Conserving Biodiversity Ex Situ
With current populations of our three endemic species [ie. Fernald's Braya, Long's Braya, and Barrens Willow]
under threat and/or declining, it is vital that both on-site
(in situ) and off-site (ex situ) conservation efforts be in play.
The challenge is to develop precise ex situ protocols for growing these species. This is being done at
the Memorial University Botanical Garden (ref.
Several methods are being used to establish viable, "fail safe"
maintain the genetic diversity of all three species in off site facilities. These methods include:
The development of these protocols and the building of an ex situ collection will be invaluable
as a failsafe in the event that the natural populations are extirpated (the plants become extinct in the
wild). They will also be used for experimentation to reduce impact on natural populations and for
reintroduction trials at suitable sites. Ex situ populations will arrest the erosion of the genetic
diversity that is occurring in nature.
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