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Back: Index | Assessing Populations for Collection

8. Sampling Strategy

It is important to maximize the number of alleles present within a collected sample by capturing the greatest proportion of alleles represented in the field population.  According to Brown and Marshall (1995), at least one copy of 95% of the alleles occurring in the population at frequencies of greater than 0.05 can be achieved by sampling from:

  1. 30 randomly chosen individuals in a fully outbreeding sexual species, or
  2. 59 randomly chosen individuals in a self fertilizing species.

The reproductive biology of most target species has not been studied, and the capture of rarer alleles would require a markedly increased sample size.  Therefore, collectors are advised to sample from a single population with individuals of the target species in excess of 50 individuals, and to look for populations with larger numbers of plants.

As previously mentioned, between 10 and 20 collections across a species range are needed to establish seed zone guidelines and ecotype for a species.  Each of those collections shall be a unique population and contain more than 10,000 seeds. 
Next: Seed Collection Techniques

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Last Updated: 15-Apr-2011