It will take more than seed banks to protect biodiversity.
Biodiversity is nature’s way of spreading risk. One important example, our ability to deal effectively with climate change adds urgency for the need to respond to a rapidly changing environment. At the heart of crop diversity are the seeds that carry inside themselves the different survival mechanisms of their day. The ability to fight off a particular disease, or perhaps a native resistance to a pest, or a tolerance for drought conditions are all potential traits that one rare variety of seed may possess. Literally, as the article below mentions, people have given up their lives, in order to protect the invaluable samples of seeds that carry special traits which one day may prove vital to civilization.
This is a fine article on Environment 360, written by freelance science journalist Virginia Gewin, about the complexities and the profound importance of preserving seeds and thus protecting the biodiversity of the crops we depend upon for food.
Read the complete article and view their photo gallery on Environment 360