Double your impact! Thanks to a very generous anonymous donor, your gift today will be matched up to $1000! This is a great opportunity to contribute to local rare plant conservation and hands-on student learning.
Plant extinction is on the rise worldwide, and rare plants are especially at risk. This decline in biodiversity is seen locally as many rare plants are blinking out as climatic change accelerates, human impacts increase, and invasive plants compete for resources. Each extinction tears a hole in the web of life, as pollinators and other wildlife are affected by the loss of species they depend upon.
The UC Santa Cruz Greenhouses are assisting in an effort to conserve these plants by growing these plants and harvesting seed for seed banking. Seed-banking is one of the most important tools we have available to us to reduce the potential of extinction. It safeguards the germplasm needed for restoration in previously occupied areas, and creates opportunities for future introductions in suitable but unoccupied habitat. Growing out rare species for seed increase is a vital step in ensuring the longevity of precious seed collections. Done conscientiously, it contributes to the knowledge base on the biological and conservation requirements for each species.
Rare annual species, many of them coastal prairie associates, are especially in need of rescue, and seed-increase efforts will focus on these. Often ignored in restoration, they are a crucial component of local landscapes, increasing biodiversity and providing beauty and habitat value for native wildlife.
Your contribution to this project will fund student opportunities to learn about ex-situ plant conservation as they help with this impactful work.
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