In situ conservation

This type of conservation refers to the conservation of germplasm in ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings. In the case of domesticated or cultivated species, it refers to their conservation in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties. This is generally done in protected areas mostly for the conservation of wild relatives, and on-farm or in home gardens for the conservation of cultivated species. This type of conservation is not described further the Crop Genebank Knowledge Base.

Ex Situ Conservation

This type of conservation is the storage of seeds or plant material under artificial conditions (other than their natural environment), to efficiently and effectively guarantee its longevity viability and availability. It is the type of conservation mostly used in gene banks. It covers a range of methods suitable for various types of seeds or plant materials. It ranges from cold storage of seeds or propagules.

With ex situ conservation two types of storage are recognized: storage of samples for long-term security – referred to as base collections – and storage of samples for immediate use – referred to as active collections. The storage conditions and distribution arrangements of these stores vary.