Active Management of Exceptional Species is Needed to Maintain Robust Ex situ Collections

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Zoe Diaz-Martin, Chicago Botanic Garden Are botanic gardens effectively managing populations of exceptional plant species held across collections? Do garden collections represent the amount of genetic diversity that characterizes the in situ population? We explore these questions in the rare palm Attalea crassispatha, an exceptional species endemic to Haiti with fewer than 50 individuals found […]

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Collaborative Conservation of an Exceptional Species of Oak

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Tony Gurnoe, San Diego Botanic Garden A small disjunct population of Quercus cedrosensis just north of the border faces a barrage of threats, from wildfire and drought to succumbing to bulldozer blades as part of the border wall construction. Recognizing the immediacy of the need, especially given the lack of even a single ex-situ specimen known […]

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The Tip of the Iceberg: What We Know and Don’t Know About Exceptional Plants

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Valerie Pence, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Plant species that, either through seed availability or physiology, are unable to be conserved and recovered using conventional seed banking practice have been designated as exceptional plants. A definition of exceptionality has recently been put forward, describing four factors that contribute to this condition, depending on what step in […]

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Collecting and Working with Orchid Seeds

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David Remucal, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum While many seedbanks avoid working with orchids, more groups are taking them on, or collecting them for groups that are. Collecting rules and protocols are not different for orchids but there are enough complexities in their biology to intimidate collectors new to orchids. Orchid seeds are the smallest in […]

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Tools and Resources for Endangered and Exceptional Plant Species (TREES)

Screenshot of Tools and Resources for Endangered and Exceptional Plant Species (TREES) video

Zoe Diaz-Martin, Chicago Botanic Garden As global biodiversity continues to decline, how can we ensure the long-term conservation of exceptional plant species? Our collaborative project is addressing this question by developing tools and resources that will position botanic gardens as key players in global plant conservation. In adopting the successful framework used in the zoological community, […]

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What do bananas, avocados and vanilla have in common?

Video screenshot from "What do bananas, avocados and vanilla have in common?"

Joyce Maschinski, Center for Plant Conservation Joyce Maschinski interviews world famous plant cryo-biologists to learn about how cryopreservation is imperative for the future of food. Many food crops can’t be preserved using traditional seed preservation methods. For some of these species cryopreservation is the only long term option. Plant researchers from across the globe are working […]

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Global Conservation Consortia: Coordinating Collections for Exceptional Species

Screenshot Global Conservation Consortia: Coordinating Collections for Exceptional Species video

Christina Carrero, The Morton Arboretum, Emily Coffey, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Patrick Griffith, Montgomery Botanical Center A 2019 study by Griffith, et al. showed that gardens must collaborate to conserve genetic diversity, especially for exceptional species whose seeds cannot be properly seed banked. This process of capturing the genetic diversity of exceptional species in ex situ […]

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Challenges for ex situ collections: partnerships with the zoo community

Screenshot from Challenges for ex situ collections: partnerships with the zoo community video

Jeremie Fant, Chicago Botanic Garden This talk highlights the Chicago Botanic Garden’s work on adapting zoo conservation approaches for exceptional plant species. Challenges in ex situ conservation include genetic issues that arise from limited numbers of individuals and founders, and husbandry and hybridization issues encountered during the growing out of collections. A significant advantage in plant conservation is that seeds can be collected […]

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Conserving Wild Exceptional Species Case Study: Crotalaria avonensis

Screenshot from Conserving Wild Exceptional Species Case Study: Crotalaria avonensis video

Joyce Maschinski, Center for Plant Conservation and Valerie Pence, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Crotalaria avonensis is an endangered legume endemic to Florida that produces few seeds. In vitro shoot cultures of multiple genotypes have been grown at CREW to provide genetic diversity for restoration and for tissue cryopreservation. These cultures harbor a bacterium, identified […]

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Cryopreserving Endangered Plants and Seeds

Although many rare plants have seeds that can be stored by conventional methods, not all species have seeds that can live after drying or freezing. Sometimes called “Exceptional plants, ” these species have a wide range of variation. Some produce few or no seeds, thus they cannot be seed banked, others have seeds or spores […]

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