In Situ & Ex situ conservation of imperiled plant species in the Southeastern United States
ID: 613 / 362
Proposed Symposium Title: In Situ & Ex situ conservation of imperiled plant species in the Southeastern United States
Emily E.D. Coffey*1, Laurie Blackmore1, Carrie Radcliffe1, Lauren Eserman-Campbell1 John Evans1, Loy Xingwen1, and Jason J. Ligon1
Affiliations: 1. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Southeastern Center for Conservation, 1345 Piedmont Ave, Atlanta, GA 30309.
At the Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG), the Southeastern Center for Conservation (SECC) leads in advancing plant conservation science through innovative research collaborations, native species recovery programs, and sophisticated horticultural practices. ABG specializes in propagating often under-represented endangered plant groups, restoring and managing their habitats, and focusing on the conservation genetics of these rare taxa. Both in situ and ex situ conservation methods are employed, encompassing field collection, laboratory research, and conservation horticultural practices of imperiled species.
With over 30 years of experience, ABG has honed a comprehensive strategy for conserving rare and threatened species. This strategy includes propagation, habitat management, and collaborative restoration efforts, extending across the southeastern United States to the Neotropics. The goal is to address the urgent need to protect imperiled species through diverse conservation approaches.
A pivotal part of ABG's conservation work involves diversifying ex situ collections. This includes extensive living collections tracked by maternal line, a seed bank with both conventional and cryopreservation techniques, micropropagation, and tissue and DNA banks. These measures ensure a holistic approach to species preservation.
ABG also focuses on capacity building, organizing workshops, providing in situ training, and setting up tissue culture laboratories in biodiverse regions. These initiatives develop plant material for in situ augmentation at protected sites, aid in the outplanting of plants, and assist in monitoring natural populations.
ABG's multifaceted approach integrates state-of-the-art science with practical conservation measures, aiming to ensure the survival and stability of imperiled plant species in both natural and managed settings.