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Tinytags Form Part of Worldwide Seed Conservation Project

Tinytag temperature and relative humidity data loggers are used as part of a global wild-species seed conservation programme.

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has deployed the loggers to help the conservation of species of seeds during collection, drying and storage.

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) is managed by the world famous Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. The MSBP is a global network of more than 110 partner institutions from more than 95 different countries and territories responsible for the long-term conservation of wild-species seeds.

The Tinytags are used in a conservation project across various locations including the Bahamas, Romania, Madagascar, New Zealand and many more. The probed temp/RH data loggers will each be deployed with 25 drum-dryer kits that are used as a method of seed drying. The loggers will help ensure seed collections are dried to the desired equilibrium relative humidity for long-term conservation purposes (15% eRH ± 3% according to MSBP Seed Conservation Standards). Each of the partner locations has a copy of the Tinytag Explorer software in order to carry out their own long term on-site analysis.

The temperature and RH monitoring is important because the seeds of certain species of plants maintain viability for longer if the humidity of the seed is reduced and it is stored at reduced temperatures. If seeds of certain species are kept at high humidity they can die and can no longer be kept for conservation purposes. Primarily the data from the logger is used to inform how a seed collection should be treated. For example, drying times need to continue until the desired relative humidity has been reached. If a seed collection is at the desired equilibrium relative humidity (15% eRH ± 3%) then that collection does not need to undergo further drying or this could potentially cause harm to that collection.

The data loggers may also be used to monitor the partner's seed bank storage facilities to help identify if action needs to be taken to ensure that collections reach the required relative humidity. In addition, the Tinytags are used in the field to monitor the RH of the environment from which the seeds are being collected, and the equilibrium relative humidity of the seeds as they are collected from the plant.

Eva Martens is the MSBP Partnership Administrator, based at the Millennium Seed Bank located at Kew's garden in West Sussex, Wakehurst Place. Eva is pleased with her choice of data logger, commenting "Using Tinytag data loggers enables our partners to record and monitor reliable data on relative humidity that is vital for our work in seed conservation. The loggers are easy to use and transportable, which is essential when they are shipped to partner organisations around the world for use in the field."

The TV-4505 monitors temperatures from -25 to +85°C, and relative humidity from 0 to 100% using an accompanying temperature and RH probe with a 1.5 metre cable. It has good resistance to moisture and condensation, and as well as recording data, there is a digital display which can be useful for making spot checks of conditions in applications such as this.

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