The University Gardens

Preserving threatened species

Conservation activities at the University Gardens

Rhododendron kotschyi (Endangered)
Terhi Pousi, UiB

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International conservation efforts:

We coordinate the BGCI Global Conservation Consortium for Erica and are a member of the BGCI GCC for Rhododendron, acting as a safe site for ex-situ conservation of several threatened species. We are part of the global metacollection for the Wollemi pine.

Our garden has initiated a cooperation with the Belgrade Botanical garden in Serbia. One of the main issues for this cooperation is to conserve threatened plants from Serbia in Norway. So far we have collected seeds that are in our storage for conservation, but some of the plants will also be cultivated for the same purpose. A very important collection is Picea omorika (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31943020) that will be emphasized in this colaboration.

National initiatives:

Ex situ conservation of red listed species in Norway, in cooperation with the Botanical Gardens of Norway. Activities include seed collection for storage in the national seed bank and keeping threatened material cultivated in living collections. Important collections in our gardens are Norwegian endemic species of Sorbus, local genotypes of Rosa spinosissima and R. × sabinii auct norv., several rare Alchemilla species, and local threatened plants from Western Norway.

Red listed species are on display to the public in the Botanical Garden and the Arboretum.

Conservation of heritage garden plants kept in clone archives under the initiative of The Norwegian Genetic Ressources Centre in cooperation with NORDGEN. Focus cultivar groups: Historic roses, Buxus, tulips, perennials, potatos, peas, as well as other vegetables and house plants (greenhouse cultivation). Activities include studies in genetic and morphological variation and public outreach.