Beyond the Gardens - Millennium Seed Bank Partnership
About this video
Conserving wild plants and habitats for the future.
Plants provide vital life support for all animals – including humans – on our planet. But plant species diversity is being threatened by habitat loss and degradation, a consequence of human activity in response to growing demands for food and fuel. To help plants in peril, scientists have turned to their starting point – the humble seed.
The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, conserves over one billion seeds outside their natural habitat. This method of storage provides a safe haven for seeds faced with the threat of loss and extinction.
In this video from Kew’s Beyond the Gardens series we meet three resident seed conservationists from the Botanic Gardens. The team put each of the seeds through an intricate process of cleaning, x-raying and counting, before filing them away.
Conserving the seeds in this way protects rare species of seeds from extinction. Some seeds are sent as samples to researchers studying human development. Others are analysed by seed morphologists, who seek to understand how seeds are shaped for dispersal - the key to plant diversity. Together, these methods are helping to save valuable ecosystems under threat.
- London, UK
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