Plant genetic resources in botanical gardens

Autor(en): Hurka, H.
Neuffer, B. 
Friesen, N. 
Stichwörter: Conservation efforts; Limitations of collections; Mission statement; Potentials of collections; Seed gene banks; Wild plants
Erscheinungsdatum: 2004
Herausgeber: International Society for Horticultural Science
Journal: Acta Horticulturae
Volumen: 651
Startseite: 35
Seitenende: 44
The world's botanical gardens house some 80,000-100,000 species, and ca. 15,000 species hereof are threatened in the wild. However, representation of natural biodiversity is imbalanced. There is strong bias towards certain plant families and genera, and towards certain functional groups. Apart from this, bias towards species from temperate regions as a result of the imbalance in geographic distribution of botanical gardens is obvious. Tropical regions and the southern hemisphere are highly underrepresented. Most species cultivated in botanical gardens are on an average represented by only two or three specimens, and the genetic diversity within wild species is not reflected. Further limitations include poor documentation and poor maintenance. These limitations reduce the value of the collections as plant genetic resources. However, botanical gardens are the standard institutions for ex situ conservation and propagation of wild plants and should be the main authorities for wild plants. With their huge collections on display botanical gardens are the most effective multipliers for increasing public awareness of the value of biodiversity and conservation needs. There is growing awareness of the ecological, economic and cultural significance of wild plant species and their potential value as genetic resources. Botanical gardens should establish seed gene banks for wild plants for promoting integrated conservation efforts and for protection and conservation of our natural plant genetic resources. They should establish database networks and should provide information services for science, politics and the general public. Botanical gardens play a significant role in promoting public awareness of the value of biodiversity. They have a remarkable potential to contribute to the conservation of plant genetic resources.
ISBN: 9789066056879
ISSN: 05677572
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2004.651.2
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