Advancing trait-based ecology of seeds and seedlings has a variety of practical applications. For example, this information can be used to guide ecological restoration of degraded habitats by improving understanding of environmental barriers to plant regeneration. Incorporating early trait information into restoration frameworks could support efforts to more closely tailor restoration treatments to the local species pool and barriers to seeding success. Similarly, early plant traits can be used to improve predictions of how plant regeneration and community composition will respond to future environmental conditions. Thereby, increased understanding of seed and seedling trait ecology could advance climate-adaptive ecosystem management frameworks.