responses to the Survey of State Government Departments by Geographic Region

2-3 Distribution of Responses to the Survey of State Government Departments by Size

2-4 Outcome of Cases for the Supplier Survey

2-5 Distribution of Responses to the Supplier Survey by Geographic Region

2-6 Distribution of Responses to the Supplier Survey by Supplier Size

3-1 Land Managed by Five Major Federal Agencies (acres, 2018)

3-2 Wildfires in Western United States in 2020 (number and acres across all jurisdictions, and the acres under BLM management)

3-3 BLM, NPS, USFWS, USFS, and DOD Uses of Native Seeds (2017–2019)

4-1 State Departments’ Use of Native Seed or Plant Materials for Specific Purposes

4-2 Timing of When State Departments Usually Establish a Contract with Seed Suppliers

4-3 Other Seed Attributes Specified as Important by State Departments

4-4 Other Reasons Provided by State Departments for Substituting Non-Natives for Preferred Natives

4-5 State Department Respondent Comments on Barriers to Using Native Seeds

4-6 Reasons for Anticipated Increase or Decrease in State Departments’ Near-Term Use of Native Seed or Plant Materials

4-7 Reasons for Anticipated Increase or Decrease in State Departments’ Long-Term Use of Native Seed or Plant Materials

7-1 Supplier Perspectives on Major Barriers and Disincentives to Wild-Collecting Native Seed

7-2 Supplier Perspectives on Major Barriers and Disincentives to Growing Native Plants with the Goal of Producing and Selling Native Seed

7-3 Supplier Perspectives on Major Barriers and Disincentives to Growing and Selling Plants

7-4 Supplier Suggestions to Address the Challenges Encountered

Page xviii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Acronyms and Abbreviations

AOSA Association of Official Seed Analysts
AOSCA Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies
ARS Agricultural Research Service
BLM Bureau of Land Management
DOD Department of Defense
DOI Department of the Interior
DOT Department of Transportation
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
G0, Gx Generation zero, Generation x
IDIQ Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity
NASEM National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
NIFA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
NPS National Park Service
NRCS Natural Resources Conservation Service
PCRP Plant Conservation and Restoration Program
PLS Pure live seed
PMC Plant Materials Center
REPLANT Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees
RFP Request for Proposal
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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SCST Society of Commercial Seed Technologists
SESRC Social and Economic Sciences Research Center
SI Source-Identified
USDA US Department of Agriculture
USFS US Forest Service
USFWS US Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS US Geological Survey
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Glossary

Accession: A distinct, uniquely identified sample of seeds or plants.

Adaptive management: A structured process of using management as an experiment, so that new information is gained that reduces uncertainty about the managed system and enables management to improve over time.

Agronomically: Related to growing a crop, with a focus on managing the soil, nutrients, and the physical and biological environment to support crop production.

Cultivar: A named variety of a plant species with distinct genetically based morphological, physiological, cytological, or chemical characteristics, produced and maintained by cultivation.

Ecological restoration: The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.

Ecoregion: A relatively large unit of land or water that is characterized by a distinctive climate, ecological features, and plant and animal communities.

Ecosystem: A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Ecotype: A genetically distinct subset of a species (a population, subspecies, or race) that is adapted to local environmental conditions.

Empirical seed zone: Area within which plant materials are believed to be transferrable with little risk of being poorly adapted to their new location, developed by combining species-specific genetic information on local adaptation with environmental information.

Establishment: The stage at which the seedling has exhausted the food reserves stored in the seed and must grow, develop, and persist independently.

Extractory: Facility for the cleaning, conditioning, and short-term storage of wild-collected seed.

Page xxii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Forbs: Vascular plants that are not woody and also not grasses or members of the grass family, sometimes colloquially called “wildflowers.”

Genetically adapted: See Local Adaptation.

Genetically appropriate: Native plant materials that are likely to establish, persist, and promote ecological relationships at a restoration site. Such plants would be sufficiently genetically diverse to respond to changing environmental conditions; unlikely to cause genetic contamination of resident native species; unlikely to become invasive and displace other native species; unlikely to be a source of non-native pathogens; and likely to maintain relationships with other native species.

Germplasm: Living genetic resources such as seeds or tissues that are maintained for breeding, research, and conservation efforts.

Habitat: The place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.

Invasive species: A species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and which is likely to cause economic or environmental harm.

Local adaptation: Evolution of genetically distinct traits that make certain populations of a species better able to establish and persist in their particular local environment than other populations of the same species from other locations.

Maladaptation: Having traits that are poorly suited or adapted to a particular situation or set of conditions.

Native plant communities: Recurring assemblages of native plant species associated with particular regions and environmental conditions.

Native plants: Species that occur naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat, having either evolved there or dispersed there unaided by humans.

Non-native species: Species that have been accidentally or deliberately introduced by humans to a continent, region, ecosystem, or habitat in which they did not previously occur.

Plant materials: Any portion of a plant that can be propagated, including seeds, cuttings, and entire plants.

Provenance: The geographic origin of a seed source.

Provisional seed zone: Area within which plant materials are believed to be transferrable with little risk of being poorly adapted to their new location, developed using climatic and other environmental data, but not using species-specific information.

Pure live seed: The germinable seed in a seedlot. As displayed on the label of a seed bag, it is the weight of the bag minus weeds, impurities, and inviable seed.

Rehabilitation: Restoring a particular function such as erosion control to a damaged or degraded area, using native or non-native species.

Restorative continuum: An array of activities that reduce degradation and support partial to full ecosystem recovery; for example, revegetation, rehabilitation, and ecological restoration.

Page xxiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Revegetation: Restoring plant cover to a damaged or degraded area, using native or non-native species.

Seed bank: A storage facility intended to preserve seeds for the future, which requires low humidity and low temperatures.

Seed certification: A legally controlled system of quality control over seed multiplication and production.

Seed increase: Cultivation of a plant with the goal of obtaining a larger quantity of seeds for future cultivation.

Seed quality: The combination of correct genetic identity, germination fraction, and vigor in a batch of seeds.

Seed viability: The capacity of a seed or batch of seeds to germinate under suitable conditions, including dormant seeds for which dormancy must be broken before viability can be measured by germination.

Seed zone: A mapped area within which plant materials are believed to be transferrable with little risk of being poorly adapted to their new location.

Taxon: A collection of one or more populations of organisms. Taxa are the hierarchical classifications of a species (e.g., species, subspecies).

Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Also called Indigenous Knowledge or Native Science, the evolving knowledge of a specific location acquired by indigenous and local peoples, including relationships between plants, animals, the physical environment, and their uses for activities including but not limited to hunting, fishing, trapping, agriculture, and forestry.

Workhorse species: Native species with the potential for broad use in restoration across a region, selected because they are abundant across a wide range of ecological settings, establish quickly, and support important ecological processes.

Page xxiv Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply: Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26618.
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Extreme weather and wildfires, intensified by climate change, are damaging the native plant communities of landscapes across the United States. Native plant communities are foundational to thriving ecosystems, delivering goods and services that regulate the environment and support life, provide food and shelter for a wide range of native animals, and embody a wealth of genetic information with many beneficial applications. Restoring impaired ecosystems requires a supply of diverse native plant seeds that are well suited to the climates, soils, and other living species of the system.

This report examines the needs for native plant restoration and other activities, provides recommendations for improving the reliability, predictability, and performance of the native seed supply, and presents an ambitious agenda for action. An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply considers the various challenges facing our natural landscapes and calls for a coordinated public-private effort to scale-up and secure a cost-effective national native seed supply.

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