Planting the Seeds for Natural Habitat and Ecosystem Restoration --- Interview with Prof. Dr. Susan Harrison

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by National Academies

In the wake of this year’s record-breaking wildfire and hurricane season, efforts are ramping up to rebuild communities and natural ecosystems in places devastated by fire and storms. Restoring natural ecosystems requires replacing the trees, grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, and other plants that have evolved and occur naturally in a particular region. However, across the U.S., millions of acres of land have been so disturbed by human activities or severe climate events that native plant populations have been lost. As a result, native seeds used to restore local plant life are in high demand.

An interim report released this month by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies the uses, buyers, and suppliers of native seeds, and presents a framework for the next phase of the authoring committee’s task: to recommend how to fortify our capacity to meet native seed demand. (The final report will be issued in fall 2021.)

Susan Harrison, distinguished professor in the department of environmental science and policy of the University of California, Davis, serves as chair of the committee. Harrison answered questions about the interim report and what we can expect from the next phase of the committee’s work.

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