Botanical gardens, including arboreta, today hold at least one-third of known plant species in their collections, including more than 40% of threatened species. Credit: The Morton Arboretum The world is experiencing a sixth global mass extinction event, and a new paper advocates that botanical gardens are uniquely positioned to preserve the world’s plant diversity. In a paper published in Plants, People, Planet , The Morton Arboretum scientists Murphy Westwood, Ph.D., and Nicole Cavender, Ph.D., in collaboration with Abby Meyer, and Paul Smith, Ph.D., from Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), detail how botanical gardens have the skills and knowledge, facilities, plant collections, and access to the public required to advance plant conservation , but lack the funding and public recognition necessary to achieve significant impact on global conservation. “Although gardens are the ideal organizations to take on the significant challenges that come with preserving the world’s plant diversity, their conservation efforts remain chronically underfunded,” explained Westwood, Director of Global Tree Conservation at The Morton Arboretum. “There is a need for not only more funding for garden -led plant conservation initiatives, but also more reliable, long-term, steady funding sources that reflect the time scales necessary to secure threatened plant species, especially […]


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