Many plant species manage to postpone eventual local extinction, through longevity-conserving strategies such as building a soil seed bank. Plue et al. test whether seed banks can achieve temporal delays in the loss of genetic diversity that is referred to as a species extinction debt.
In fragmented grassland populations of Campanula rotundifolia, genetic diversity today is still at surprisingly high levels despite substantial habitat loss. For populations exhibiting a genetic extinction debt the limited; unique genetic diversity of the seed bank alone seems unable to significantly mitigate or counter the detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation on C. rotundifolia′s population genetic structure.