Priority Actions to Improve Provenance Decision Making
M Breed, A Bischoff, P Durruty, N Gellie, E Gonzales, P Harrison, K Havens, M Karmann, F Kilkenny, S Krauss, A Lowe, P Marques, P Nevill, P Viit, A Bucharova. (2018) Priority Actions to Improve Provenance Decision Making. Bioscience. BioScience https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy050
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.