Global biodiversity, including the diversity of wild plants, is of inestimable ecological, economic, and cultural value. There has been a significant loss of global biodiversity during recent decades. Genetic erosion is placing many species at risk of extinction. A key approach to slow this erosion is the conservation of plant species where they grow (in situ conservation). However, the conservation of plants away from their natural habitats (ex situ conservation) also has an important role in ensuring their survival. This is recognised in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and the European Strategy for Plant Conservation. In this manual, we will outline seed collecting techniques for the ex situ conservation of European wild plants. The European Native Seed Conservation Network (ENSCONET) brings together members from many EU countries involved in the conservation of European native seeds. Most are seed banks working under national or regional organisations such as universities or botanical gardens.
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