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The World Flora Online – Research Infrastructure for Plant Conservation

The World Flora Online (WFO) project was initiated in 2012 in response to Target 1 of the Congress on Biological Diversity's Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) – "To create an online flora of all known plants by 2020". Target 1 is intended to enable and support the additional 15 targets of the GSPC because plant conservation requires a stable foundation of taxonomic and descriptive information. A WFO Consortium has been formed of 42 international partners and growing.

Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Address National Challenges

The U.S. national heritage of approximately one billion biodiversity specimens, once
digitized, can be linked to emerging digital data sources to form an information-rich network
for exploring earth’s biota across taxonomic, temporal and spatial scales. A workshop held
30 October - 1 November 2018 at Oak Spring Garden in Upperville, VA under the
leadership of the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) developed a plan for
maximizing the value of our collections resource for research and education. In their

The Downward Trend in Postsecondary Horticulture Program Availability between 1997 and 2017

For the past several years, many college horticulture programs have experienced a decline in undergraduate enrollment, resulting in the elimination of some degrees. In this study, we compared postsecondary U.S. horticulture program availability from a survey completed in 1997 with offerings existing in 2012 and 2017. In 1997, 446 U.S. postsecondary institutions offered degrees and/or certificates in horticulture. In 2012, this number had decreased by 43% to 253 institutions, which included 98 with 4-year degrees, 215 with 2-year degrees, and 138 with certificate programs.

Connecting for Crop Diversity: Enhancing Agriculture Research and Education Through Coordinated Conservation

Conserving biodiversity for food and agriculture requires coordination and cooperation across local and global communities. Botanical gardens are at the crossroads of plant science and public engagement. Their living collections offer dynamic learning opportunities on a variety of topics, including those surrounding our food systems: agriculture, crop diversity, plant conservation, and more. Agricultural scientists are at the forefront of agroecology, plant breeding, and crop wild relative research.

Seeds and the Art of Genome Maintenance

Successful germination represents a crucial developmental transition in the plant
lifecycle and is important both for crop yields and plant survival in natural ecosystems.
However, germination potential decreases during storage and seed longevity is a key
determinant of crop production. Decline in germination vigor is initially manifest as
an increasing delay to radicle emergence and the completion of germination and
eventually culminating in loss of seed viability.

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

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