Save our threatened Dutch wild plants!

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Various sorts of native plants are being threatened, and thus the biodiversity in our country. This is why Het Levend Archief [The Living Archive] is collecting, breeding and saving seeds from native plant sorts. Your contribution will be used to build a drying room where seeds can be stored for a long period. Together we can create the National Seed Collection for a spring rich in wild plants and flowers, the buzzing of bees and the songs of birds.

 

“Plants are the foundation of ecosystems. The more species there are, the greater the biodiversity and the more resilient the ecosystems.” says ecologist Nils van Rooijen, one of the initiators of Het Levend Archief. The biodiversity in the Netherlands is under more pressure than ever. In addition to the large-scale disappearance of insects, a large number of Dutch wild plants are also being threatened with extinction. “You can see this in very many places. In all of the country there are now only a few fire lilies left in the wild (in Drenthe), a field plant known for its spectacular orange flowers. Special plants are slowly disappearing. Not only from vulnerable nature areas, but also from our immediate surroundings. For example, the dikes around Nijmegen are being reconstructed, but this also means that the plants there will be lost.”

 

Viper's bugloss in the central road divider at the Heyendaalseweg at Radboud University's campus (Dick van Aalst)

“The Living Archive collects, propagates and stores seeds of plant species that are native to the Netherlands. In doing so, we safeguard the species, so that when the original plants (the source populations) are in danger of disappearing, we can use genetically identical seeds to save the populations. These seeds are the basis of the National Seed Collection”, explains Van Rooijen.

First dry, then store

To store the seeds under optimum conditions for a long time, they must be thoroughly dried. Van Rooijen: “The seeds are stored in a large cold storage facility in the greenhouse complex of Radboud University, but if their moisture content is too high they will be damaged by the freezing process. We therefore have to regulate the humidity in the drying room, and with the help of donations we hope to be able to purchase the necessary equipment.”

The amount of €10,000 is needed to equip a professional drying room. If you want to help, please donate. Every amount is welcome. Thank you very much!

 

Het Levend Archief is an initiative of Radboud University, Wageningen University & Research, FLORON and the University of Amsterdam. The website of Het Levend Archief has more information about the background, activities and organisations involved in this project.