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Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild

Ex Situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild
Edward O. Guerrant, Jr., Kayri Havens, and Mick Maunder
Island Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 505 p., $40.00

The purpose of ex situ plant conservation has evolved over the last centuries from primarily collections of plants for study by academics off site of a plant’s origin to the current goal of adoption of a population genetics as a tool to conserve threatened species of plants. We read depressing accounts that note the accelerated disappearance of threatened species. It certainly has been recognized it is vital to save critical plant populations.

When conditions do not allow for conservation of native habitat, botanic gardens have taken up the role of conserving the threatened plants through such means as controlled environments, conservation facilities, reference collections, and seed banks. The authors review the many challenges they face from management concerns to the actual labor with the care of conservation collections. The text reports on the best management practices in the field today, so this book will be of special interest to all conservation professionals and policy makers. Although somewhat technical, readers will gain greater insight into the race to save the world’s plant populations.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden