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U.S. Forest Service

Gene Conservation

The development and use of genetically appropriate plant material can help maintain genetic diversity and protect plant populations in their natural habitat (in situ conservation). Establishing and supporting ex situ, or off-site, seed banks is an additional important aspect of gene conservation, and provides an insurance policy against the loss of wild populations.

The Forest Service maintains several regional seed bank facilities, and cooperates with other federal and private organizations in building seed banks to preserve the genetic heritage of native plant species.

For more information, visit the following sites:

man standing between two long rows of seed racks in a seed bank.