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The Development of Plant Conservation in Botanic Gardens and the Current and Future Role of Conservation Genetics for Enhancing Those Conservation Efforts

Botanic gardens play major roles in plant conservation globally. Since the 1980s, the number of botanic gardens worldwide and their involvement in integrating ex situ and in situ plant conservation has increased signifi cantly, with a growing focus on understanding, documenting, and capturing genetic diversity in their living collections. This article outlines why genetic diversity is important for conservation, and explores how botanic gardens can establish and expand the use of molecular techniques to support their plant conservation efforts.

Safeguarding global plant health: the rise of sentinels

  • Many exotic plant pests and pathogens are unknown prior to their establishment, making prevention and management difficult.
  • Sentinel plantings to detect pests and pathogens prior to introduction provide information about the likelihood of introduction and the potential impact on plants native to the importing country.           
  • This paper discusses the different types of sentinel plantings based on the native range and age of the plants, their purpose, limitations and benefits.

Do Experiences With Nature Promote Learning? Converging Evidence of a Cause-and-Effect Relationship

Do experiences with nature – from wilderness backpacking to plants in a preschool, to a wetland lesson on frogs—promote learning? Until recently, claims outstripped evidence on this question. But the field has matured, not only substantiating previously unwarranted claims but deepening our understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship between nature and learning. Hundreds of studies now bear on this question, and converging evidence strongly suggests that experiences of nature boost academic learning, personal development, and environmental stewardship. This

Indigenous knowledge networks in the face of global change

Indigenous communities rely extensively on plants for food, shelter, and medicine. It is still unknown, however, to what degree their survival is jeopardized by the loss of either plant species or
knowledge about their services. To fill this gap, here we introduce indigenous knowledge networks describing the wisdom of indigenous people on plant species and the services they provide. Our

How do climate change experiments alter plot-scale climate?

To understand and forecast biological responses to climate change, scientists frequently use field
experiments that alter temperature and precipitation. Climate manipulations can manifest in complex ways, however, challenging interpretations of biological responses. We reviewed publications to compile a database of daily plot-scale climate data from 15 active-warming experiments. We find that the common practices of analysing treatments as mean or categorical changes (e.g. warmed vs. unwarmed) masks important variation in treatment effects over space and time.

How the Cultivation of Wild Plants in Botanic Gardens Can Change Their Genetic and Phenotypic Status and What This Means for Their Conservation Value

The discipline of horticulture, growing and propagating plants under artificial conditions, has
a centuries-long tradition and has developed into a vital industry of breeding, propagating and
trading ornamental and wild plants around the globe. Botanic gardens have always been at the
centre of horticultural training and have provided excellence and advancements in the field. In
recent decades, botanic gardens have also become an active part of ex situ conservation activities

A consistent species richness–climate relationship for oaks across the Northern Hemisphere

Although the effects of climate on species richness are known, regional processes
may lead to different species richness–climate relationships across continents
resulting in species richness anomalies, especially for tropical groups. Phylogenetic
niche conservatism may also influence species richness–climate relationships of different
lineages. Here, we tested whether regional effects also exist for temperate
lineages using the genus Quercus.


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