FAQs for NAPCC


 

Question:
How can the NAPCC benefit your institution?

Answer:

Acceptance into the NAPCC program is added recognition of your institution's long-term commitment to plant collections preservation, and to achieving a high standard of excellence in plant collections management. Participation is highlighted through features in APGA publications, conferences, and website. NAPCC participants maximize the potential of their collections, by making efficient use of available resources through a coordinated continent-wide approach and strengthening their own collections through collaboration with others. Specialized professional development opportunities and curatorial networking groups keep participants apprised of latest developments. NAPCC institutions have opportunities to take part in grant-funded projects available through their collaborative activities.

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Question:
How does the NAPCC achieve its stated purposes?

Answer:

Participating institutions commit to holding and developing a collection(s) of documented living plants according to professional standards of collections management. They assemble a comprehensive representation of a designated plant group such as a family or genus, or alternatively as a floristic region or other theme. The primary focus can be on taxonomic diversity including cultivars, or genetic diversity for conservation-based collections representing different populations throughout their natural ranges. This commitment involves replication of taxa within an institution and complementary replication of taxa among different institutions to ensure germplasm preservation. Multiple institutions might contribute to the distributed holdings large plant groups where no single institution is capable of forming a comprehensive collection due to climatic and physical space limitations.

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Question:
What are NAPCC collections used for?

Answer:

Participating institutions share collections information with other institutions to compare holdings and to identify duplications and gaps. This continent-wide approach makes efficient use of available resources, strengthening collections through combined collaborative activities. NAPCC Collections holders make germplasm available for selection and breeding, taxonomic study evaluation, utilization, and other research purposes. NAPCC Collections may function as reference collections for plant identification and cultivar registration. Their curators are tapped as authorities and share their expertise through scholarly publications and presentations. NAPCC participants can also serve as centers of information about taxonomy, horticulture, conservation, exploration, and research efforts. NAPCC collections may be highlighted through attractive horticultural displays, plant society shows, educational programs, image libraries, and websites.

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Question:
What are the criteria required of NAPCC participants?

Answer:

  • Long-term institutional commitment to collect, document, grow, and maintain living plants of a particular taxon and conserve this germplasm
  • Governing body's support, including provision for adequate and sustained resources for collection
  • Collections policy
  • Designated curator for the collection
  • Collections maintained according to professional standards
  • Reasonable access to collections for research, evaluation, and introduction
  • Back-up replicates and long-term germplasm storage desirable to ensure preservation
  • Regular collections updates and periodic on-site evaluations

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Question:
What factors are important in the review and approval of NAPCC applicants?

Answer:

  • Quality of existing candidate collection
  • Current holdings represent approximately 50% of proposed collection
  • Potential for further development of collection
  • Location and environmental conditions favorable to collection
  • Commitment to excellence in professional collections management
  • Staff expertise with designated plant group
  • Likelihood for long-term stability and support for collection
  • Any unique, enabling characteristics of collections holder

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Question:
What types of plant collections can be included in the NAPCC?

Answer:

Woody and herbaceous ornamentals, native and/or exotic, are eligible. Collections can be defined on the basis of a taxonomic level such as family, genus, or section, depending on the size of the designated plant group and institutional capacity. Other collections may be defined by a floristic or geographic region. Documented wild origin plants, sampled from throughout the natural range and genetic variability of the species, have the broadest utility for NAPCC preservation goals. The NAPCC is also designed for clonal material and conservation of horticultural cultivars. High-priority taxa may be identified and target institutions encouraged to consider NAPCC participation.Priorities for conservation include genetic variability for crop improvement (disease/pest resistance, adaptability, phenological variability, yield); plants from difficult or restricted access locations; rare and endangered in the wild; and historical/period cultivars.

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Question:
Who administers the NAPCC?

Answer:

It is a program of the American Public Gardens Association in cooperation with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The NAPCC Coordinator administers the program and is advised by an APGA board-level committee. A regionally-based recruiter/mentor network of volunteers assists potential applicants on the local level. Peer reviewers lend their expertise during the application process. Specialized curatorial groups are being formed to focus attention on targeted plant genera represented by multiple institutions.

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Question:
Who is eligible to participate in the NAPCC?

Answer:

All APGA members are invited to submit applications for any number of their collections. Individual collectors, breeders, and plant societies may participate through an APGA member.

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