Short Ted Talk today! Jonathan Drori: Why We’re Storing Billions of Seeds
Before I get into the talk, I found out yesterday that this week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week! If you didn’t get enough of invasive species from yesterday’s post, this article from National Aquarium talks about two species I didn’t cover yesterday: Red Lionfish and Northern Snakeheads.
The Ted Talk explains the necessity for seed banks. The main bank discussed is the Millennium Seed Bank. It is the results of a combined effort of over 50 countries and now holds over 3 billion seeds. Since all live on earth depends on plants, the seed bunker is capable of withstanding a nuclear attack. The seeds go through an extensive preparation process and are kept under strictly controlled conditions during storage. Securing the future of each plant species cost about 2,800 dollars. However, the seed bank also gives back by disseminating important germination information. Because the “life span” of the seeds is not well understood, researchers must conduct germination studies every ten years. This information is valuable for restoration and conservation because scientists can determine the most ideal environmental factors required for a successful germination.
I have seen pictures of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway that Drori mentioned in the video, but I did not know the Millennium Seed Bank is the largest in the world. Apparently the Svalbard Seed Bank holds more agriculture seeds, whereas the Millennium bank focuses more on endangered plant seeds. Both important! I like knowing that there are seed banks out there. Not only because it provides some security from the stupidity of humans, but also because it gives me greater hope about protecting endangered plant species that could have undiscovered benefits for animals and humans.