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Ex situ seed banks and the IUCN Red List

An Author Correction to this article was published on 08 August 2019

This article has been updated

Extinct, or just extinct in the wild? Plants lost from in situ habitat, but represented in seed banks, are labelled extinct despite the potential for restoration. A change in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List definition of extinct in the wild is needed to improve the status and prospects of threatened plant species.

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Fig. 1: Inconsistent treatment of seeds in the application of the IUCN EX and EW categories depending on in situ or ex situ status of taxon.

Change history

  • 08 August 2019

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.


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This research was partly supported by grants from the Grant of Excellence Departments, MIUR, Italy (grant nos. ARTICOLO 1, COMMI 314–337 and LEGGE 232/2016 to T.A.).

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Correspondence to Sarah E. Dalrymple.

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Dalrymple, S.E., Abeli, T. Ex situ seed banks and the IUCN Red List. Nature Plants 5, 122–123 (2019).

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