Target 8 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation calls for ‘at least 75 per cent of threatened plant species in ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and at least 20 per cent available for recovery and restoration programmes by 2020’. Botanic gardens make a significant contribution to ex situ conservation of wild species with more than a third of plant species represented in botanic gardens collections. These collections are a combination of living collection and seed banked material. Seed banking can provide an efficient form of conservation for wild plant genetic diversity
This study suggests that institutions are increasingly conserving plant species via seed banking. However the majority of species in collections that have a conservation assessment are not threatened with extinction. This disjunction between species that are threatened and those conserved in seed banks needs to be addressed. Data from BGCI's databases can be used to enable prioritisation of threatened plant species for collection and conservation in seed banks. Further recommendations for botanic gardens involved in seed conservation are presented.