In DepthConservation

Seed bonanza aids plan to save tropical trees

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Science  08 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6466, pp. 676-677
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6466.676

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Summary

It's a "mast year" in the lowland rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia, when dozens of tree species produce bumper crops of flowers, fruits, and seeds simultaneously. The spectacle, last seen 5 years ago, is also a unique opportunity for conservationists to collect seeds from endangered trees of the Dipterocarpaceae family, a group of more than 400 species that dominate many Southeast Asian rainforests. The Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre, based in Kuala Lumpur, is using the seeds to build what it calls "living collections"—arks for endangered trees that will provide seeds for future reforestation projects as well as opportunities for scientists to study the trees.

  • * Yao-Hua Law is a science journalist in Kuala Lumpur

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