In high latitude and alpine environments many plants show an increase in viviparous reproduction in response to harsh environmental conditions. Low or no seed set means that ex situ conservation in the form of seed banking is not a conservation option for such species. We investigated the potential for bulbils to be stored ex situ in seed banks using traditional storage methods (drying and freezing at −20 °C) and cryopreservation (drying and freezing at −180 °C) as a means of ensuring the long-term conservation of such species. In addition, the impact of drying bulbils to 15% eRH or maintaining initial humidity (60% eRH) was investigated. The study was based on bulbils of the drooping or nodding saxifrage (Saxifraga cernua) collected in Bellalui (commune d’Icogne, Switzerland) at an altitude of 2200 m.a.s.l. Our findings suggest that conservation under traditional seed banking methods or by cryopreservation is a viable option for species producing small (<2 mm) bulbils. This provides new hope for conserving high altitude or latitude plants producing bulbils.
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