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Life on Land pp 124–135 Cite as

Botanical Gardens Facing Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change

  • María P. Martín 6 ,
  • Graciela Barreiro 7 ,
  • Ana María Benavides Duque 8 ,
  • Zenaide Magalhães 9 &
  • Esteban Manrique 10  
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  • First Online: 25 November 2020

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Part of the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals book series (ENUNSDG)

Arboretum ; Global change ; Global warming ; Restoration

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The role of Botanical Gardens is presented in its biodiversity conservation and climate change dimensions in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development framework (UN 2015 ).

Although gardens date back thousands of years to China’s Zhou dynasty, 1122–249 BCE (Chen and Sun 2018 ), the modern concept of a Botanical Garden originated in Europe; the oldest is the Orto Botanico di Pisa founded in 1544, which continues to operate today. Botanical gardens are public, private, or associative institutions that maintain collections scientifically ordered of plants, documented and labeled, for research, but also for education and recreation ( The Botanic Gardens Conservation Strategy , IUCN-BGCS and WWF 1989 ).

Climate change (CC) refers to changes in Earth’s weather patterns, mainly associated with changes in Earth’s average atmosphere temperature due to the increase of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the atmosphere...

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Department of Mycology, Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Madrid, Spain

María P. Martín

Jardín Botánico de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires “Carlos Thays”, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Graciela Barreiro

Jardín Botánico de Medellín, Edificio Científico, Medellín, Colombia

Ana María Benavides Duque

Jardim Botanico Rei David, Cidade Bezerros, Pernambuco, Brazil

Zenaide Magalhães

Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Madrid, Spain

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Martín, M.P., Barreiro, G., Duque, A.M.B., Magalhães, Z., Manrique, E. (2021). Botanical Gardens Facing Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change. In: Leal Filho, W., Azul, A.M., Brandli, L., Lange Salvia, A., Wall, T. (eds) Life on Land. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95981-8_124

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The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science

Affiliations.

  • 1 Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, Yunnan, China.
  • 2 Yunnan Key Laboratory for Integrative Conservation of Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations, Kunming, 650204, China.
  • 3 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650204, Yunnan, China.
  • PMID: 30740563
  • PMCID: PMC6137266
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.006

Plant diversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate, resulting in an associated decrease in ecosystem services. About a third of the world's vascular plant species face the threat of extinction due to a variety of devastating activities, including, over-harvesting and over exploitation, destructive agricultural and forestry practices, urbanization, environmental pollution, land-use changes, exotic invasive species, global climate change, and more. We therefore need to increase our efforts to develop integrative conservation approaches for plant species conservation. Botanical gardens devote their resources to the study and conservation of plants, as well as making the world's plant species diversity known to the public. These gardens also play a central role in meeting human needs and providing well-being. In this minireview, a framework for the integrated missions of botanical gardens, including scientific research, in / ex situ conservation, plant resource utilization, and citizen science are cataloged. By reviewing the history of the development of Kunming Botanical Garden, we illustrate successful species conservation approaches (among others, projects involving Camellia , Rhododendron , Magnolia , Begonia , Allium , Nepenthes , medicinal plants, ornamental plants, and Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations), as well as citizen science, and scientific research at Kunming Botanical Garden over the past 80 years. We emphasize that Kunming Botanical Garden focuses largely on the ex situ conservation of plants from Southwest China, especially those endangered, endemic, and economically important plant species native to the Yunnan Plateau and the southern Hengduan Mountains. We also discuss the future challenges and responsibilities of botanical gardens in a changing world, including: the negative effects of outbreeding and/or inbreeding depression; promoting awareness, study, and conservation of plant species diversity; accelerating global access to information about plant diversity; increasing capacity building and training activities. We hope this minireview can promote understanding of the role of botanical gardens.

Keywords: Botanical gardens; Citizen science; Conservation biology; Endangered plants; Germplasm; Horticulture.

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  • Published: 01 June 2015

Expanding the role of botanical gardens in the future of food

  • A. J. Miller 1 , 2 ,
  • A. Novy 3 , 4 ,
  • J. Glover 5 ,
  • E. A. Kellogg 6 ,
  • J. E. Maul 7 ,
  • P. Raven 2 &
  • P. Wyse Jackson 2 , 8  

Nature Plants volume  1 , Article number:  15078 ( 2015 ) Cite this article

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Consistent with their historical focus on the functional utility of plants, botanical gardens have an important opportunity to help ensure global food and ecosystem security by expanding their living collections, research and education programmes to emphasize agriculture and its impacts.

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A botanic garden as a tool to combine public perception of nature and life-science investigations on native/exotic plants interactions with local pollinators

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliation Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

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Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Affiliations Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Milan, Milano, Italy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghirardi Botanic Garden, University of Milan, Milano, Italy

Roles Formal analysis, Writing – review & editing

Affiliation Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, University of Milan, Milano, Italy

Roles Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review & editing

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

  • Manuela Giovanetti, 
  • Claudia Giuliani, 
  • Samuel Boff, 
  • Gelsomina Fico, 
  • Daniela Lupi

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  • Published: February 20, 2020
  • https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965
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Fig 1

Life-sciences are pointing towards an alarming worldwide pollinator decline. This decline proceeds along with overall biodiversity losses, even in the context of urban landscapes and human welfare. At the same time, social-sciences are arguing an increased distance from nature, experienced by citizens. The strong connection between the public good and pollinator sustainability, even in urban areas, is well-documented. However, usually basic and applied life-sciences tend to underestimate public perception of nature, which is better tackled by the fields of social-sciences. Therefore, more efforts are needed to link scientific questions and public ‘perception’ of nature. We designed a transversal project where research questions directly confront public concerns: i.e., even while addressing scientific knowledge gaps, our questions directly arise from public concerns. Social studies highlighted that appreciation of (exotic) plants is related to the impact they may have on the surrounding natural environment: therefore, we investigated links of native and exotic flowers to local pollinators. Other studies highlighted that scientific results need to link to everyday individual experience: therefore, we investigated pollination modes of the renown Salvia , native and exotic, largely used in cuisine and gardening. The botanic garden was the promoter of scientific questions addressed by the public, and also collated the results in a travelling exhibition. The exhibition, together with a dedicated catalogue, were especially designed to enlighten the wide public on the relationships that plants, native and exotic alike, establish with the surrounding world.

Citation: Giovanetti M, Giuliani C, Boff S, Fico G, Lupi D (2020) A botanic garden as a tool to combine public perception of nature and life-science investigations on native/exotic plants interactions with local pollinators. PLoS ONE 15(2): e0228965. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965

Editor: Daniel de Paiva Silva, Instituto Federal de Educacao Ciencia e Tecnologia Goiano - Campus Urutai, BRAZIL

Received: July 18, 2019; Accepted: January 27, 2020; Published: February 20, 2020

Copyright: © 2020 Giovanetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: Proape Project (Fondazione Cariplo ID 2016-2135; 2017-2427) contributed to the costs of field work. The APC was covered by the “OpenAccess Fund” of the Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, (Università degli Studi di Milano).

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Introduction

The public perception of nature has changed through human history, more recently facing two main drivers. These are pushing in opposite directions: urbanization, that heavily reduces daily contacts with plants or animals, and science, which constantly enlarges knowledge and gives new insights on sustainable living choices to preserve nature. Still no consensus exists on how to measure the importance of natural resources, the services provided by natural ecosystems, the connections of nature-enriched environments with health and quality of lifetime [ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ]. The natural world is often perceived as a “surrounding” environment, to which most of us is not directly connected. Instead, our own survival strongly depends on the connections with it [ 5 ]. Plants are of enormous importance as providers of oxygen, food, and as sources of pharmaceutical products that we need to contrast illnesses. They sustain human well-being and are food sources and shelters to animals interacting with them.

Pollinators, especially bees, are also of enormous importance: they provide one of the most important ecosystem services [ 6 , 7 ]. Pollinators are the vectors that plants use to produce new generations through the processes of fertilisation, fruit and seed formation [ 8 , 9 , 10 ]. Currently there is a need to keep pollinators at the spotlight, since large diversity of the food (e.g. fruits and seeds) consumed by human, wild and domesticated animals, and even pets, rely on pollination to be produced [ 11 , 12 , 13 ].

How people react to plants and nature-related concepts can however result surprising. An example is the concept of native/exotic species. Hoyle and colleagues [ 14 ] investigated the public perception of non-native plants in gardens highlighting key factors that are actively driving acceptance or rejection of a given landscape by the public. As expected, the aesthetically pleasing appearance was one of them: beautiful flowers are accepted and planted in gardens, independently from their country of origin. However, it also turned out that potential incompatibility with native wildlife plays a role in granting acceptance of non-native species: knowledge on how plants influence the local environment may change people’s mind.

Urban gardens lately received an increasing attention as repository of intrinsic values: both, for people well-being [ 15 , 16 ] and for the ecological services they sustain [ 17 , 18 ]. Back in 2009, Frankie and colleagues [ 19 ] disseminated the results of a large study involving gardens in seven Californian cities: they underlined the intrinsic value of gardening as habitats for native bees. Again in 2009, Pawelek and colleagues [ 20 ] highlighted how it was possible even to increase local pollinators in urban gardens by choosing different plants and garden designs. Almost ten years after, Burr and colleagues [ 21 ] provided useful conservation direction for yards in the USA, melting data on insect pollinator populations and social and cultural drivers influencing people choices. Similar studies, that provide information on compatibility between ornamentals and pollinator sustainability [i.e. 22 , 23 , 24 ], perfectly match the increased apprehension about dramatic pollinator's losses [ 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 ] that recently also reached the wide public [ 29 ].

Botanic gardens (BG) are special places where merging exotic plant species and their relationship to local wildlife, finally guiding human perception on how they interact and what may result by hosting exotic species [ 30 , 31 ]. BGs are special since the plants they host are not casually selected: they have been planted and catalogued according to precise criteria: an example is the status of each species (e.g. exotic, rare, endangered, with great conservation value, etc.) [ 32 ]. Moreover, they have a strong historical value that the public can appreciate. These gardens appeared in the Middle Age in convents or monasteries: they collected medicinal plants, indigenous or exotic, employed for the care of various sicknesses. In the Renaissance, they became places for the collection, cultivation and study of plants with healing properties (the first in Pisa, Italy, in 1543/44) [ 33 ]. During the eighteenth century, the period of the great explorations, BGs hosted the exotic species coming from newly discovered countries with the aim of experimenting their ornamental and economic potential. Currently, in the context of biodiversity losses, BGs have assumed a new role as repositories for the conservation of the plant biological diversity at global level [ 34 , 35 ]. In addition, a fundamental mission of BGs is linking public direct experience to the perception of the importance of natural systems, greeting citizens as pleasure and relaxing sites [ 36 ] while concurrently acting as “open-air museums”.

We planned a transversal project, where the public perspective drove the focus of scientific research plans: 1) to address the recent findings of granting acceptance of non-native species when connected to positive compatibilities with native wildlife, we investigated exotic and native species in relation to pollinators visits. In this case, we expected BG to act as a plant-pollinator network repository : considering their urban location and the abundance of plant species with different flowering time, BGs may constantly sustain local population of pollinators. During two following years we monitored bee visits and analysed differences and similarities comparing the respective networks of exotic and native plant species, with the aim of verifying suitability of exotic species as food sources for local bees; 2) to sustain the need of deepening the connection of nature with everyday human life [ 37 , 38 , 39 ], we addressed to sages, renown species traditionally used for cooking and frequently planted in private and common gardens. We performed a comparative study using the BG as an open-air laboratory : it was a perfect location, since Salvia species of different geographic origin acclimatised during a long period and, notwithstanding their home range, potentially share the native pollinators assemblage. We measured flower characteristics of five Salvia species, recorded and identified pollinators visiting them, compared pollinators assemblages and pollinators frequencies among specie. Our aim was selecting the mostly-liked by local pollinators giving possible suggestions on the best-suited species for gardening activities; 3) with the aim of strengthen the link between scientific findings and society [ 40 , 20 ] and promote understanding and conservation effort, BG was the interactive learning promoter of a national travelling exhibition titled “ Seduzione / repulsione : quello che le piante non dicono ”( Seduction Repulsion–what plants do not say ) associated to an illustrated catalogue [ 41 ]. The BG promoted the exhibition and the catalogue by implementing their setting-up with the involvement of local and national stakeholders, but was also actively hosting and spreading the content of the exhibition. In these deliverables, plants were presented not only for the aesthetic appeal of their flowers: they were illustrated according to the interactions they establish with other organisms, the evolutionary paths that drove them to develop given strategies, finally underlining how these strategies are not different from those also employed in human activities.

Materials and methods

This study was performed at the Ghirardi Botanic Garden (GBG) of Toscolano Maderno (Italy), on the western shore of the Lake of Garda at 86 m asl. The Ghirardi Botanic Garden (GBG) of Toscolano Maderno (Italy) granted permits to carry out field research in its premises. The town has a municipal land area of 56.73 km 2 , of which 0.78 urbanized (urbanized surface incidence = 13.77%). In 2017, the population census reported 7969 actual residents (population density = 135.41 residents/km 2 ) plus about 7000 transient inhabitants/tourists temporarily present in camping, hotels or other accommodation facilities during the spring and the summer. The climate is mild, generally warm and classified by the Köppen-Geiger system as continental temperate, with hot summer (Cfa). About 844 mm of precipitation falls annually; hottest months are July and August with respective mean daily maximum temperatures of 28°C and 29°C [ 42 ]. GBG, established in 1964 as an experimental botanic station under the direction of Prof. Giordano Emilio Ghirardi, extends over a surface of about 10000 m 2 and, currently, the preserved plant heritage includes more than 400 taxa from all the regions of the world. GBG has a long history of hosting medicinal species of different origin, in relation to the favourable microclimate of the site which facilitated the acclimatization of the introduced plants. The primary purpose was the cultivation and preservation of officinal species, mainly with cardiotonic and antitumor properties. It is worth mentioning the Chinese Camptotheca acuminata Decne. (Cornaceae), whose seeds were sent to GBG for a presumed anticancer activity, finally documented only by recent studies. Since 2002 it is part of the non-profit network “Rete degli Orti Botanici della Lombardia” (“Network of Botanic Gardens of Lombardy”).

GBG as a plant-pollinator network repository

Plant data collection started with an accurate screening, including the earliest checklists up to the most recent contributions and reports [ 43 ]. To match pollinator visits to plants, we recorded visits along linear transects every two weeks during two following seasons (March-September 2016 & 2017; n = 22 transects). Due to the numerous plant species and their different flowering durations, repeated walking-transects are the most suited method to detect if frequency of visits may be considered occasional (a single visit is recorded) or if some kind of constancy is observed. Along the transects, 244 plant species were present, belonging to 63 families ( S1 Table ). However, for further analyses only species showing attractiveness towards flower visitors were considered. Bee individuals were recognised at sight till the deepest possible level and recorded only once when visiting a species, even in the case of paying multiple visits at flowers simultaneously present on the plant. We also took photographic evidence of bee visits, double-checking with final bee identification list, and collected specimens. We grouped visited plant species according to their provenance: native, if originally of Mediterranean or continental Europe; exotic, if from other continents or islands. Further, they were grouped according to Pellissier and colleagues' [ 44 ] classification of flower characteristics: wind, disk, funnel, bilabiate, tube, head, brush ( S1 Table ). These floral morphologies vary as for availability and accessibility of the floral resources, pollen and nectar; therefore, they imply different attraction potential towards diverse groups of pollinators. To depict preferences of bees in flowers with different morphologies, we constructed a network visualisation using R 2.14.0 (R Core Team, 2013), keeping exotic and native species separated.

GBG as an open-air laboratory

GBG hosts numerous species of the mint family (Lamiaceae). We selected sages, our target being five Salvia L. species differing by native range, flower characteristics and pollination ecology. Indeed, the genus has some peculiarities regarding pollination strategies, either carried on by bees or by birds, and compound emissions [ 45 , 46 , 47 ]. Two species were native to Europe ( Salvia pratensis L. and Salvia verticillata L.) and three exotic, of central-south American origin ( Salvia blepharophylla Brandegee ex Epling, Salvia greggii A.Gray and Salvia uliginosa Benth.). These species were not only divergent as geographical origin: they also originally co-evolved with different pollinators: insects (mainly bees) for S . uliginosa , S . pratensis and S . verticillata , and birds (mainly hummingbirds) for S . blepharophylla and S . greggii . In temperate areas as the one where the GBG is located, bird-pollination is not an option. Our aim was verifying if all species equally sustain native pollinators, being rich in nectar and often planted in gardens as ornamentals or for culinary purposes. To investigate pollinators on them, we first performed a literature search on the five species, acknowledging only citations referring to observed visits. We revised the first 50 citations obtained as Google Scholar output under comparable keywords (pollinator / Salvia 'name of species'). In the genus Salvia , as in the whole family Lamiaceae, the flower is bilabiate and characterized by the typical staminal lever, a mechanism helping in a successful pollen deposition on the pollinator’s body. For testing the morphological variability at flower level, 20 randomly-selected fully-opened flowers per species were compared for what concerns the inflorescence type, the floral colour and the total length of the corolla. We measured the last parameter using a digital calliper and a stereomicroscope and evaluated three different size class: short (<1.5 cm), medium (1.5–3.0 cm), long (>3.0 cm). We directly recorded flower visitors on each species on sunny days, between 8:00 and 14:00 (solar hour). Patch records [ 48 ] regarded bee observation, were repeated along the day and lasted 10 minutes (221 patch records in total). Data refers to 10 days, from May to September 2016 fortnightly. Each bee approaching the flower was recorded and classified as explained for the plant-pollinator network: each individual accounted for a single visit, notwithstanding the amount of visited flowers.

GBG as the interactive learning promoter

For this project, the GBG was the promoter, and directly involved, in the setting-up of a travelling exhibition and a printed catalogue. Information on plants and their communication media with other organisms were selected: texts, photographic material and drawings were all employed for the final editing. Multi-stakeholder’s meetings involving scientist, artists and botanic garden managers were planned in order to decide how to settle up the mobile exhibition. Selection of material to be included in the panels and how to relate it with plants in the garden was also the result of open discussions. Mobile panels were printed and exposed in the GBG greenhouse ( S2 Table ). Some plant species hosted in the garden where selected to recall the information of the panels and flagged accordingly: this way, the information read on panels was transferred to a direct experience while visiting the garden and its plant content. The exhibition was displayed across Italy thanks to the involvement of the Network of Botanic Gardens of Lombardy, and other stakeholders as local municipalities. The catalogue [ 41 ] was reflecting the panel order, reproducing part of the same content, comprehensive of texts, photographic material and drawings. A colloquial language was mainly applied to explain context of concepts; however, scientific terminology was also employed and fully explained. Moreover, to increase empathy we highlighted those strategies adopted by men for communication efforts during artistic and social performances that resemble the ones adopted by plants.

The linear transects contained 244 plant species, out of which 140 (57.4%) received at least a visit by a local pollinator (see S1 Table ). Abundance of native and exotic species along the transects was very similar: 44.3% of exotic species and 55.7% of native ones. While walking along the transects, we recorded 517 bee visits on flowers, including those made by unidentified bees. Exotic and native plant species experienced similar amounts of occasional (26 and 23, respectively) or multiple visits (36 and 55, respectively), no difference emerging between natives and exotics (Fishers's exact test: p = 0.154). The majority of visited species (61.1%) experienced more than one visit, up to a maximum of seventeen. Also combining data and looking for overall number of visits received by all exotic or all native species, no difference emerged ( t = 1.7242, df = 130, p = 0.0871). Average number of visits would be 3.05 visit/exotic- and 3.97 visit/native plant species. Notwithstanding their origin, native and exotic plant species obviously showed convergence of flower characteristics ( Fig 1 ). When considering flower morphology, among the visited species we observed that brush blossom was not represented at all, while tube and wind flower morphotypes were poorly represented: 5 records of visits in total, native and exotic combined. The other four categories (bilabiate, disk, head and funnel) were all similarly visited: 30.9% of visits to bilabiate, 20.8% of disk, 17.2% of head and 30.1% of funnel. Minor differences in trends were shown by the two groups. Among the exotic species, number of visits where in decrescent order for head, disk and funnel blossoms, while for native species highest visits were on bilabiate, funnel and disk blossoms. No preferences emerged in the number of visits recorded, when addressing flower morphotype and origin of the species, not even for the two most represented groups (for bilabiate blossom, Fishers's exact test: p = 0.1094; for funnel, Fishers's exact test: p = 0.1517).

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a) Centranthus ruber (L.) DC (native, funnel) and Apis mellifera L; b) Teucrium fruticans L. (native, bilabiate) and Xylocopa violacea (L.); c) Echinops sphaerocephalus L. (exotic, head) and Apis mellifera ; d) Eschscholzia californica L. (exotic, disk) and Lasioglossum sp.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.g001

Only a few bees could not be ascribed to any of the following families: Apidae, Andrenidae, Colletidae, Megachilidae and Halictidae. The five families were differently represented, as number of visits ( S1 Table ). The highest frequency of bee visits was due to the family Apidae (56.5%), shared between the Apis mellifera L. (honeybee) and Bombus Latreille species (bumblebees). The second family in order of importance was that of Halictidae (25.2%). The remaining 18.3% was due to Andrenidae, Megachilidae and Colletidae. Fig 2 represents the visualisation of networks between native or exotic plants and local pollinators. The network also highlights the relative abundance and visitation rates of plants grouped accordingly to the flower morphotype they were sharing.

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Native (n = 73; A) and exotic (n = 59; B) plant–pollinator networks. Bars on the left side represent plants, grouped according to flower morphologies; bars on the right side represent bees, at species level when possible. An indication of the family to which bees belong is reported on the extreme right side of each plot, after bee (genus/species) name. Linkage width indicates the number of individuals of that bee species paying visits to plants with given flower morphology. The length of the bars for plant species represents the frequency of species with a given flower morphology. The length of the bars for the bee species represents the total number of individuals recorded for that species on all plant species combined.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.g002

Results of the literature search ( Table 1 ) highlights that the most frequent pollinators observed on the five species of sages were the honeybee ( Apis mellifera ) and the bumblebees ( Bombus spp., various species). Xylocopa spp. also seemed quite attracted to sages, being previously recorded on three out of the five Salvia species.

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We are reporting studies indicating pollinator visits actually observed by authors.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.t001

Bees were reported even on S . greggii , considered an ornitophilous species. For S . blepharophylla , we could not find any report of direct observations, inside or outside its home range. During our observations, we also recorded the bee families previously listed in the literature ( Fig 3 , dots refer to presence on flowers). A single family was ubiquitous on all sage species: individuals of the family Halictidae (mostly Lasioglossum Curtis spp.) were observed on all the five documented Salvia .

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Upper part of the graph report bee families observed on each Salvia species. Bee assemblages (Apidae are split in three subgroups, being the most common and easy to recognise) is addressed by green spots indicating presence on flowers. On the lower graph, error bars are represented with 95% confidence interval. Flowers of each species may be appreciated in the photos on top. In that of S . verticillata , a honeybee ( Apis mellifera ) is collecting nectar. Photo credits: M. Giovanetti and D. Lupi.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.g003

Bee assemblages on the five sages differ. The ornitophilous species were the ones attracting a less diverse group of bees. S . pratensis , a species spontaneously growing in many areas even adjacent to the GBG, was surprisingly poorly visited and even discarded by Bombus sp. During a total of 2210 minutes of focal observations, we recorded 883 visits paid to flowers. Many of the 10-mins slot of observations remained without any bee contact: almost the 30% of all time dedicated to observations. Considering all records combined ( Fig 3 , lower graph), S . verticillata was the species with the highest number of records: 0.43 visitors/minute, followed by S . uliginosa (0.35 visitor/minute), and S . greggii (0.28 visitor/minute). S . blepharophylla and S . pratensis had very few visitors (0.09 and 0.07 visitor/minute, respectively). Kruskal-Wallis H test confirmed the difference among sages (χ2(4) = 61.985, p = 0.0001).

GBG as an interactive learning opportunity

The exhibition titled (in Italian): “ Seduzione Repulsione : quello che le piante non dicono ” ( Seduction Repulsion–what plants do not say ) displayed ten panels: titles and content of each is reported in S2 Table . The aim was explaining through clear images, drawings and text, the various media of communication employed by plants and the resultant interactions (either positive, negative, or mutualistic) with other organisms. Similarities with human daily life were underlined, reporting them in the panels as well as in the catalogue. For example, the chapter related to colours starts with a citation and the picture of a painting, “In the style of Kairouan– 1914”, of the famous artist Paul Klee. After a trip to Tunisia, the artist finally moved away from black and white works, amazed by colour variability due to intense light. The chapter continues explaining the origin and importance of the colour green in leaves for photosynthesis, and how it is used as background colour for pollinators and seed dispersers to distinguish flowers and fruits. The text gets deeper by introducing the fact that there are differences in how colours result attractive to different organisms (insects, humans, birds, mammals) and what the chemical compounds responsible for different colours are (anthocyanins, carotenoids, flavonoids), in plants and animals as well. Finally, it concludes underlining that differences in perceived colours may also be the result of differences of the surface bearing them. Therefore, as in this example, each panel/chapter of the catalogue refer to features of major importance in the natural world, but relating them with physical and emotional perceptions more often experienced by people.

The catalogue was published in 2016, directly involving the GBG and the non-profit organisation “Rete degli Orti Botanici della Lombardia”. It was assembled through the contribution of A. Ronchi (texts), P. Berera (graphics), under the scientific supervision of G. Fico, while involving numerous collaborators and national stakeholders (Fondazione Cariplo, Regione Lombardia Agricoltura, Ministero dell'Istruzione dell'Università e della Ricerca). The exhibition, still available, already travelled across 11 Italian locations: Botanical Garden Pavia, 6-18/09/2015; Sala Viscontea (Bergamo, 04/10/2015-31/01/2016); Ghirardi Botanical Garden (Toscolano Maderno, Brescia, 14/05-30/06/2016); Headquarters of StelvioPark (Bormio, Sondrio, 15/07-30/09/2016); Brera Botanical Garden (Milano, 12/12/2016-14/01/2017); Castello di Desenzano (Desenzano del Garda, Brescia, 04/03-02/04/2017); Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin (Vescovana, Padova, 6-25/04/2017); Villa Litta (Lainate, Milano, 30/04-20/05/2017); Natural History Museum (Venezia, 04/11/2017-18/03/2018); Tenuta Villa Quassa (Ispra, Varese, 7-29/o4/2018); JRC, European Union Joint Research Center (Ispra, Varese, 03/05-19/07/2018). The total number of recorded visitors was 51390, in two years; Venice alone attracted more the half of them (28390), with a presence of about 5600 visitors each month and an almost constant increment in the 5 months. The catalogue is currently available at the BGs belonging to the Network of the Botanical Gardens of Lombardy and through specific requests at [email protected] .

The venues differed between museal institutions and botanic gardens. At botanic gardens, the exhibition encountered a more selected audience searching for rigorous scientific and botanical in-depth-knowledge, but also fascinated by living organisms and the beauty relying on flowers and green leaves. They were finding out themselves the characteristics described in the panels. Museal institutions host in general a wider public, from elderly people to families to school groups (the Network of the Botanical Gardens of Lombardy, in 2017, sum up a total of 39.049 students), ready to walk around and possibly similarly interested to various topics, from nature to history to art. Museums often advertise special exhibition to enlarge the interest of resident public, or inducing distant one to join. This function was successfully taken on by the travelling exhibition during this work. The success of the exhibition resulted in the translation, in a language rich of links with accessible experiences, the achievement of science. Moreover, the added value was that a large part of the achievements presented were resulting from activities run at the same place of exhibitions: museums, botanic gardens, universities. This was well expressed by those that visited the botanic garden with researchers actively observing and recording pollinators. The enthusiastic interest in researcher’s activities, combined with in-situ explanations, seemed to push the interest towards the connection between plants and pollinators.

According to Hymenoptera behaviour, we may expect occasional probation in new food sources; repeated visits confirm instead appreciation of resources offered by the plant. Bee visits on exotic flowers have long been recorded, even on invasive species from very distant origin [ 55 ]. Visitation rates may develop from occasional visits to the development of a given routine for resource collection [ 56 ]. From the results of the present study, we can conclude that the majority of visited plants in the GBG was actively looked for by local pollinators. This indicates that, in absence of co-evolutionary processes that may have built a solid relationship between a plant species and its pollinators [ 57 , 58 ], there are equally attractive forces that favour the establishment of new relationships [ 59 , 60 ]. Similarity of floral morphologies ( Fig 1 ) is certainly the most evident trait possibly justifying this conclusion. However, future data on resource availability may integrate the current findings.

As expected, also pollinators distribution can influence records on visits [ 61 ]. Our data pointed a greater abundance of honeybees and bumblebees, when compared to relative abundance of other bee groups. A possible explanation may be linked with honeybee distribution facilitated by men through beekeeping. For the genus Bombus , it usually counts on several species when in proximity of mountain areas (i.e. the surroundings of Lake of Garda), where they can find a higher number of suitable nesting sites [ 62 , 63 ].

Generally, we observed that exotic species attracted native pollinators and, depending on species availability and matches with flower characteristics, exotics may even compensate for resources according to flower abundance of native ones. We have to keep in mind that here we did not consider negative effects of possible disruptions of native plants-native pollinators networks, or negative effects due to invasive alien species. A similar result was reported by Lowenstein and colleagues [ 64 ], who did not find any effect of biogeographic origin (native versus non-native) of plant species regarding pollinator presence. However, exotic and native flowering ranges at the GBG overlapped and compensated resource offer, with an overall positive effect on local bee assemblages. This is sustained by how linkages ( Fig 2 ) are consistent independently from the origin of a species and is also confirmed by considering the flower shape: in presence of opposite frequencies of head and bilabiate flowers, respectively between exotics and native, we still observe consistency of activity and variety of visiting pollinators. A final consideration deals with future experimental studies on pollen deposition performance and on exotic species habits that may help to interpret linkages as evidenced by Devaux and colleagues [ 65 ].

Sages are largely renown as ornamentals and/or aromatic species grown in private and common gardens [ 66 ]. Notwithstanding, when addressing to their pollinators poor scientific evidence is available. It is worth mentioning that most of the literature we could access refers to pollinator’s observation out of the home range of the target sage (see second column of Table 1 ). The absence of data on natural conditions turns it difficult to compare native and exotic state of pollinator networks. Global trading of these species and pollinator’s records worldwide, however, are important to formulate the potential plant-pollinator relations to be expected. For example, S . greggii is definitely attracting the wild large species of the genus Xylocopa , in California (USA; literature data) as well as in Italy (Europe). S . pratensis , interestingly, did not attract even Bombus sp., its usual pollinator. This result may eventually be linked to plant location in the garden; however, it may also reflect competition among available resources. Similarly, the large amount of observation set missing bee records could be partially due to adverse weather conditions, or to bees foraging elsewhere on more attractive plant species.

Flower characteristics confirm similarities depending on the pollinators that sages were expected to be coevolved with bees for S . verticillata , S . pratensis and S . uliginosa and birds for S . greggii and S . blepharophylla . Dissimilarities in bee attraction among species need to be deeper investigated from an evolutionary point of view, since they were not explained solely by flower traits [ 67 , 68 ]. Among the insect-pollinated ones, S . verticillata showed an outstanding number of individuals even when compared to S . uliginosa , the most alike. Similarly, there was a difference between the two ornitophilous species, with S . greggii accounting for the highest number of bees visiting its flowers. These differences may partly be accounted for flower arrangement on the plant. Sages with medium-sized flowers produces lax inflorescences, while sages with short-sized flowers exhibit dense inflorescences. Flowers are grouped in different types of inflorescences: dense panicle formed by superimposed verticillasters ( S . verticillata and S . uliginosa ), lax spikes with 4–6 flowers in each whorl ( S . pratensis ) and lax racemes with 1–2 flowers in each whorl ( S . greggii and S . blepharophylla ). Also, other characteristics may play a role: corolla length and colours. The corolla length varied from the short size class (< 1.5 cm) in S . verticillata and S . uliginosa up to the medium size class (1.5–3.0 cm) in the other target species. The corolla colours ranged from the blue tones in S . verticillata (lilac-blue), S . pratensis (bluish-violet) and S . uliginosa (sky-blue with white bee-line on the upper and lower lips) up to the red ones in S . greggii (scarlet red) and S . blepharophylla (red with an orange undertone).

Finally, data suggest that the choice of planting these species with the double function of delighting view and sustain local pollinators should favour S . verticillata and S . greggii , with different flower traits, colours and pollinator assemblages.

The Botanic Gardens are places of knowledge, windows on the world of science from which everyone can look out. However, the exhibition contributed a technical and scientific prospective through the development of an awareness-raising process on the importance of the plant biodiversity and how it is linked to the surrounding world. Botanic gardens are very important and worldwide connected by the potential of capacity building in outreach activities and plant rescue and preservation, alive as well as for the respective genetic banks [ 69 , 70 ]. The exhibition received an extraordinary response from the public in terms of both numbers and overall appreciation of the proposed information. The venues differed between museal institutions and botanical gardens. In both cases, the proposal of the traveling exhibition received considerable success. The major strength points are the unusual key of lecture and the language, correct and rigorous from the scientific point of view, but direct and narrative. In the exhibition, we proposed to abandon the most usual man-centred profitable/productive approach to recount the topics related to Repulsion/Attraction through a plant-centred vision. If on the one hand humans were kept out from the vision, on the other human perceptions were used to show plants as living independent organism similar to ourselves. Pollinators played a main role in this view, thanks to the recent worries related to their decrease [ 27 ] and the tentative works to define plant lists to contribute to their survival [ 54 , 71 ].

Conclusions

We aimed at addressing documented public concerns by translating them into research questions to be investigated in a special context, that of a botanical garden. The work arises from citizens’ apprehension described in scientific publications in the field of social sciences, tackled the alarming reports on pollinators losses and dispersion of exotic species, resumed results in outreach activities and material. The first set of data addressed to worries on exotic species planted in private or common gardens, especially on their interactions with the native fauna. Our results highlighted the establishment of similar relationships between exotic or native plants, and local pollinators. Therefore, it can be assumed that (at least some) exotic species may equally contribute to sustain local pollinator fauna thanks to the resource they provide. On this topic, a large amount of literature has offered lists of possible preferred species to be planted when gardening purposes plan intend to match pollinator sustainability [i.e. 22,71]. However, Garbuzov and Ratnieks [ 50 ] pointed out a contrasting situation. On the one hand, in existing literature there is generally a low overlap of species even when addressing the same geographic region (and even other pitfalls, as poor recommendations, omitted species, lack of details), finally not providing a decisive list. However, on the other hand, these lists have a strong appeal and could turn them into a communication tool with the potential of driving further research. Our second set of data applied this concept, by choosing renown species used both, for gardening (thanks to their intense and long flowering) and culinary purposes (thanks to their chemical properties). They are very frequently mentioned in gardening articles, printed or online, and used in private as well as public gardens. Our data highlighted that different species of the same genus Salvia attracted a different assemblage of pollinators, and therefore a selection among species could be actively performed if their planting is also intended to sustain pollinators.

Botanic gardens are present in most cities, and even in small towns. They mostly host a combination of native and exotic species, and research as well as outreach activities. These two competencies are, however, mostly kept separated. We merged them by transforming the botanic garden in the promoter of widening research activity and outputs on plant-animal interactions, by linking them with physical and emotional human experiences. The exhibition and the catalogue describe how plants interact with other organisms and how we (humans) also use similar modes of interaction: attraction means and repulsion modes coming from similar chemical or mechanical approaches. The exhibition, being a travelling one, has and still is enlarging the audience of this output; the catalogue stands as an inspiring tool.

Supporting information

S1 table. actual observations related to plant-pollinator networks at ghirardi’s botanic garden..

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.s001

S2 Table. Description of the panel prepared for the travelling exhibition.

The language used on panels was Italian, therefore in the table we kept the original title. However, for a wider understanding explanation of each panel has been translated in English.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228965.s002

Acknowledgments

We are indebted to enthusiastic students and colleagues that helped in data collection: Marco Palamara Mesiano, Serena Malabusini, Davide Zanovello, Katia Valloggia and Giacomo Tassera, and to Silvana Munzi for her priceless time for discussion and comments on the first draft of the manuscript. We also are grateful to Angela Ronchi and Patrizia Berera for their invaluable contribution in the realization of the panels and the catalogue of the travelling exhibition “Seduzione Repulsione, quello che le piante non dicono”. We thank Emanuele Albini and Mauro Folli, gardeners at GBG, for the precious care of the plant collection.

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  • v.40(4); 2018 Aug

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The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science

a Kunming Botanical Garden, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, Yunnan, China

b Yunnan Key Laboratory for Integrative Conservation of Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations, Kunming, 650204, China

c Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650204, Yunnan, China

Weibang Sun

Associated data.

Plant diversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate, resulting in an associated decrease in ecosystem services. About a third of the world's vascular plant species face the threat of extinction due to a variety of devastating activities, including, over-harvesting and over exploitation, destructive agricultural and forestry practices, urbanization, environmental pollution, land-use changes, exotic invasive species, global climate change, and more. We therefore need to increase our efforts to develop integrative conservation approaches for plant species conservation. Botanical gardens devote their resources to the study and conservation of plants, as well as making the world's plant species diversity known to the public. These gardens also play a central role in meeting human needs and providing well-being. In this minireview, a framework for the integrated missions of botanical gardens, including scientific research, in / ex situ conservation, plant resource utilization, and citizen science are cataloged. By reviewing the history of the development of Kunming Botanical Garden, we illustrate successful species conservation approaches (among others, projects involving Camellia , Rhododendron , Magnolia , Begonia , Allium , Nepenthes , medicinal plants, ornamental plants, and Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations), as well as citizen science, and scientific research at Kunming Botanical Garden over the past 80 years. We emphasize that Kunming Botanical Garden focuses largely on the ex situ conservation of plants from Southwest China, especially those endangered, endemic, and economically important plant species native to the Yunnan Plateau and the southern Hengduan Mountains. We also discuss the future challenges and responsibilities of botanical gardens in a changing world, including: the negative effects of outbreeding and/or inbreeding depression; promoting awareness, study, and conservation of plant species diversity; accelerating global access to information about plant diversity; increasing capacity building and training activities. We hope this minireview can promote understanding of the role of botanical gardens.

1. Botanical gardens: a unique benefit for humans

Although the birth of the “garden” dates back to the Zhou dynasty in China, the modern concept of a botanical garden originated in Europe (Italy's Padova Botanic Garden was built in 1545). Today, there are about 2500 botanical gardens in the world ( Golding et al., 2010 ). Together, these botanical gardens cultivate more than 6 million accessions of living plants, representing around 80,000 taxa, or about one-quarter of the estimated number of vascular plant species in the world ( Jackson, 2001 , O'Donnell and Sharrock, 2017 ). These gardens thus play a central role in the ex situ conservation and exploration of global plant biodiversity ( Mounce et al., 2017 ). Indeed, one of the targets of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is to have 70% of the world's threatened plant species conserved ex situ ( Callmander et al., 2005 , Sharrock and Jones, 2009 , Huang, 2018 ). Botanical gardens also have an important role in the preservation of species necessary for human use and well-being ( Waylen, 2006 , Dunn, 2017 ), and this role is likely to become increasingly important as climate change becomes more severe ( Donaldson, 2009 ; Primack and Miller-Rushing, 2009 , Ren and Duan, 2017 ).

The range of scientific activities conducted by botanical gardens often includes conservation, propagation, horticulture, seed science, taxonomy, systematics, genetics, biotechnology, education, restoration ecology, public education, and much more ( http://www.bgci.org/garden_search.php ; Maunder et al., 2001 , Donaldson, 2009 ). Plant diversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate, resulting in an associated decrease in ecosystem services. Currently about a third of the world's 300,000–450,000 vascular plant species face extinction due to a variety of devastating anthropogenic activities, including over-harvesting, over-exploitation through destructive agricultural and forestry practices, urbanization, environmental pollution, land-use changes, exotic invasive species, and global climate change ( Pitman and Jørgensen, 2002 , Ren and Duan, 2017 ). There is, therefore, an increased need to develop integrative conservation approaches for plants, particularly those threatened plant species in the wild ( Li and Pritchard, 2009 ).

In this minireview, we introduce the scientific research, in/ex situ conservation and utilization, citizen science, education, and public communication taking place at Kunming Botanical Garden (KBG). Furthermore, to clarify the integrated functions of botanical gardens across the world, we introduce the future challenges and responsibilities these gardens face. Education, promoting awareness, and capacity building, involving both the public and staff at botanical gardens, are vital functions of modern botanical gardens ( Blackmore et al., 2011 ). These functions provide unique opportunities for plant biodiversity research, horticulture, and conservation biology in popular public places. Raising public awareness of the problems facing our planet may be sufficient to bring about fundamental behavioral changes. Finally, we also want to emphasize specific work done at KBG to commemorate its 80 th anniversary.

2. The functions of botanical gardens

2.1. scientific research.

Botanical gardens are good locations for many branches of scientific research. Botanical gardens not only serve as taxonomic and systematic research centers ( Dosmann, 2006 , Stevens, 2007 ), but they also play an important role as valuable sources of plant ecology data collection such as phenological indication of climate change, plant physiology and plant growth tactics, and plant–animal interactions ( Coates and Dixon, 2007 , Gratani et al., 2008 , Dawson et al., 2009 , Primack and Miller-Rushing, 2009 , Wang et al., 2018 ). For plant functional characteristics, botanical gardens can provide a large set of species to study functional trade-offs between species traits and plant performance ( Herben et al., 2012 ). The study of bamboos at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in Yunnan, China by Cao et al. (2012) revealed that the maximum height of grasses is determined by their roots. Another example is the monitoring of plant phenology varieties, which has a long tradition in some gardens and is regarded as one of the most sensitive indicators of climate impacts on vegetation in mid-latitude areas ( Menzel et al., 2006 ). In fact, botanical gardens have contributed greatly to our understanding of the responses of plant species to global climate change ( Primack and Miller-Rushing, 2009 ).

Additionally, botanical gardens are suitable locations for investigations into pollination ecology, seed dispersal, and other interactions between plants and animals. For example, through the study of seed dispersal in an endangered species, Taxus chinensis , in an ex situ conservation population introduced into the Nanjing Botanical Garden in the 1950s, researchers were able to propose that any process for the conservation of these Chinese yews should comprise not only conservation of the trees, but also conservation of these tree's avian dispersers and habitats for seed germination and seedling growth ( Lu et al., 2008 , Li et al., 2014 ). Research at botanical gardens has also guided conservationists not to neglect the potential risks of hybridization in ex situ collection of threatened plant species. Specifically, spontaneous hybridization in ex situ facilities has been shown to undermine the genetic integrity of ex situ collections and may contaminate open-pollinated seeds or seedlings ( Ye et al., 2006 , Zhang et al., 2010 ). To effectively conserve and manage the ex situ population of endangered species in botanical gardens, pollination ecology, including breeding system, effective pollinators, and other factors should be recorded and monitored carefully ( Norstog et al., 1986 , Zhang and Ye, 2011 , Chen et al., 2015a ). Moreover, native pollinator biodiversity is related to successful naturalization of alien plants in botanical gardens ( Razanajatovo et al., 2015 ). Moreover, successful naturalization of alien plants in botanical gardens also is related to native pollinator biodiversity ( Razanajatovo et al., 2015 ).

Plant conservation genetics provides suitable tools to guide conservation and successful restoration, measure and monitor processes, and ultimately minimize extinction risk of threatened plant species in nature ( Kramer and Havens, 2009 ). Over the past decades, conservation genetics has focused largely on the genetic consequences of small population size that may limit survival of populations and species. However, recent reviews on the genetic aspects of plant conservation have indicated that genetic erosion poses an increasing threat to the long-term survival of rare and common species ( Desalle and Amato, 2004 , Ouborg et al., 2006 ). For the purposes of scientific conservation, it is generally accepted that establishing a genetically representative ex situ collection requires that 50 populations per species be sampled, with 50 individuals per population ( Brown et al., 1995 ). However, for very rare tree species already reduced to a handful of individuals in the wild, it is not possible to meet these guidelines. Bringing the species into cultivation and establishing ex situ collections must be an urgent priority and may represent the last chance against extinction in the wild ( Oldfield et al., 2009 ).

2.2. In/ex situ conservation and utilization

Living plant collections are the main contribution of botanical gardens and Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) estimates that there are 6.13 million accessions in botanical gardens, comprising more than 80,000 species ( http://www.bgci.org/resources/1528 ; Jackson, 2001 ). The conservation of living plants in botanical gardens, especially of species that are threatened in the wild, has a long tradition and has greatly contributed to our understanding of threatened species ( Donaldson, 2009 ). The Convention on Biological Diversity defines ex situ conservation as the conservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats. Ex situ conservation, which plays an important role in saving threatened plant species, is generally associated with botanical gardens. One of the major objectives of botanical gardens is to create and support collections of native taxa, and to build and maintain stocks of plants for ex situ conservation and sustainable utilization of plant resources in the world ( Cibrian-Jaramillo et al., 2013 ).

A basic framework for integrated plant species conservation in a botanical garden includes identification and management of threats, long-term ex situ and/or in situ germplasm storage, research and development information management, horticulture and living collections, conservation priorities, and environmental education ( Blackmore et al., 2011 ). Botanical gardens often cultivate rare plant species for the purpose of ex situ conservation ( Dosmann, 2006 ). As of 2013, botanical gardens of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have collected about 20,000 vascular plant species for conservation, which accounts for approximately 90% of all plant species maintained by all Chinese botanical gardens. This demonstrates that CAS has conserved at least 60% of China's native flora and provided an important reserve of plant resources for sustainable economic development in China. Botanical gardens are also ideal places to integrate the study and conservation of trees species that are endangered in the wild ( Newton and Oldfield, 2012 ). As an insurance policy against extinction, the cost of ex situ seed conservation is estimated to be as little as 1% of that of in situ conservation ( Li and Pritchard, 2009 ).

Strategies for conserving living plants vary among and within garden collections ( Farnsworth et al., 2006 ). The direct evaluation of the conservation value of an ex situ collection is difficult ( Schal and Leverich, 2004 ). Understanding effective sampling structure to allow the capture of significant variation for living plant conservation collections is very important for ex situ botanical populations of endangered species. Botanical gardens cultivate many species introduced from different areas, but most cultivated taxa are held in only a small number of collections, and mostly only in small populations without sufficient genetic representation. Lack of genetic exchange and stochastic processes in small populations make them susceptible to detrimental genetic effects ( Brütting et al., 2013 ). Therefore, both in situ ecosystem management and in situ conservation play important roles for the conservation of certain plant species in their native habitats. For example, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden plays a leading conservation role because of more native species distributed in that area ( Chen et al., 2009 ). The botanical garden conserves more than 10,000 plant species with living collections. Of course, the classic functions of a botanical garden, i.e., plant resource development and utilization, should not be neglected in modern botanical gardens.

2.3. Citizen science and popularization

In addition to scientific activities such as conservation and research, public education and garden displays are also important aims of botanical gardens in different countries ( Maunder et al., 2001 , Donaldson, 2009 ). Citizen science, the process whereby citizens engage in science as researchers ( Kruger and Shannon, 2000 ), has long been associated with botanical gardens. Nowadays, the focus of modern citizen science is not “scientists using citizens as data collectors,” but rather, “citizens as scientists” ( Conrad and Hilchey, 2011 ). In fact, decision-makers and NGOs are enhancing their use of volunteers to increase their ability to monitor and control natural resources, assess at-risk species, and protect natural conservation areas ( Silvertown, 2009 ). For instance, over the past 36 years, volunteers were able to provide evidence for dramatic declines in the numbers of monarch butterflies in western North America over the past 36 years ( Schultz et al., 2017 ). Using a citizen science program to investigate the spread of invasive plant species by local resident may promote both knowledge and behavioral changes in local communities ( Jordan and Ehrenfeld, 2011 ). In fact, developing and implementing public data-collection projects often yields both scientific and educational outcomes such as biological research, biodiversity monitoring, and science education ( Raimondo et al., 2006 , Bonney et al., 2009 ).

Cooperation between scientific researchers and volunteers from local communities have the potential to deepen the scope of research and increase the ability to collect scientific data ( Close et al., 2006 , Fu et al., 2006 , Aguraiuja et al., 2008 ). Local resident may contribute valuable information because they have more local knowledge from their communities ( Cohn, 2008 ). Collection-based botanical gardens exhibit plant species and thus have a special connection with nature ( Miller et al., 2004 ). Citizen science projects at botanical gardens include studies on demographics ( Wagenuis et al., 2007 ), reproduction ( Donaldson et al., 2002 , Wagenuis, 2006 ), and ecological and genetic responses to habitat fragmentation ( Neale et al., 2008 ). According to a recent study on the interactions between climate change and the functions of botanical gardens, environmental education or citizen science can affect the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of the people involved ( Sellmann, 2014 ). For instance, by conducting pollination in botanical gardens, citizen scientists were able to help children make the transition from seeing the natural world to scientifically observing nature ( Eberbach and Crowley, 2017 ).

3. A case study: Kunming Botanical Garden

KBG was founded in 1938 and it is affiliated with the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is situated close to the Black Dragon Pool park in a quiet northern suburb of Kunming. The Garden is located at 25°07′04.9″–25°08′54.8″N, 102°44′15.2″–102°44′47.3″E at an elevation of 1914–1990 m above sea level, and has an annual average rainfall of 1006.5 mm, an annual average temperature of 14.7 °C and an annual average relative humidity of 73%. KBG focuses largely on the ex situ conservation of plants from Southwest China, especially endangered, endemic or economically important plant species native to the Yunnan Plateau or the southern Hengduan Mountains. The primary research of KBG is on the cultivation and domestication of resource plants and the biology and botany of ex situ conservation. The garden aims to maintain a comprehensive multidisciplinary botanical garden, integrating scientific research, species conservation, public education and biological technologies, visitor services, general tourism, and the development of sustainable utilization of plant resources.

KBG covers an area of 44 ha, has 16 specialist plant collections, and contains over 7000 plant species and cultivars. The garden has received more than 40 national and provincial awards and 50 authorized patents. Some 100 plant cultivars have been bred and registered, and publications over the last decades have included about 60 monographs and 550 scientific papers ( Fig. 1 ). The garden, which receives around 800,000 visitors per year, is an important center for species conservation ( Fig. 2 ). The garden is an important center for species conservation ( Fig. 2 ). Well-known gardens of KBG include the Camellia Garden (633 species and varieties), the Rhododendron Garden (about 200 species), the Medicinal Plant Garden (more than 1000 species), the Ornamental Foliage and Fruit Plants (more than 400 species), the Magnolia Family Garden (11 genera and about 110 species), the Rock Garden (more than 300 species), the Monocotyledon Garden (near 200 species), the Rose Family Garden (25 genera and more than 110 species), the Arboretum (about 1500 species), the Begonia Garden (about 500 species), the Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations Garden (27 species), the Allium Garden (about 30 species), the Greenhouses (about 4025 m 2 and 4430 species), the Gymnosperm Garden (more than 200 species), and more. There are more than 100 plant species which have fewer than five individuals growing in KBG. Having established these specialized gardens, the next step for KBG should be to evaluate their status from a conservation perspective. For example, research that evaluates the Camellia collection should identify what percent of the ex situ collection consists of Chinese plants, how many species are on the IUCN list, how many are on the national conservation list and more. Therefore, a conservation strategy to capture the genetic variation of a wild population in a botanical garden must be developed to guide the ex situ conservation strategy in this garden.

Fig. 1

Representative research conducted at KBG: a) Mucuna sempervirens pollinated by squirrel ( Chen et al., 2012 ); b) Auto self-pollination of Hibiscus aridicola ( Zhang et al., 2011 ); c) Fetid odor of Stemona tuberosa attracts fly ( Chen et al., 2017a ); d) Inflorescence of Amorphophallus konjac mimics livor mortis to deceive pollinators ( Chen et al., 2015b ); e) Sexual reproduction of winter-flowering monoecious plant Pachysandra axillaris mediated by honeybee ( Ge et al., 2017 ); f) Spore dispersal of fetid Lysurus mokusin by feces of mycophagous insects ( Chen et al., 2014 ); g, h) Seed dispersal of Stemona tuberosa by hornet and ants ( Chen et al., 2017b , Chen et al., 2018 ); i) Vulnerable Byasa daemonius consumes endangered Aristolochia delavayi ( Chen et al., 2015a ); j) New variety of Camellia “Spring Daze”; k, l) Pollination ecology of ex situ conservation Acer yangbiense and Craigia yunnanensis conducted by Jing Yang (unpublished data); m) Genomic in situ hybridization of Camellia conducted by Jing Yang. Photos taken by G Chen (a–i), ZF Chen (j), and J Yang (k–m).

Fig. 2

Some representative plant species conserved in KBG: a) Musella lasiocarpa ; b &c) Buddleja delavayi and its mutant; d) Stemona mairei ; e) Lilium sargentiae ; f) Rhododendron delavayi ; g) Holcoglossum rupestre ; h) Camellia nitissima ; i) Manglietiastrum sinicum ; j) Primula denticulate ; k) Meconopsis racemose ; l) Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations garden in KBG. Photos taken by G Chen (a–d), CQ Liu (e), G Yao (f, h, j), ZL Dao (g), ZF Chen (k), and J Yang (i, l).

Over the past few years, staff from KBG successfully introduced more than 58 pitcher plant species from areas with high elevation ( Fig. 3 ). Because of the relatively high altitude of KBG, and the temperature difference between daytime and night, introduced pitcher plants from areas of high elevation grow much better at KBG than in their natural habitats. Over the next ten years, we plan to collect, conserve, and propagate more than 80% of the high-elevation nepenthes from around the world at KBG. Recently, to create new varieties of pitcher plants, Wang Xi has used horticultural techniques to conduct artificial pollination experiments in the botanical garden. We plan to collect, conserve, and propagate more than 80% of nepenthes in KBG from high altitude area in the world. His work on the ex situ conservation of these peculiar ornamentals had made a substantial contribution to the KBG.

Fig. 3

Citizen science and public education: a) Greenhouse of KBG; b) Pitcher plant Garden; c) Allium Garden; d) Public education involved local primary school students; e & f) Local residents involved scientific research with staffs from KBG. Photos taken by ZF Chen (a, c, d, f), W Xi (b), G Chen (e).

The history of public education and citizen science at KBG started with the initial public announcement in the 1940s, although KBG officially opened to the public in June 1996. Over the past twenty years, many environmental education and citizen science projects have been conducted at KBG ( Fig. 3 ). For example, volunteers have investigated the diversity of ants (more than 42 species) and birds (more than 107 species), and studied interactions between animal and plant species at KBG. In addition, KBG staff hold an annual competition to honor excellence in the popularization of science, issue a themed calendar each year, and regularly lead capacity building and training courses in horticulture and landscape construction.

The Lijiang Alpine Botanical Garden and its associated Jade Dragon Field Station are a collaboration launched in 2001 between the Kunming Institute of Botany and the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh ( Blackmore and Paterson, 2006 ). All the activities and developments within the Lijiang Alpine Botanical Garden and Jade Dragon Field Station are driven by the importance of plants and the role that they play in securing a future for humanity. The botanical garden is located in the Hengduan Mountains, which is a biodiversity hotspot in China. The aims of this botanical garden are research, public education, and conservation, in addition to harboring greenhouses that support integrated in situ and ex situ conservation in the area ( Blackmore et al., 2011 ). The primary purpose of the Jade Dragon Field Station is the conservation of threatened plants and habitats through capacity-building projects that aim to bring about sustainable land management.

Re-introduction programs and restoration are extremely important components of integrative conservation, especially for plant species with small populations. Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP), a conservation concept developed in China in 2005, are characterized by small remaining populations (lower than the minimum viable population), a restricted habitat, a high risk of extinction, and exposure to a high level of disturbance ( Ma et al., 2013 , Sun, 2013 ). A species with fewer than 5000 mature individuals in the wild and fewer than 500 in each isolated population qualifies for designation as a PSESP ( Sun, 2016 , Yang and Sun, 2017 ). The identification of a high level of disturbance and irreversible habitat destruction distinguishes PSESP from naturally rare species. To promote the conservation of PSESP, the Ministry of Science and Technology granted funding for a National Key Programme: Survey and Germplasm Conservation of PSESP in Southwest China ( Yang and Sun, 2017 ). The program started in February 2017 and will last for 5 years, with funding of RMB 24.26 million. In the past 13 years, re-introduction programs and restoration of PSESP were conducted and achieved exciting successes in Yunnan province and KBG ( Sun, 2016 ).

Scientific research at KBG focuses on different projects. The “Gold Dollar” tobacco cultivar was successfully introduced from the USA by KBG. This introduction and subsequent cultivar improvement substantially changed the cultivar structure of tobacco production and made a significant contribution to the tobacco industry in Yunnan province. Other examples include the investigation into and artificial cultivation of Dioscorea species; the introduction of olive trees and the study of their oil composition; the study of the life history, reproductive tactics, cultivation, and chemical composition of Gastrodia elata , Cyanotis arachnoidea , and Paris species, all of which have greatly promoted economic and social development in China. Research on the integrative conservation of Camellia , Buddleja , Primula , Rhododendron , Cycas , Begonia , Magnolia , orchids, Stemona , Trigonobalanus , as well as studies into the evolution of chromosomes in angiosperms, have established an important status of KBG in the field of conservation in China.

4. Future challenges and responsibilities of botanical gardens in a changing world

Different human activities, such as in situ/ex situ conservation experiments and horticultural hybrid processes in botanical gardens, are bringing previously isolated populations and species into contact ( Kramer and Havens, 2009 , Blackmore et al., 2011 ). However, the artificial gene flow that this creates may lead to the decline or loss of plant species via outbreeding depression. Indeed, recent studies have indicated the negative effects of outbreeding depression on population persistence ( Fenster and Galloway, 2000 , Edmands, 2007 ). Therefore, care needs to be taken to ensure that inbreeding and outbreeding are avoided in those accessions grown in botanical gardens.

Botanical gardens aim to promote the awareness, study, and conservation of plant species diversity. However, few studies have investigated the species diversity of botanical gardens themselves. Pautasso and Parmentier (2007) suggested that the living collections of the world's botanical gardens were not related to species-richness patterns observed in natural ecosystems. The authors call for an increase in funds to botanical gardens in species-rich regions and to scientists in underfunded countries. Additionally, botanical gardens should play key roles in the development of plant information data base to monitor variable environmental factors in gardens ( Stevens, 2007 , Paton, 2009 ). Accelerating global access to plant diversity information is necessary to managers from different botanical gardens ( Lughadha et al., 2009 ).

Horticultural actions are important parts of in situ and/or ex situ plant conservation in botanical gardens, conservation horticulture research is uniquely suited for staff in botanical gardens ( Kay et al., 2011 ). In past decades, however, the positive contribution that botanical garden horticulture has on plant conservation has been neglected by many researchers ( Blackmore et al., 2011 ). Therefore, we suggest that botanical garden horticulturists collaborate with other researchers in taxonomy, genetics, systematics, and environmental education.

In addition, conservation effect assessment and related studies are critical for conservation success in botanical gardens, and staff in these scientific centers should utilize their extensive field knowledge and experience to conduct these assessments. Otherwise, the aims of scientific conservation of threatened plant species may not be achieved.

Citizen science provides a special opportunity for botanical gardens, especially given the high visitor levels both on site and online ( Donaldson, 2009 ). However, potential conflicts between scientific research, educational activities, and the motivation of people involved should be considered during citizen science program design ( Jordan and Ehrenfeld, 2011 , Chen et al., 2015a ). Citizen science projects conducted in botanical gardens should adopt basic rules: data collected by public must be rectified by different experts; methods of data collection must be standardized; and volunteers must receive feedback about their contribution to botanical gardens.

Botanical gardens have great abilities to explore plant diversity and plant resource utilization. However, in mainstream plant science, research conducted in botanical gardens is often neglected. Scientists at botanical gardens do not frequently become leaders in the plant science community ( Blackmore et al., 2011 ). Capacity building and training activities (plant collection and identification, species recording and assessments, horticulture and conservation techniques, public education and citizen science) need to be conducted to train potential botanists and horticulturists in botanical gardens.

Finally, since the earth is entering the Anthropocene, a ‘new conservation’ concept needs to be discussed, and new technologies may also present new opportunities for researchers at botanical gardens for the post-GSPC 2020 ( Heywood, 2017 ). As a scientific botanical garden focusing on science and conservation, having a comprehensive collection policy for living collections is vital. This would consider, for example, plants of wild origin, representative populations, adequate sample sizes, explicit documentation of provenance and other collection details, and with collections being linked directly to botanical project design. To strengthen capacity and scientific research Chinese botanical gardens should i) construct specialized gardens and promote research related to those gardens, ii) improve and develop facilities for research that relies on molecular biology, and iii) construct digitized botanical gardens.

Acknowledgement

Support for this study was provided by grants from the NSFC-Yunnan joint fund to support key projects (Grant no. U1602264) and the Young Academic and Technical Leader Raising Foundation of Yunnan Province (2015HB091) to G. Chen; and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China granted funding for a National Key Programme of China: Survey and Germplasm Conservation of PSESP in Southwest China (2017FY100100) to W.B. Sun.

(Editor: Zhekun Zhou)

Peer review under responsibility of Editorial Office of Plant Diversity.

Appendix A Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.006 .

Appendix A. Supplementary data

The following is the supplementary data related to this article:

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research paper on botanical garden

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Research Papers

Selected research papers by ubc centre for plant research faculty and ubc botanical garden staff.

Earlier publications are available through a PubMed search .

Guillaume Charron, Thomas Robichaud-Courteau, Hughes La Vigne, Samantha Weintraub, Andy Hill, Douglas Justice, Nicolas Bélanger, Alexis Lussier Desbiens. The DeLeaves: a UAV device for efficient tree canopy sampling. Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems , 2020, 8:245-264,  https://doi.org/10.1139/juvs-2020-0005

Elsadek M, Sun M, Sugiyama R, & Fujii E. Cross-cultural comparison of physiological and psychological responses to different garden styles.  Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 2018 November 16. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2018.11.007

Wu, E.T.Y., D. P. K.  Mosquin, and R. D. Guy. 2018. An Inventory of Bryophytes on the Summit of Pink Mountain (Peace River District, British Columbia, Canada). Western North American Naturalist Vol 78 (1).  https://doi.org/10.3398/064.078.0104

Zelenika I, Moreau T, Lane O, Zhao J.Sustainability education in a botanical garden promotes environmental knowledge, attitudes and willingness to act.  Environmental Education Research.  2018, October 11; 1-16.doi:10.1080/13504622.2018.1492705

Zelenika I, Moreau T, & Zhao J. Toward zero waste events: Reducing contamination in waste streams with volunteer assistance.  Waste Management.  2018 June;  76 , 39-45. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2018.03.030

Vasco A, Smalls TL, Graham SW, Cooper ED, Wong GK, Stevenson DW, Moran RC, Ambrose BA. Challenging the paradigms of leaf evolution: Class III HD-Zips in ferns and lycophytes. New Phytologist . 2016, July 17. doi: 10.1111/nph.14075. [Epub ahead of print]

Lam VKY, Merckx VSFT, Graham SW. A few-gene plastid phylogenetic framework for mycoheterotrophic monocots. Am. J. Bot. . 2016 Apr;103(4):692-708. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1500412.

Wigzell, J. M.. R. C. Racovita, B. G. Stentiford, M. Wilson, M. T., Harris, I. W. Fletcher, D. P. K. Mosquin, D. Justice, S. K. Beaumont, R. Jetter, and J. P. S. Badyal. 2016. Smart water channelling through dual wettability by leaves of the bamboo Phyllostachys aurea. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects Vol 506.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2016.06.058

Marques I, Montgomery SA, Barker MS, Macfarlane TD, Conran JG, Catalán P, Rieseberg LH, Rudall PJ, Graham SW. Transcriptome-derived evidence supports recent polyploidization and a major phylogeographic division in Trithuria submersa (Hydatellaceae, Nymphaeales). New Phytol . 2015 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/nph.13755. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26612464.

Von Spreckelsen RM, Harris MT, Wigzell JM, Fraser RC, Carletto A, Mosquin DP, Justice D, Badyal JS. Bioinspired Breathable Architecture for Water Harvesting. Scientific Reports . 2015 Nov 18; 5:16798. doi:10.1038/srep16798

Bailey S, Percy DM, Hefer CA, Cronk QC. The transcriptional landscape of insect galls: psyllid (Hemiptera) gall formation in Hawaiian Metrosideros polymorpha (Myrtaceae). BMC Genomics . 2015 Nov 16;16(1):943. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-2109-9. PubMed PMID: 26572921; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4647832.

Arsovski AA, Pradinuk J, Guo XQ, Wang S, Adams KL. Evolution of cis-regulatory elements and regulatory networks in duplicated genes of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol . 2015 Oct 16. pii: pp.00717.2015. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26474639.

Huang DI, Cronk QC. Plann: A command-line application for annotating plastome sequences. Appl Plant Sci . 2015 Aug 10;3(8). pii: apps.1500026. doi: 10.3732/apps.1500026. eCollection 2015 Aug. PubMed PMID: 26312193; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4542940.

Geraldes A, Hefer CA, Capron A, Kolosova N, Martinez-Nuñez F, Soolanayakanahally RY, Stanton B, Guy RD, Mansfield SD, Douglas CJ, Cronk QC. Recent Y chromosome divergence despite ancient origin of dioecy in poplars (Populus). Mol Ecol . 2015 Jul;24(13):3243-56. doi: 10.1111/mec.13126. Epub 2015 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 25728270.

Lam VK, Soto Gomez M, Graham SW. The Highly Reduced Plastome of Mycoheterotrophic Sciaphila (Triuridaceae) Is Colinear with Its Green Relatives and Is under Strong Purifying Selection. Genome Biol Evol . 2015 Jul 13;7(8):2220-36. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv134. PubMed PMID: 26170229; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4558852.

Wang S, Adams KL. Duplicate gene divergence by changes in microRNA binding sites in Arabidopsis and Brassica. Genome Biol Evol. 2015 Feb 2;7(3):646-55. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv023. PubMed PMID: 25644246.

Tack DC, Pitchers WR, Adams KL. Transcriptome analysis indicates considerable divergence in alternative splicing between duplicated genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics . 2014 Dec;198(4):1473-81. doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.169466. Epub 2014 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 25326238; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4256766.

Huang DI, Hefer CA, Kolosova N, Douglas CJ, Cronk QC. Whole plastome sequencing reveals deep plastid divergence and cytonuclear discordance between closely related balsam poplars, Populus balsamifera and P. trichocarpa (Salicaceae). New Phytol . 2014 Nov;204(3):693-703. doi: 10.1111/nph.12956. Epub 2014 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 25078531.

Geraldes A, Farzaneh N, Grassa CJ, McKown AD, Guy RD, Mansfield SD, Douglas CJ, Cronk QC. Landscape genomics of Populus trichocarpa: the role of hybridization, limited gene flow, and natural selection in shaping patterns of population structure. Evolution . 2014 Nov;68(11):3260-80. doi: 10.1111/evo.12497. Epub 2014 Sep 4. PubMed PMID: 25065449.

Percy DM, Argus GW, Cronk QC, Fazekas AJ, Kesanakurti PR, Burgess KS, Husband BC, Newmaster SG, Barrett SC, Graham SW. Understanding the spectacular failure of DNA barcoding in willows (Salix): does this result from a trans-specific selective sweep? Mol Ecol . 2014 Oct;23(19):4737-56. doi: 10.1111/mec.12837. Epub 2014 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 24944007

Liu SL, Pan AQ, Adams KL. Protein subcellular relocalization of duplicated genes in Arabidopsis. Genome Biol Evol . 2014 Sep 4;6(9):2501-15. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evu191. PubMed PMID: 25193306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4202327.

Qiu Y, Liu SL, Adams KL. Frequent changes in expression profile and accelerated sequence evolution of duplicated imprinted genes in arabidopsis. Genome Biol Evol . 2014 Jul;6(7):1830-42. PubMed PMID: 25115008; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4122942.

Iles WJ, Lee C, Sokoloff DD, Remizowa MV, Yadav SR, Barrett MD, Barrett RL, Macfarlane TD, Rudall PJ, Graham SW. Reconstructing the age and historical biogeography of the ancient flowering-plant family Hydatellaceae (Nymphaeales). BMC Evol Biol . 2014 May 13;14:102. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-14-102. PubMed PMID: 24884487; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4030046.

Sveinsson S, McDill J, Wong GK, Li J, Li X, Deyholos MK, Cronk QC. Phylogenetic pinpointing of a paleopolyploidy event within the flax genus (Linum) using transcriptomics. Ann Bot . 2014 Apr;113(5):753-61. doi: 10.1093/aob/mct306. Epub 2013 Dec 30. PubMed PMID: 24380843; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3962240.

Rothfels CJ, Larsson A, Li FW, Sigel EM, Huiet L, Burge DO, Ruhsam M, Graham SW, Stevenson DW, Wong GK, Korall P, Pryer KM. 2013. Transcriptome-Mining for Single-Copy Nuclear Markers in Ferns. PLoS One. Porth I, Klapšte J, Skyba O, Hannemann J, McKown AD, Guy RD, Difazio SP, Muchero W, Ranjan P, Tuskan GA, Friedmann MC, Ehlting J, Cronk QC, El-Kassaby YA, Douglas CJ, Mansfield SD. 2013. Genome-wide association mapping for wood characteristics in Populus identifies an array of candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms. New Phytologist (DOI: 10.1111/nph.12422)

Bao H, Li E, Mansfield SD, Cronk QC, El-Kassaby YA, Douglas CJ. 2013. The developing xylem transcriptome and genome-wide analysis of alternative splicing in Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood) populations. BMC Genomics . (DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-359)

Bell GD, Kane NC, Rieseberg LH, Adams KL. 2013. RNA-seq analysis of allele-specific expression, hybrid effects, and regulatory divergence in hybrids compared with their parents from natural populations. Genome Biol Evol . (DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evt072)

Darracq A, Adams KL. 2013. Features of evolutionarily conserved alternative splicing events between Brassica and Arabidopsis. New Phytologist . (DOI: 10.1111/nph.12238)

De Smet R, Adams KL, Vandepoele K, Van Montagu MC, Maere S, Van de Peer Y. 2013. Convergent gene loss following gene and genome duplications creates single-copy families in flowering plants. Proc Acad Natl Sci USA . (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1300127110)

Geraldes A, Difazio SP, Slavov GT, Ranjan P, Muchero W, Hannemann J, Gunter LE, Wymore AM, Grassa CJ, Farzaneh N, Porth I, McKown AD, Skyba O, Li E, Fujita M, Klápště J, Martin J, Schackwitz W, Pennacchio C, Rokhsar D, Friedmann MC, Wasteneys GO, Guy RD, El-Kassaby YA, Mansfield SD, Cronk QC, Ehlting J, Douglas CJ, Tuskan GA. 2013. A 34K SNP genotyping array for Populus trichocarpa: design, application to the study of natural populations and transferability to other Populus species. Mol Ecol Resour. (DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12056)

Slavov GT, DiFazio SP, Martin J, Schackwitz W, Muchero W, Rodgers-Melnick E, Lipphardt MF, Pennacchio CP, Hellsten U, Pennacchio LA, Gunter LE, Ranjan P, Vining K, Pomraning KR, Wilhelm LJ, Pellegrini M, Mockler TC, Freitag M, Geraldes A, El-Kassaby YA, Mansfield SD, Cronk QC, Douglas CJ, Strauss SH, Rokhsar D, Tuskan GA. 2012. Genome resequencing reveals multiscale geographic structure and extensive linkage disequilibrium in the forest tree Populus trichocarpa. New Phytologist . (DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04258.x)

Wang Z, Hobson N, Galindo L, Zhu S, Shi D, McDill J, Yang L, Hawkins S, Neutelings G, Datla R, Lambert G, Galbraith DW, Grassa CJ, Geraldes A, Cronk QC, Cullis C, Dash PK, Kumar PA, Cloutier S, Sharpe AG, Wong GK, Wang J, Deyholos MK. 2012. The genome of flax (Linum usitatissimum) assembled de novo from short shotgun sequence reads. Plant J. . (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.05093.x)

Iles WJ, Rudall PJ, Sokoloff DD, Remizowa MV, Macfarlane TD, Logacheva MD, Graham SW. 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of Hydatellaceae (Nymphaeales): sexual-system homoplasy and a new sectional classification. American Journal of Botany . (DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1100524)

Yang JY, Motilal LA, Dempewolf H, Maharaj K, Cronk QC. 2011. Chloroplast microsatellite primers for cacao (Theobroma cacao) and other Malvaceae. American Journal of Botany . (DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1100306)

Liu SL, Baute GJ, Adams KL. 2011. Organ and cell type-specific complementary expression patterns and regulatory neofunctionalization between duplicated genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genome Biol Evol . (DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evr114)

Lai Z, Kane NC, Kozik A, Hodgins KA, Dlugosch KM, Barker MS, Matvienko M, Yu Q, Turner KG, Pearl SA, Bell GD, Zou Y, Grassa C, Guggisberg A, Adams KL, Anderson JV, Horvath DP, Kesseli RV, Burke JM, Michelmore RW, Rieseberg LH. 2011. Genomics of Compositae weeds: EST libraries, microarrays, and evidence of introgression. American Journal of Botany . (DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1100313)

Zhou R, Moshgabadi N, Adams KL. 2011. Extensive changes to alternative splicing patterns following allopolyploidy in natural and resynthesized polyploids. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA . (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1109551108)

Hollingsworth PM, Graham SW, Little DP. 2011. Choosing and using a plant DNA barcode. PLoS One. (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019254) Ness RW, Graham SW, Barrett SC. 2011. Reconciling gene and genome duplication events: using multiple nuclear gene families to infer the phylogeny of the aquatic plant family Pontederiaceae. Mol Biol Evol . (DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msr119)

Kesanakurti PR, Fazekas AJ, Burgess KS, Percy DM, Newmaster SG, Graham SW, Barrett SC, Hajibabaei M, Husband BC (2011) Spatial patterns of plant diversity below-ground as revealed by DNA barcoding. Mol Ecol . 2011 20(6):1289-1302

Wang L, Beyer ST, Cronk QCB, Walus K (2011) Delivering high-resolution landmarks using inkjet micropatterning for spatial monitoring of leaf expansion. Plant Methods 2011, 7:1

research paper on botanical garden

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Funds to Preserve Global Plant Biodiversity Awarded to Five Botanic Gardens

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Washington – The Global Genome Initiative for Gardens (GGI-Gardens), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), BGCI-US, and the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) are pleased to announce five awards to botanic gardens and arboreta in five countries to collect and conserve plant diversity. The GGI-Gardens Awards Program supports activities to preserve Earth’s genomic biodiversity of plants through sampling of living collections maintained at botanic gardens around the world.

The awardees will collect genome-quality plant tissue samples from living plant collections as well as wild populations and preserve them in Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) biobanks, making them accessible to researchers around the world. Priority was given to awardees that can collect unique families and genera of vascular plants not yet represented in GGBN biorepositories. The supported projects will sample from a wide range of species, including the critically endangered  Gigasiphon macrosiphon  endemic to Kenya and Tanzania,  Aspidosperma polyneuron found in the seasonally dry tropical forests of South America. One awarded project will include the first documented conservation collection of plants endemic to the Andaman Islands, India.

This is the fourth year of the GGI-Gardens Awards Program, which has supported 36 projects by 30 gardens in 21 countries that have collected more than 15,000 voucher specimens.

“The high quality of proposals submitted to this award program continues to impress the entire GGI-Gardens community,” Dr. Morgan Gostel, Director of GGI-Gardens and Research Botanist at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), noted. “These awards and the work they are supporting are a testament to the central role botanic gardens play in conserving and understanding plant genomic diversity worldwide.”

“BGCI views our partnership with GGI-Gardens, BGCI-US, and the United States Botanic Garden as invaluable for facilitating conservation action by botanic gardens around the world,” said Dr. Paul Smith, Secretary General of BGCI. “The work accomplished has filled important gaps in botanical genomic resources available for science and provides critical support for preserving and understanding plant diversity.”

“This international collaboration supports local gardens preserving plants in their collections for conservation and research, ensuring the valuable germplasm they steward is available to science for decades to come,” said Dr. Susan K. Pell, Executive Director of the USBG. “We are proud to continue our collaboration with GGI-Gardens, BGCI-US, and BGCI in support of this important work in the face of habitat loss and climate change.”

Applications were evaluated on institutional capacity, collection scope and genomic novelty, best practices, policies and biodiversity standards, efficiency, and broader conservation impacts.

The five awards, totalling nearly USD $22,000, were made possible by GGI-Gardens, BGCI-US, and the USBG, and are administered through BGCI’s Global Botanic Garden Fund. Award recipients will carry out the collection activities and finalize projects by the end of 2025. More information on the awarded projects will be provided throughout the year ahead. 

The recipients of the 2024 Awards Program grants are:

Institution  (Alphabetical), Country

Cartagena Botanical Garden, Colombia

Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, India

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, South Africa

Mandhari Plants & Designs / Gede Tropical Gardens & Nursery, Kenya

National Herbarium of Rwanda, CoEB, University of Rwanda, Rwanda

For more information on the GGI-Gardens Awards Program visit:  https://www.bgci.org/our-work/sharing-knowledge-and-resources/global-botanic-garden-fund/ .

Images are available at: 

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/gzi4sk72er5y8x2lec8c8/h?rlkey=sconxa8coew8zbsj4cigg1ie4&dl=0  

Contacts:  

Morgan Gostel, GGI-Gardens,  [email protected]

Charlotte Ely, BGCI,  [email protected]

Abby Meyer, BGCI-US,  [email protected]

Devin Dotson, U.S. Botanic Garden,  [email protected]

About GGI-Gardens

The Global Genome Initiative for Gardens (GGI-Gardens) is a collaborative science-based effort led by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden that aims to collect and preserve the genomic diversity of plants on Earth. GGI-Gardens aims to achieve this mission by building capacity at botanical gardens and arboreta to collect scientific vouchers from living collections and preserving their genome resources in GGBN-partnered biorepositories. GGI-Gardens is generating a vast, accessible, and well-managed collection of genome resources for conservation and research.  https://fwbg.org

About Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and BGCI-US

BGCI is the world’s largest plant conservation network, comprising more than 850 member botanic gardens in over 100 countries. Established in 1987, BGCI is a registered charity with offices in the UK, US, Singapore, China and Kenya. BGCI's Global Botanic Garden Fund aims to drive plant conservation in botanic gardens with a preference for small botanic gardens in developing countries and biodiversity hotspots. BGCI US is a 501(c)3 organization that shares BGCI’s mission and vision, and connects resources and initiatives in the U.S. and North America with the rest of the world.  https://www.bgci.org

About United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is the oldest continuously operating public garden in the United States, established by Congress in 1820. The U.S. Botanic Garden inspires people to appreciate, study, and conserve plants to enrich society locally and globally. With over one million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. It is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.  www.USBG.gov  

Formed in 2011, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network is an international network of institutions that share an interest in long-term preservation of genomics samples representing the diversity of non-human life on Earth.  GGBN provides a platform for biodiversity repositories from across the world to collaborate, ensure consistent quality standards for genomic collections, improve best practices for preservation and use of such collections, and harmonise the exchange and use of material in accordance with national and international legislation and conventions. 

http://www.ggbn.org/ggbn_portal/  

research paper on botanical garden

National Herbarium of Rwanda, CoEB, University of Rwanda - 2024 GGI Gardens Awardee

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Study finds that urban agriculture must be carefully planned to have climate benefits

  • Jim Erickson

Preparing seedlings for planting at a collective garden in London, England. Urban food production spaces like this can provide numerous social and community benefits but require careful crop selection and management to cut the carbon footprints of cities. Image credit: Victoria Schoen

A new University of Michigan-led international study finds that fruits and vegetables grown in urban farms and gardens have a carbon footprint that is, on average, six times greater than conventionally grown produce.

However, a few city-grown crops equaled or outperformed conventional agriculture under certain conditions. Tomatoes grown in the soil of open-air urban plots had a lower carbon intensity than tomatoes grown in conventional greenhouses, while the emissions difference between conventional and urban agriculture vanished for air-freighted crops like asparagus.

“The exceptions revealed by our study suggest that urban agriculture practitioners can reduce their climate impacts by cultivating crops that are typically greenhouse-grown or air-freighted, in addition to making changes in site design and management,” said study co-lead author Jason Hawes , a doctoral student at U-M’s School for Environment and Sustainability.

“Urban agriculture offers a variety of social, nutritional and place-based environmental benefits, which make it an appealing feature of future sustainable cities. This work shines light on ways to ensure that urban agriculture benefits the climate, as well as the people and places it serves.”

Urban garden in Nantes, France. Image credit: Baptiste Grard

Urban agriculture, the practice of farming within the confines of a city, is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and is touted as a way to make cities and urban food systems more sustainable. By some estimates, between 20% and 30% of the global urban population engages in some form of urban agriculture.

Despite strong evidence of the social and nutritional benefits of urban agriculture, its carbon footprint remains understudied. Most previously published studies have focused on high-tech, energy-intensive forms of UA—such as vertical farms and rooftop greenhouses—even though the vast majority of urban farms are decidedly low-tech: crops grown in soil on open-air plots.

The new U-M-led study, published online Jan. 22 in the journal Nature Cities, aimed to fill some of the knowledge gaps by comparing the carbon footprints of food produced at low-tech urban agriculture sites to conventional crops. It used data from 73 urban farms and gardens in five countries and is the largest published study to compare the carbon footprints of urban and conventional agriculture.

“Beyond food production, urban food growers experience mental and physical health benefits, share environmental education, and enable community capacity-building,” Hawes said. “They also cultivate environmental improvements, offering homes for bees and urban wildlife as well as some protection from the urban heat island effect. In a recent project, we partnered with individual gardeners, volunteers, and farm managers to explore these benefits, while also assessing the carbon footprint of the practice.”

Three types of urban agriculture sites were analyzed: urban farms (professionally managed and focused on food production), individual gardens (small plots managed by single gardeners) and collective gardens (communal spaces managed by groups of gardeners).

For each site, the researchers calculated the climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions associated with on-farm materials and activities over the lifetime of the farm. The emissions, expressed in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per serving of food, were then compared to foods raised by conventional methods.

On average, food produced through urban agriculture emitted 0.42 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per serving, six times higher than the 0.07 kg CO2e per serving of conventionally grown produce.

“By assessing actual inputs and outputs on urban agriculture sites, we were able to assign climate change impacts to each serving of produce,” said study co-lead author Benjamin Goldstein , assistant professor at U-M’s School for Environment and Sustainability. “This dataset reveals that urban agriculture has higher carbon emissions per serving of fruit or vegetable than conventional agriculture—with a few exceptions.”

Joshua Newell , professor and co-director of the Center for Sustainable Systems at SEAS, led the University of Michigan portion of the project. The U-M researchers formed an international team of collaborators from universities near the various food-growing sites. Ten of those collaborators are co-authors of the Nature Cities study.

Farmers and gardeners at urban agriculture sites in France, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States were recruited as citizen scientists and used daily diary entries to record inputs and harvests from their food-growing sites throughout the 2019 season.

Inputs to the urban agriculture sites fell into three main categories: infrastructure (such as the raised beds in which food is grown, or pathways between plots), supplies (including compost, fertilizer, weed-blocking fabric and gasoline for machinery), and irrigation water.

Urban collective garden at a New York City Housing Authority site. The garden provides educational and recreational opportunities for residents, in addition to fresh produce. Image credit: Nevin Cohen

“Most of the climate impacts at urban farms are driven by the materials used to construct them—the infrastructure,” Goldstein said. “These farms typically only operate for a few years or a decade, so the greenhouse gases used to produce those materials are not used effectively. Conventional agriculture, on the other hand, is very efficient and hard to compete with.”

For example, conventional farms often grow a single crop with the help of pesticides and fertilizers, resulting in larger harvests and a reduced carbon footprint when compared to urban farms, he said.

The researchers identified three best practices crucial to making low-tech urban agriculture more carbon-competitive with conventional agriculture:

  • Extend infrastructure lifetimes. Extend the lifetime of UA materials and structures such as raised beds, composting infrastructure and sheds. A raised bed used for five years will have approximately four times the environmental impact, per serving of food, as a raised bed used for 20 years.
  • Use urban wastes as UA inputs. Conserve carbon by engaging in “urban symbiosis,” which includes giving a second life to used materials, such as construction debris and demolition waste, that are unsuitable for new construction but potentially useful for UA. The most well-known symbiotic relationship between cities and UA is composting. The category also includes using rainwater and recycled grey water for irrigation.
  • Generate high levels of social benefits. In a survey conducted for the study, UA farmers and gardeners overwhelmingly reported improved mental health, diet and social networks. While increasing these “nonfood outputs” of UA does not reduce its carbon footprint, “growing spaces which maximize social benefits can outcompete conventional agriculture when UA benefits are considered holistically,” according to the study authors.

Co-authors of the Nature Cities paper are from McGill University in Canada, University Paris-Saclay and the Agroecology and Environmental Research Unit in France, the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, ILS Research in Germany, City University of New York and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland.

Support for the project was provided by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, French National Research Agency, U.S. National Science Foundation, Poland’s National Science Centre, and the European Union’s Horizon 202 research and innovation program.

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Study finds school gardens can foster children's interest in nature

by Zhang Nannan, Chinese Academy of Sciences

School garden can be used to foster children's interest in nature

Children's interest in nature is crucial for their understanding and appreciation of the natural environment, as well as for their mental health and efforts to biodiversity conservation. The primary school stage is very important for developing an interest in nature. It is worth exploring whether a school garden with abundant natural components can be used to cultivate primary school children's interest in nature while helping to alleviate their study-related stress.

In a study published in People and Nature , Chen Jin's team from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated the impact of nature observation activities and inquiry learning activities in a school garden on the development of children's interest in nature.

They found that involving children in garden-based activities was beneficial in stimulating and sustaining situational interest, which could potentially lead to a long-term individual interest in nature.

The researchers conducted a semester of educational interventions in a campus garden of a primary school in Xishuangbanna, SW China, to investigate how children's interest in nature develops over time and with interventions in the school garden. They also sought to identify the key factors that drive the development process.

The program involved 24 fourth-grade students in weekly 40-minute activities, which were divided into three treatments: nature observation with assigned tasks, nature observation with open-ended tasks, and inquiry-based activities.

In general, the interventions have different effects on children's interest in nature. While some children experienced a decrease in their interest, others maintained or increased their interest in nature. More than two-thirds of the 24 students were classified as "interest initiated" or "interest enhanced," indicating a generally positive outcome.

Qualitative data analysis revealed that novelty, scaffolding, autonomy, and social interaction were key factors in promoting interest development for most children. In particular, a subgroup of children who showed sustained or increased interest in nature demonstrated a deeper understanding and appreciation of the environment and its inhabitants.

The results revealed that the school garden, with its unique and safe environment , played a significant role in stimulating children's curiosity about the creatures in the garden. It provided an exciting and novel space for exploration.

"Therefore, implementing a diverse school garden with informative labels and explanation boards, along with teacher support, is a promising approach to cultivating children's interest in nature, especially during the critical developmental stage of nine to 11 years," said Chen Jin.

Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences

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COMMENTS

  1. The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science

    Botanical gardens not only serve as taxonomic and systematic research centers ( ), but they also play an important role as valuable sources of plant ecology data collection such as phenological indication of climate change, plant physiology and plant growth tactics, and plant-animal interactions ( Coates and Dixon, 2007Gratani et al., 2008Dawson...

  2. The growing and vital role of botanical gardens in climate change research

    Over the past 20 years, the scientific community has described a range of ways that climate change affects plants - influencing phenology, physiology, anatomy, and other aspects of plant ecology and evolution (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003; Wolkovich et al ., 2012 ).

  3. (PDF) The role of botanical gardens in scientific research

    By reviewing the history of the development of Kunming Botanical Garden, we illustrate successful species conservation approaches (among others, projects involving Camellia, Rhododendron,...

  4. Botanical gardens as valuable resources in plant sciences

    Since botanical gardens often include the local species, it can state that botanical gardens can be considered as a suitable foundation for taxonomy and systematic research. Based on a report of FAO (FAO), 410 botanical gardens have conserved ornamental or wild native endangered species, 169 medicinal or forest species, and 119 germplasm of ...

  5. The future of plant conservation and the role of botanic gardens

    The papers included in this special issue are mostly based on presentations made at the IABG international conference held at Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, China, November 2016, which addressed the roles that botanic gardens, both in China and elsewhere, can play in national biodiversity conservation strategies, such as maintaining and con...

  6. Botanical Gardens Facing Biodiversity Conservation and ...

    The role of Botanical Gardens is presented in its biodiversity conservation and climate change dimensions in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development framework (UN 2015).. Although gardens date back thousands of years to China's Zhou dynasty, 1122-249 BCE (Chen and Sun 2018), the modern concept of a Botanical Garden originated in Europe; the oldest is the Orto Botanico di ...

  7. Ex situ conservation of plant diversity in the world's botanic gardens

    Here we quantify how that diversity is conserved in ex situ collections across the world's botanic gardens. We reveal that botanic gardens manage at least 105,634 species, equating to 30% of all ...

  8. The role of botanical gardens in scientific research ...

    By reviewing the history of the development of Kunming Botanical Garden, we illustrate successful species conservation approaches (among others, projects involving Camellia, Rhododendron, Magnolia, Begonia, Allium, Nepenthes, medicinal plants, ornamental plants, and Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations), as well as citizen science, and s...

  9. Expanding the role of botanical gardens in the future of food

    A few botanical gardens undertake research related to food plants, but they are in a position to do more. One important example is a contemporary project being carried out at the Royal Botanic ...

  10. Sustainability

    Among different green areas located within urban spaces, botanic gardens are unique in the way that they serve multidimensional purposes. Botanical gardens refer to plant collections designed for display, recreation, research, and education [] and they serve as worldwide educational and research centers [2,3].The Botanical Garden of Blaj (Romania) has been identified as the first established ...

  11. Harnessing the power of botanical gardens: Evaluating the costs and

    Infrastructure, training, and funding have long been identified as major impediments to the expansion of conservation research in botanical gardens, but there has been little study into the required resources or most efficient methods for increasing capacity (Havens et al., 2006). To address this, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's Center ...

  12. The importance of botanic gardens for global change research—New

    1 INTRODUCTION As ambassadors for our ecosystems, botanic gardens not only offer plant conservation, knowledge exchange, and public engagement but also provide unique living laboratories for understanding biological and ecological responses to global climate change.

  13. A botanic garden as a tool to combine public perception of ...

    Research Article A botanic garden as a tool to combine public perception of nature and life-science investigations on native/exotic plants interactions with local pollinators Manuela Giovanetti , Claudia Giuliani, Samuel Boff, Gelsomina Fico, Daniela Lupi Manuela Giovanetti, Claudia Giuliani, Samuel Boff, Gelsomina Fico, Daniela Lupi x

  14. The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and

    DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.006 Corpus ID: 59618513; The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science @article{Chen2018TheRO, title={The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science}, author={Gao Chen and Weibang Sun}, journal={Plant Diversity}, year={2018}, volume={40}, pages={181 - 188}, url={https://api ...

  15. Issue Information

    A visitor explores the tropical glasshouse at Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxford, UK. ... Hiscock et al.'s article "Celebrating botanic gardens"brings together a group of papers in a virtual issue that highlights the global breadth and societal impact of research undertaken at these institutions. Image courtesy of Oxford Botanic Garden.

  16. Botanical garden

    Feb. 6, 2024, 2:35 AM ET (The Hindu) TNAU revives 'Covai Flower Show' at its Botanical Garden after 11 years The exotic plants of Trebah Garden Overview of Trebah Garden, Cornwall, England. See all videos for this article botanical garden, originally, a collection of living plants designed chiefly to illustrate relationships within plant groups.

  17. (PDF) Planning and Implementing Botanic Garden Design Projects

    Chapter. December 2015. Andrew Anderson. Annette Patzelt. The conceptualisation, design, renovation, transformation or expansion of a botanic garden or any of its parts is a unique and rewarding ...

  18. The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and

    1. Botanical gardens: a unique benefit for humans Although the birth of the "garden" dates back to the Zhou dynasty in China, the modern concept of a botanical garden originated in Europe (Italy's Padova Botanic Garden was built in 1545). Today, there are about 2500 botanical gardens in the world ( Golding et al., 2010 ).

  19. Botanic Garden Research Papers

    Help Center Find new research papers in: Physics Earth Sciences View Botanic Garden Research Papers on Academia.edu for free.

  20. Research Papers

    2015 Marques I, Montgomery SA, Barker MS, Macfarlane TD, Conran JG, Catalán P, Rieseberg LH, Rudall PJ, Graham SW. Transcriptome-derived evidence supports recent polyploidization and a major phylogeographic division in Trithuria submersa (Hydatellaceae, Nymphaeales). New Phytol. 2015 Nov 27. doi: 10.1111/nph.13755.

  21. Mission and Objectives of Botanical Gardens

    This paper presents a review of these recent trends in the display of plants based on a search of botanical gardens around the world and on both theory and previous research findings that have ...

  22. Moscow Digital Herbarium: a Consortium Since 2019

    That's how a single-university system became a multi-institutional consortium in April 2019. The Herbarium of the Main Botanical Garden, Russian Academy of Sciences (MHA) is the fourth-largest Russian herbarium, with 610K specimens of vascular plants. It holds vast collections from the Moscow metropolitan area (City of Moscow & Moscow Oblast ...

  23. Funds to Preserve Global Plant Biodiversity Awarded to Five Botanic Gardens

    BGCI's Global Botanic Garden Fund aims to drive plant conservation in botanic gardens with a preference for small botanic gardens in developing countries and biodiversity hotspots. BGCI US is a 501(c)3 organization that shares BGCI's mission and vision, and connects resources and initiatives in the U.S. and North America with the rest of the ...

  24. Study finds that urban agriculture must be carefully planned to have

    The garden provides educational and recreational opportunities for residents, in addition to fresh produce. ... Co-authors of the Nature Cities paper are from McGill University in Canada, University Paris-Saclay and the Agroecology and Environmental Research Unit in France, the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, ILS Research in Germany ...

  25. School garden can be used to cultivate children's interest in nature

    Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China E-mail: [email protected] First published: 6 February 202 4 A child observing the flowers on the tree with binoculars in the school garden. (Image by KONG Chuwei)

  26. Botanical garden

    Orto botanico di Pisa operated by the University of Pisa: the first university botanic garden in Europe, established in 1544 under botanist Luca Ghini, it was relocated in 1563 and again in 1591.. A botanical garden or botanic garden is a garden with a documented collection of living plants for the purpose of scientific research, conservation, display, and education.

  27. The Importance of Botanical Gardens

    The American Public Gardens Association defines a public garden as "an institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning. It must be open to the public and the garden's resources and accommodations must be made to all visitors." During the COVID-19 pandemic, public gardens became ...

  28. School gardens cultivate children's interest in nature, ease stress

    In a study published in the journal People and Nature, a research team from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed the impact of natural observation and inquiry-based learning activities in a school garden on the development of children's interest in nature.

  29. Study finds school gardens can foster children's interest in nature

    Reading on screens instead of paper is a less effective way to absorb and retain information, suggests research Feb 6, 2024 Certain personality traits linked to college students' sense of belonging