As the demand for seed and the global restoration effort continues to grow, choosing the provenance of seed remains an early and important part of the decision-making process for restoration practitioners. Traditionally, practitioners have sourced seed local to the restoration site, also known as local provenancing. The idea behind local provenancing is the expectation to maintain the evolutionary history of plant populations, minimize traits that are more harmful than helpful, and limit increased susceptibility or predisposition to disease.
The impacts of habitat fragmentation and climate change on plant populations calls this approach into question, asking the restoration sector if the “local-is-best” standard could be supplemented with the use of nonlocal provenancing. Currently, there are two approaches for supplementing local provenances with nonlocal provenances: attempting to increase adaptability of plants by increasing genetic diversity of the seed mix, and considering anticipated future environmental conditions of a restoration site and recommending predicative and climate-adjusted provenancing.