Missouri Botanical Garden

Alexander G. Linan, Porter P. Lowry II, Allison Miller, George E. Schatz, Jean-Claude Sevathian, Christine E. Edwards, Saint Louis University, Missouri Botanical Garden, Institut de Systématique, Évolution et Biodiversité (ISYEB), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle/École, Pratique des Hautes Études, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonne Universités, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

The ebony and persimmon genus (Diospyros) is a diverse group of largely tropical trees and shrubs, comprising >800 species, many of which are poorly known, and/or are of dire conservation concern. Some of the most endangered members of the genus are endemic to islands of the Western Indian Ocean. The Mascarene Islands, comprising the islands Reunion, Rodrigues, and Mauritius is located east of Madagascar, and harbor 14 endemic species of Diospyros. Most of the species diversity is endemic to Mauritius are of dire conservation concern with the majority of species listed as either Critically Endangered or Endangered by IUCN Red List assessments. Despite their conservation status, nothing is known about patterns of genetic diversity or whether these sympatrically distributed and closely related species represent distinct genetic units. In this study we conducted population level sampling on all extant species of endemic Mascarene Diospyros and genotyped samples using 2bRAD seq in order to: 1) clarify species limits within the group, 2) determine and compare levels of genetic diversity across species and, 3) assess patterns of genetic structure within species and prioritize populations for conservation efforts. We found the morphologically described species correspond to unique genetic units despite the presence of hybrids and provide recommendations for future/ongoing conservation efforts.

Date Recorded: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

CPC Best Reintroduction Practice Guidelines: Astragalus bibullatus Case Study

Matthew Albrecht, Missouri Botanical Garden (SePPCon 2016)

Reintroduction is a critical component of rare species conservation with the goal of continuing evolution in a natural context. Within the southeastern U.S. 81% of recovery plans include reintroduction as a proposed conservation action, while in Hawaii almost all plant recovery plans recommend reintroduction to ensure persistence in the wild. Following CPC Reintroduction Guidelines can help improve success. Ex situ conservation and in situ habitat management should precede reintroduction. Prior to reintroduction gathering information about species biology, genetics, mating system, interactions and habitat is advised.  Aspects of designing a reintroduction include considering genetic,demographic and horticulture. Whether a single or mixed genetic source should be used, how large a founding population and more questions are addressed.    Using an example of Astragalus bibullatus, Matthew describes several aspects of using experimentation to test hypotheses for improving reintroduction success.

This work was presented at the Southeast Partners in Plant Conservation (SePPCon) 2016 Meeting. Learn more about SePPCon here.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Matthew Albrecht, Missouri Botanical Garden

Monitoring is a central component of reintroduction programs, but often receives less attention from practitioners than the preparation or implementation phases of a project. A well-designed monitoring program can detect changes in the environment over time, identify new threats that emerge at the reintroduction site, determine drivers of growth rates in reintroduced populations, and inform adaptive management. This presentation highlights the ten key components of a well-designed monitoring program based on the CPC's Best Plant Conservation Practices.  Topics discussed includes monitoring objectives and designs for short- and long-lived plant species, threat detection, evaluating fecundity and dispersal, comparisons with wild reference populations, types of data analyses, and best-practices for data management and sharing.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 3, 2019