This latest project, Seeds of Change, is once again in the shiny apps category. Developed as part of a partnership with folks at the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the tool is aimed at helping restoration managers identify seed collection localities for restoration projects by leveraging data on soil, climate, and projected climate change. Users select a planting site and a focal species, and the app predicts which populations across the species’ range will have seeds that are most adapted to the future environment of the planting site.
This is by no means the first tool out there to address this need, including some great seed provenancing apps like the Seedlot Selection Tool. But our version does include some new bells and whistles that we hope will help advance the utility for managers. It leverages a new soil dataset, a step toward addressing an unmet need to account for local adaptation to different soil types. It integrates species distribution maps for every species of native plant within California. It includes past and future climate variables that are ecologically imporant in mediterranean-type ecosystems, including climatic water deficit and actual evapotranspiration. And it uses a new smoothing parameter that we developed to more realistically model how gene flow among sites might affect their adaptive evolution.
The app is still a prototype, and with ongoing work on this project the tool is sure to change (and hopefully improve in performance speed…) as we integrate feedback from park managers at GGNRA and other interested parties. So please get in touch if you have thoughts!
Our team on this project includes fellow UCB students Sean Brown and Amelia Harvey, NPS climate scientist Patrick Gonzalez, and GGRNA seed ecologist Stacy Jacobsen.