skip to main page content  District
in the Field
Inspection Site
design graphic  

Seed Transfer

Seed transfer guidelines and similar systems form the basis of reforestation and tree improvement. Plant species have developed in response to local variables including soils, temperature, precipitation, insects, disease, and other environmental factors. Local seed that has developed with these factors is best adapted to the local environment. Seed sources that are not in the immediate vicinity could still be equally adapted. Seed zones and more refined Seed Transfer Expert Systems incorporate the genetic research to govern where seed can be planted relative to where it was collected. The seed transfer rules are based on the assumption that the natural population where the seed was collected is well adapted to that site and that the natural population’s long-term productivity will approach the maximum.

Research geneticists characterize patterns of variation within species for selected traits. The variation is evaluated by provenance (stand and population), family (trees grown from cones collected from one tree), individual, and sometimes clone (genetically identical individuals). Seed transfer guidelines are based on the amount of variation at the provenance level. Based on experiments and patterns of variation for the adaptive traits, the geneticist tries to determine how a species is suited to its environment. Information gained from such experiments is used to develop seed transfer rules to guide the movement of seed.

Planting with seed that is not locally adapted (seed that violates the seed transfer guides) may result in poor performance or mortality of the plants.

design graphic Top

Back | Next

Cone Collection Home

Reforestation Toolbox Home