New Project Assessing the Conservation Value of ex situ Collections
In order for ex situ collections to be suitable for use in conservation and restoration work, they must be of known origin and be genetically representative of the species being conserved. Although the extent to which existing ex situ collections are genetically representative is currently unknown, a recent study by BGCI on Zelkova ex situ collections showed that many of the collections consisted of relatively few individuals, the collections were frequently of unknown origin and many had inadequate documentation.
In order to assess the genetic diversity of ex situ collections and compare this with wild diversity, a new project has been initiated by BGCI and the Botanical Garden of Ghent University. The project will focus on selected species of three unrelated Angiosperm groups – Hydrangea, Magnolia and Cactaceae.