Across the United States, millions of acres of land have been so disturbed by human activities or severe climate events that significant portions of their native plant communities have been lost and their ecosystems have been seriously compromised. Restoring impaired ecosystems requires a supply of diverse native plant seeds that are well suited to the climates, soils, and other living species of the system. Native seeds are also in demand for applications in urban land management, roadside maintenance, conservation agriculture, and other restorative activities that take into account the connection between native plant communities and the increasingly urgent need for resilient landscapes. Given the varied climatic and environmental niches of the more than 17,000 native plant species of the United States, supplying the desired seed types and species mixes for this wide range of activities is a challenge.
As the first phase of a nationwide analysis of the full scope of needs for native plant seeds, this interim report describes the participants in the native plant seed supply chain, makes preliminary observations, and proposes an information-gathering plan for the second phase of the assessment.