How might evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) and its associated insect species benefit from seed redistribution in fragmented habitats? Can moving seeds locally between primrose populations increase genetic diversity of primrose plants? According to this study, genetically diverse populations of primrose plants have been shown to host higher levels of insect biomass and diversity in comparison less genetically diverse primrose populations! This is known as intraspecific biodiversity, and it’s important but often overlooked aspect of overall biodiversity. Acting on this premise, NESL’s Evening Primrose Redistribution Network, takes seeds collected in fragmented urban areas and distributes them to other primrose habitats in the same region. The project has been carried out in Troy, New York between North Troy, Downtown Troy and South Troy, and in the greater New York City area, where seeds collected in Flatbush, Governor’s Island, and Floyd Bennett Field, were redistributed to other primrose locations throughout New York City.

Hear Ellie talk about Primrose genetic diversity on the Hudson Mohawk Magazine at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, for the Sanctuary’s NATURE Lab segment:

Below are materials and handouts associated with the redistribution network. You can also download PDFs of our handouts: Troy Primrose Redistribution Handout PDF, NYC Primrose Redistribution PDF