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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 62, Numbers 1, 2 (2019) A Range-Wide Seed Collection to Support the Genetic Resource Conservation of Atlantic White-Cedar

A Range-Wide Seed Collection to Support the Genetic Resource Conservation of Atlantic White-Cedar

Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides [L.] B.S. P.) is a wetland tree species native to Atlantic and Gulf coastal regions of the United States and has undergone an 80-percent reduction in its natural distribution during the past 200 years. Reasons for this decline include harvesting, habitat conversion, and stress related to catastrophic wildfires and major hurricanes. Over the past 20 years, growing interest in the preservation and restoration of Atlantic white-cedar ecosystems and the need for genetically diverse planting stock led to the development of a cooperative genetic resource conservation effort for the species between Camcore (an international tree breeding and conservation program in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Southern Region National Forest System and Forest Health Protection. The objective of this project was to target seed collections across the entire geographic range of the species from Maine south to Florida and west to Mississippi that incorporate genetic material representative of four seed zones defined for the species. Between 2012 and 2016, collections were made from 255 mother trees in 33 populations with a total yield of 1,049,648 seeds. Seeds were distributed to the USDA Agricultural Research Service–National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation for long-term storage, the USDA Forest Service Ashe Nursery Facility for seed orchard and restoration activities, and the Camcore Seed Bank for research and field plantings. Collectively, the seed stored at these three facilities represents the largest genetic resource for Atlantic white-cedar that is known to exist outside of remnant natural stands.

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Author(s): Robert M. Jetton, W. Andrew Whittier, Barbara S. Crane, Gary R. Hodge

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 62, Numbers 1, 2 (2019)

Volume: 62

Numbers: 1, 2