Eco-Sourcing FAQ

As part of the “Ecosourcing” Workshop, conference participants were asked to consider and discuss the following:

  1. Are current ecosourcing policies and practice  –  A) Scientifically valid? B) Practical and affordable?
  2. How important is ecosourcing compared with other aspects of revegetation?
  3. What aspects of revegetation are more important than ecosourcing?
  4. What new rules/guidelines could be developed to improve ecological outcomes without incurring great cost or confusion?
  5. How do we accommodate the desire for selective breeding for productive purposes while adhering in a policy of protection of natural genetic in our indigenous plant populations?

(Answers to Questions 1 – 3 were grouped under three headings and can be summarized as follows:)
1a: Are current ecosourcing policies and practice scientifically valid?

  • Yes | 7, No | 44, Don’t Know | 36

1b: Are current ecosourcing policies practical and affordable?

  • Yes | 20, No | 41, Don’t Know | 21

2: How important is ecosourcing compared with other aspects of revegetation?

  • Most Important | 27, (Intermediate) | 13, Not so important | 33, (Intermediate) | 6, Irrelevant | 10

(Answers to Questions 3 – 5 took the form of ideas and comments:)
3: What aspects of revegetation are more important than ecosourcing?

  • Species selection
  • Natural regeneration
  • A holistic approach
  • Plant survival
  • Local situation – geography and climate
  • People
  • Need for maintenance
  • What is happening on neighbouring property
  • Choosing plants that are appropriate for the site
  • Asking why the plants are not there in the first place
  • Ability to obtain good-quality stock
  • The impact of climate change – importance of encouraging migration

4: What new rules/guidelines could be developed to improve ecological outcomes without incurring great cost or confusion?

Ideas

  • Select seed from similar habitat
  • Representative sample (10+ plants)
  • Mandatory recording of collection site
  • Create gene/seed banks
  • Establish stocks of cuttings

Comments

  • We need a national policy on provision of diversity in genetic material.
  • Ecosourcing is based on false assumptions – it goes against the principles of evolution.
  • Ecological Districts are an irrelevant and unnecessary overlay to seed collection.
  • The definition of seed collection is too restrictive.
  • We need seed collection guidelines – these should be included in the Tanes Tree Trust Handbook. There is a problem with determining historical presence vs actual actual presense today. If you have to go outside the ecological distric to get plant material, then you should.
  • Better education of nurseries is needed to encourage application of the principles of ecosourcing.
  • Nurseries should be rewarded for efforts to record the origin of material.
  • Plant stock should an eco-standard that guarantees ecosourcing. Currently ecosourcing is based on trust.
  • Do we need to intervene and manipulate species distribution in order to the effects of climate change into account?
  • Dont create rules, guidelines are more valuable and effective.
  • Develop a list of appropriate species according to latitude and altitude.
  • Apply ecological knowledge in the absence of genetic certainty.
  • We need more robust scientific evidence.
  • Do more research before we mess things up.
  • Keep the rules for rare/threatened species.
  • The degree to which ecosourcing should be applied depends on the site. There should be less concern about roadsides than about sites of ecological importance.
  • Suitability of seed collection zones should be related to the normal extent/distance of pollen and seed dispersal of individual species.
  • Iwi should be consulted before species are moved around the country.
  • Take a pragmatic approach to seed.
  • Get on with it.

5: How do we accommodate the desire for selective breeding for productive purposes while adhering to a policy of protection of natural genetic diversity in our indigenous plant populations?

  • Underpin decision making with science genetic and ecological.
  • Keep the larger ecological/biodiversity picture in mind.
  • It is being done in the horticultural industry all the time.
  • Multiple productive purposes including extracts must be specified.
  • We have no choice if we are serious about production from native species.
  • Don’t place limits on locations where natives are grown for commercial purposes.
  • Don’t confuse growing wood with genetic diversity.
  • There will be no effect on species with a restricted natural range.
  • Cultural implications should also be considered before moving species/provenances around the country.