Seed zone

In the context of this project, a seed zone refers to a well-delineated contiguous piece of land that represents the origin of the seed. A seed zone may be considered the smallest unit of area for defining locality for plants. When collections are being made in natural populations, this is sometimes referred to as a seed collection zone or a donor zone.

Seed collection zones differ from the planting zones or the deployment zones, the latter two which imply where the seed should be planted. In the past, most foresters have assumed that local sources of native seed were best, implying that seed collection zones and the planting zones were usually congruent. When this is the case, seed zone may refer to both the collection area and the deployment area. This is sometimes referred to as a seed transfer zone. In that case, the assumption is that seed can be transferred throughout the zone. There are situations when local sources of seed may not be best. This could happen when a species recently migrated into the area or when there have been significant amounts of climate change. In that case the seed collection zone could differ from the planting zone.