Is it possible to designate multi-institution Conservation Groves when many institutions have a few wild provenance individuals of the same species?
For California Plant Rescue, we are conducting a gap analysis of the conservation collections of California native plants by compiling the "living collections" and seed accessions of six botanic gardens. There are a few instances where living collections clearly represent intentional, population level conservation collections at a single institution. However, there are also a several instance of multiple institution having different, wild provenanced accessions of the same species (Quercus dumosa, Abies bracteata, several species of Arctostaphylos). Is it useful to designate these meta-collections as a conservation collection for gap analysis purposes? Or is it not a true conservation collection if the individuals are not from the same population?
The Plant Collections Network (part of the American Public Gardens Association) is working on doing exactly this. There are a number of plant groups already represented, such as oaks and cycads. Check out https://www.publicgardens.org/programs/about-plant-collections-network .
While I do not have an answer to this question I am interested in the idea. The Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance maintains some species collections in a way that divides ex situ material so that different member gardens are safeguarding different populations. This is mainly done when in situ seed production in low or non-existent so we can have controlled outcrossing of select individuals. It represents a similar effort.
Atlanta Botanical Garden maintains a database of ex situ and in situ conservation activities for GPCA. Many GPCA members gardens are not art of CPC, and I am wondering if and/ or how to enter national collection info for species that are spread out among GPCA members. It is great to have this forum to discuss these things!