S.O.S – Save Our Sea-oats! Drs. Héctor Pérez and Michael Kane show that sea-oats seeds can be safely stored under genebank conditions for future population creation
Sea-oats (Uniola paniculata L.) are important for helping accumulate sand that form coastal dune systems which protect inland areas from storm damage. However, sea oats populations are declining due to a combination of habitat destruction and severe hurricane damage and conservation actions such as seed storage are needed. A recent article by Drs. Pérez and Kane shows that seeds of sea oats are highly desiccation tolerant and survive freezing in liquid nitrogen. This means that seeds can be conserved under the dry, cold conditions used for genebank storage and used to create new populations at a later time.