To meet the large-scale restoration needs in Europe such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, industrial reclamation projects, or to provide seed at a local level for greening or re-vegetation, an increasing quantity of high quality native seed is required. However, growth in the native seed market, supported by further native seed production and improved technology, is needed so that revegetation is possible in an economic and efficient way. Critically, various ecological and socio-economic aspects require additional research and development since successful restoration is multi-disciplinary. For the first time, key practical challenges were investigated holistically within the native seed sector. Current quality standards in European policy, between disciplines and species, were considered and recommendations formulated to advance this sector and improve native seed policy and certification for the future. The first approach combined environmental policy with seed biology and ecology by reviewing the current state of native seed production regulations in Europe. Current native seed policies were found to be not well-enforced or practically applicable to the regulation of the seed supply for the developing native seed market in the majority of European countries; and the sale of uncertified native seed was identified as potentially undermining restoration practices. Further measures need to be introduced to ensure product quality and transparency while still maintaining genetic diversity. These aspects should improve existing regulations or the use of an ad hoc policy should be designed for the marketing of native seed supplemented by an intersectoral strategy to deliver seeds of high quality in Europe (Paper 1 & 2). Due to the variability in global seed quality standards and the intersectoral division in needs, the second analysis examined both the grower’s and user’s preferences on native seed quality and certification standards using a socio-ecological bottom-up approach. A global survey was sent out to over 1340 native seed users and stakeholders. All user groups selected origin as the most important seed quality measure and that native seeds should be certified nationally/federally by governmental agencies (Paper 3). Whilst certification standards on seed quality have been available for crops for many years, the native seed sector has no internationally accepted standards for germination and storage. Therefore, an examination of certification applicability was designed based on a bio-banking technique, called SPREC (Standard PREanalytical Codes). Using a DEXi multi-attribute decision tree to understand the processes of native seed quality, the new labelling system was applied to five wild widespread and commonly produced native species. The labelling system and quality assessment was created called U-SeeD (User-based, SPREC and DEXi) certification that can be used for both wild and produced species, within a developing and developed market that meets the needs of the native seed community (Paper 4). There is little published information on the native seed market in Europe, and the average cost and weight of seed bought and sold per member state was investigated using publically available data and a survey of the native seed community. This characterization of the herbaceous native seed market revealed an uneven distribution of native producers across Europe and permitted an assessment of production costs (field management before multiplication had the highest costliness) and the frequency of major customers for seed producers (Paper 5).In conclusion, the various market analyses undertaken, in relation to the availability of quality seed, the development and transfer of scientific knowledge, and the suitability of policy and certification standards, all emphasize the importance of future collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders, far beyond current practice.
|Titolo:||Using current regulations and practices to develop a certification scheme for native seed production in Europe.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||30-nov-2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.01 Tesi di dottorato|