Use of indigenous seeds and plants

Use of indigenous seeds and plants
Meadow from the Swabian mountains, which is cut twice a year. © Dr. Gottfried Briemle, Aulendorf

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Water management, Spatial planning, Nature protection, Transport

Affected habitats

Areas for settlements and transport

Description

During renaturation measures and other construction projects (construction of roads, railways and watercourses, and landscaping), but also in gardens and city parks, it is important not only to select site-appropriate species but also to use indigenous seeds and plants of local origin. The use of non-local seed may result in locally specific adaptations and regional biotopes being squeezed out or impaired, which may have a negative impact on other organisms, such as nectar-collecting and pollinating insects. Furthermore, some individual species may behave in an invasive manner. The use of indigenous seeds also helps to safeguard biotope-specific species diversity and promote native wild plants, thus contributing to the biotope network and the preservation of genetic diversity in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Impact

Impact in particular on Insects
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats Some insect species depend on native species of plant. By using specific species and with appropriate management, the habitat is enhanced, especially on spaces along transport routes.
Element of ecological network Species-rich areas along transport routes can act as stepping stone biotopes in the biotope network. Indigenous species are particularly valuable.
Other Preservation of genetic diversity (Convention on Biological Diversity).
Time of realisation for measure Months: Some months will elapse from the time of the preparatory measures to the development of the full impact during the vegetation period.
Impact scope Local (municipality): The use of indigenous seeds should be promoted transregionally in order to increase the impact of individual measures.

Implementation

Implementation period Days: Can be well-integrated into conventional landscaping measures. In "greening" measures, appropriate seeds must be used.
Frequency Recurring: This requires the implementation of a long-term strategy.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): The use of indigenous seeds and plants may result in higher costs in some cases.
Socio-economic impacts Low: Seed production of indigenous wild species can offer alternative income generation opportunities for farmers in the region (domestic value-added instead of seed imports).
Sources of financing Public: local, Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation According to the Nature Conservation Act, the use of alien plants may be prohibited, so the use of indigenous plants and seed should be appropriately regulated by the relevant nature conservation authorities.

Further information

Evaluation In Bavaria, technical recommendations have been developed on the use of indigenous plants and seeds, which should serve as guidelines for nature conservation authorities. As EU rules on the marketing of seeds and seed mixtures exist, amendment of national legislation may be required.
Information Germany: Further information at: http://www.stmugv.bayern.de/umwelt/naturschutz/autochthon/index.htm

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