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Integrative and Translational Uses of Herbarium Collections Across Time, Space, and Species

This Research Topic aims to synthesize and inspire the frontier of integrative and translational research using herbarium collections to highlight their unharvested potential for addressing outstanding research questions and societal challenges. The articles published in this Research Topic provide a selection of examples and new approaches illustrating trends and opportunities in this expanding field.

Botanic garden solutions to the plant extinction crisis

Botanic gardens and arboreta have evolved significantly from their origins as oases
reserved for the elite, to the conservation powerhouses they are today, visited by
over half a billion people annually. Now, with their sophisticated facilities and botanical
expertise, gardens are uniquely positioned to address many of the challenges
associated with preserving plant diversity for the benefit of people and the planet.
Globally, however, resources for and awareness of these efforts are limited. Funders,

Bartlett: Emerald Ash Borer Identification, Biology and Management

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) was first discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Accidentally introduced on solid wood packing material from Asia, EAB has since spread to nearly all states within the native North American range of its preferred tree host, Ash (Fraxinus spp.). Further range extension is anticipated. Hundreds of millions of native ash trees, all species of which are susceptible, have succumbed to the feeding of the immature stage of this small, green beetle. Trees often die within one to three years following initial attacks.

Climate change winners and losers: The effects of climate change on five palm species in the Southeastern United States

Palms (Arecaceae) are a relatively speciose family and provide materials for food, construction, and handicraft, especially in the tropics. They are frequently used as paleo-indicators for megathermal climates, and therefore, it is logical to predict that palms will benefit from predicted warmer temperatures under anthropogenic climate change.

Life in the treetops—An overview of forest canopy science and its future directions

Forests are currently under global threat from human activities, despite the fact that recent findings confirm trees are critical for the health of humans as well as for the entire planet. Advances in whole forest research, which includes the upper reaches and not just the forest floor, are providing critical information about carbon storage, biodiversity, water cycles, and other essential ecosystem services provided by trees. The methods to study forest canopies are relatively new and vastly underfunded, despite our growing recognition of the global importance of trees.

The global tree restoration potential

The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change
mitigation.We mapped the global potential tree coverage to show that 4.4 billion hectares
of canopy cover could exist under the current climate. Excluding existing trees and
agricultural and urban areas, we found that there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares
of canopy cover, which could store 205 gigatonnes of carbon in areas that would naturally
support woodlands and forests. This highlights global tree restoration as our most effective

Bartlett: Root Collar Disorders

The root collar is part of the tree’s trunk and requires the movement of oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the phloem (inner bark) to survive. Planting too deep or adding excess soil or mulch on the root collar can inhibit this gas exchange and kill phloem cells, interfering with the downward movement of food (photosynthate) to the roots. Eventually this can lead to root dieback, reduced water uptake and possibly tree death. Trees and shrubs with buried root collars may decline and are more susceptible to attack by secondary pests.


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