January 2018 Edition | Volume 72, Issue 1
Published since 1946
NatureServe Launches SeedSmart Web App
NatureServe, a network of scientists and organizations working to support biodiversity conservation, has developed an online tool helping land managers identify the appropriate mix of native tree and plant species to use during revegetation efforts. The SeedSmart system is intended to help guide landscape restoration to support more functional, native ecosystems. The current tool focuses on ecosystem types in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region incorporating portions of the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, New York, and New Jersey. After additional testing and development, the organization is anticipating developing a similar tool for other regions of the U.S. and Canada.
“When restoring a site with native species, it’s hard to know where to begin - there are so many choices,” said Don Faber-Langendoen, NatureServe Senior Ecologist of Northeastern North America. “This tool allows users to zoom in to the local ecosystem, and identify the mix of native species that are best suited for the site. In this way, restoration not only benefits the site being restored, but also helps heal the surrounding landscape.”
SeedSmart is designed to work with any smart phone or web browser using existing maps and site information, as well as climate trend data, to determine what native species to plant. The tool has not been fully tested in the field, so NatureServe is looking for individuals to beta test the system to provide feedback for use in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley areas. After testing the tool, users are asked to send comments back to NatureServe to provide feedback.