TOPIC: Camcore, Seed Banks, etc.
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Date: Sun, Feb 3 2008 8:13 pm
From: "Edward Frank"
I have had some recent correspondence with Robert Jetson of Camcore.
Camcore is an organization that is collecting hemlock seeds and
planting them in preserves: " http://www.camcore.org/projects/hemlock.php
The goal of the program is to establish conservation reserves
outside of the species range with the hope that one day Carolina
hemlock genetic material can be reintroduced into the the southern
Appalachian Mountains once a method of control is found for the
adelgid. First, plans are currently underway to establish an ex situ
conservation planting in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas or Missouri
within the United States. Second, Camcore personnel identified two
regions within our membership countries that possessed adequate
characteristics for the establishment of these ex situ conservation
banks. One site is present on Arauco-Bioforest lands in Chile and
the other on Klabin-Santa Catarina lands in southern Brazil...The
Eastern hemlock collection effort will be divided into 2 or more
phases, however, due to the breadth of the range of this species.
The initial collections will focus on the U.S. Forest Service
Southern Region, including the states of Alabama, Georgia, Virginia,
South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee."
One of my questions for hime related to whether they were collecting
of seeds from disjunct outlier populations. He indicated that he is
very interested in collecting these, in fact he lives just a few
miles from the Cary NC site, but the problem so far has been that of
finding trees with seeds. He writes: "We are very interested in
the disjunct populations. From a genetics perspective they very
likely contain some rare alleles and unique adaptations. I live
about 3 miles from the Cary, NC eastern hemlock population and we
are eager to get seeds from it when it produces seeds. It is clearly
adapted to warmer and drier conditions. We have also visited
outliers in Alabama (Bankhead National Forest) and Kentucky (Mammoth
Cave National Park). We have also visited and even sampled seed from
some of the disjunct populations of Carolina hemlock. Next month I
will visit an eastern hemlock outlier in James River State Park,
Virginia.... I typically report only those populations where we have
collected seed. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a single cone
producing tree in most of these populations. I guess that is
somewhat indicative of the fact they are disjunct and growing in
less than ideal conditions for the species. Cone cycles are likely
Since they are getting some funding for seed collections in the
Forest Service's Southern Region. Sates like PA and Indiana are in
the northern region and they hope/expect to get funding for those
collections soon. He says he like the work Will is doing with the
chemical treatments, because these trees will likely be healthy
enough for some seed production in some of the hardest hit areas.