A recently published paper in the New Zealand Journal of Botany challenges the 'unncessarily restrictive' practices of eco-sourcing and advocates for expanded distributional ranges for seed collection of tree species.
Restrictive ecosourcing is seen as counter-productive as it reduces opportunities to protect biodiversity when populations are small, and limits response to climate change. The authors argue that a new approach is needed.
The paper recommends that phylogeographic patterns and biogeographic boundaries be used to set nine broad ecosourcing regions and, within these regions, phenotypic adaptation to particular environments be used as a guide to seed selection. This more relaxed approach to ecosourcing will improve restoration outcomes through increasing species and genetic diversity, reducing the detrimental effects of inbreeding and promoting the genetic rescue of populations of threatened species.
Examples of adopting an eco-evolutionary approach to ecosourcing are provided for the early-successional coloniser Kunzea ericoides and late-successional conifer species.
The full paper can be read below.