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What is Our Backup Plan? A Look at Collections Security

As gardens across North America endure the most severe natural disasters on record including hurricanes, floods, and wild fires, it is important to consider collections coverage and security. The diverse network of gardens across the continent and world serves as a safety net for plant species facing extinction. To implement The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and The North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation, BGCI and partners are conducting strategic ex situ gap analyses to identify collection priorities for gardens. One common finding is that a majority of gardens has at least one, globally unique taxon that no other garden has reported. This begs the question of collections security for those taxa. For plants on the brink of extinction, a recent survey of gardens with extinct in the wild taxa found that a majority of them are maintained in only one or a few collections. If we can leverage the garden community to complement and backup collections within and among institutions, we can close gaps and secure plant diversity for the future.

This poster was presented at the 2018 Plant Collections Symposium in Vancouver.