[SOS-PCA] Help finding plant populations - ASAP!

Nicole Soper Gorden sope0007 at d.umn.edu
Mon May 12 11:16:59 CDT 2014

Hello SOS community!

My name is Nicole, and I work at the University of Minnesota Duluth on
Project Baseline (www.baselineseedbank.org).  Like SOS, we are a seed
banking initiative (which is why we try to collect extra seeds for SOS
whenever we can!), but our goals are slightly different - we are creating a
seed bank for evolutionary research, which means we focus on plants that
biologists study and collect the seeds in a way that allows for genetic and
hereditary studies later.  Additionally, our seeds will be stored for at
least 50 years, and scientists can request to use seeds from the seed bank
for research projects at any time during that period.

We have very ambitious goals, considering we only have three postdocs and a
couple of graduate students working on the project.  We're trying to cover
collections in the entire continental US, with at least 10 sites per
species, 2 populations per site, and 200 plants per population.  As you
might imagine, limited manpower means we are often limited by time, and one
of the most time-consuming parts of the project is the initial scouting
phase when we try to locate large populations of our target species.

This is why I am emailing you today - I am hoping there are other
plant-lovers out there who know of naturally growing populations of our
plant species in your areas and can give us some site information.  We
generally try to find populations of at least 500 plants so that we don't
over-collect, and prefer sites with natural (not restored) plants that are
protected in some way (parks, TNC properties, biological stations, LTERs,

I've attached our species list for this year for anyone who is interested
enough to help us locate sites.  If you know of one or more large
populations of our species nearby, please email or call (218-726-8619) me.
 Any help is welcome!  To get you started, here are a couple of early
season species we are looking for ASAP, since they are already starting to

Brassica rapa (field mustard)
Brassica nigra (black mustard)
Salvia lyrata (lyre-leaf sage)
Triodanis perfoliata (clasping Venus' looking glass)
Triodanis biflora (small Venus' looking glass)
Geranium maculatum (wood geranium)
Geranium carolinianum (Carolina geranium)

We have also had a hard time finding large populations of the following, so
help with these would also be appreciated:

Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower)
Impatiens pallida (yellow jewelweed)
Impatiens glandulifera (policeman's helmet)
Raphanus raphanistrum (wild radish)
Raphanus sativus (wild radish)

The rest of our species list is in the attached document.  Please feel free
to contact me if you have information about populations of these species,
if you are interested in getting involved with Project Baseline in other
ways, or if you would like more information about our project.  You can
reach me via this email or at 218-726-8619.  Thanks for your time, and
happy seed hunting!

Nicole Soper Gorden
Postdoctoral Researcher
Project Baseline:  www.baselineseedbank.org
University of Minnesota Duluth

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