(BIVN) – The University of Hawai‘i is spreading the word about its Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Seed Banking Initiative.
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Lyon Arboretum is leading the new project that has two parts.
First, ʻŌhiʻa Seed Conservation Workshops will be held on each island, to train the community on how to properly collect, handle and process ʻōhiʻa seeds.
“We will be training people on the best methods to collect and process ʻōhiʻa seeds so they can be useful for conservation and seed banking,” said Marian Chau of the Seed Conservation Laboratory, “and we will be providing this to the general public – anyone who’s interested in getting involved with saving ʻōhiʻa seeds.”
UH had some background in a media release:
In 2016, the Hawaiʻi Seed Bank Partnership developed seed collection protocols and a statewide collection strategy for ʻōhiʻa. With this structure in place, the partnership can expand its efforts and scale up seed collection – with the public’s help.
The Hilo Workshop will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry Conference Room on 60 Nowelo St.
The Workshop comes to Kona on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui Panini Building, Room 126/127.
The second part is Rare Plant Conservation on Hawaiʻi Island, through the acceleration of efforts by the Plant Extinction Prevention Program, which works with 40 of the rarest plants; species that have less than 50 individual plants remaining in the wild. The severe habitat alteration caused by Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death could have devastating effects on these rare plant populations. The new initiative plans to quickly collect seeds from as many remaining rare plants as possible and secure them at Lyon’s Seed Conservation Lab.
“There’s a lot more work to be done to secure ohia all across the state so that’s why we’re trying to bring in more people and get a lot of different groups and individuals involved in helping to complete this project.”