An Assessment of the Need for Native Seeds and the Capacity for Their Supply: Interim Report (2020)
This report describes the first phase of an examination of some of the nation’s needs for
native plant seeds (a shorthand term to include all forms of native propagative plant material)
and of the capacity to meet those needs. 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. There has never been a nationwide analysis of the full scope of needs for native plant
seeds and how well they are being met. This report is an initial step in that direction.