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Chambeyronia macrocarpa at sunrise

April 2, 2015

Montgomery Co-Sponsors the 27th Annual Gifford Arboretum Lecture at the University of Miami

Dr. Dennis W. Stevenson, Vice President for Laboratory Research, Editor of Botanical Review, Adjunct Professor at Columbia, Cornell and Yale Universities, and Member at Montgomery Botanical Center, gave the 27th Annual Gifford Arboretum Lecture at the University of Miami titled, "Yes Bobby, Gardens and Arboreta are Relevant to the Molecular World."

Dr. Stevenson discussed why living collections continue to be important to science and why their importance has never been greater.

This lecture, co-sponsored by the Gifford Arboretum at the University of Miami and Montgomery Botanical Center, was well attended. Colleagues from Florida International University, the Kampong, and other local gardens, schools, organizations, and individuals attended the informative lecture.

The Gifford Arboretum Lecture is part of the CETroB lecture series and was brought to you with the support of the City of Coral Gables and the Kelly Foundation.

April 2015

Spring/Summer 2015 Montgomery Botanical News is Now Online!

This new issue has articles on searching for Pseudophoenix on Elliott Key, collecting cycads in Colombia, more palm discoveries, and recent publications and awards received by MBC.

Please see pages 10 and 11 for a list of grants and support received in 2014. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps Montgomery meet its mission year after year. If you would like to support Montgomery online please visit our Support Us page.

Montgomery Botanical Center publishes two newsletters a year to keep our supporters and collaborators up to date and informed.

To read more about how Montgomery Botanical Center meets our mission of "Advancing Research, Conservation, and Education through Scientific Plant Collections" please see our newsletters online.

February 18, 2015

A Mini Dump Truck for Major Work

Montgomery Botanical Center is happy to announce the arrival of a new mini-dump truck. This new equipment will be used to improve landscape horticulture, plant health, and access to the plant collections.

The vehicle will lower fuel costs throughout the year and offer better maneuverability in the landscape, allowing some tightly planted collections to be more accessible for maintenance and cleanup.

We would like to thank the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for their generous grant which directly benefits ornamental horticulture at Montgomery.

February 18, 2015

Exploring for Sargent’s Cherry Palm

Tracy Magellan, MBC Outreach Manager, recently conducted an expedition to study and collect Pseudophoenix sargentii, the Sargent’s Cherry Palm, on Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park. Elliott Key houses the only native US population of Pseudophoenix sargentii, a Florida Endangered Species.

Montgomery Botanical Center currently has five populations of Sargent’s Cherry Palm in the collection from different regions in the Caribbean. Tracy's work on Elliott Key brought back specimens and information, which highlights the need for further visits to this unique population.

MBC would like to thank the National Park Service for the scientific permit and access to Elliott Key and the International Palm Society (IPS) for generously supporting the research project.

January 22, 2015

Montgomery’s Work Featured in Leading Botany Journal

MBC fieldwork made the cover photo! The current issue of International Journal of Plant Sciences features the latest research by Montgomery and its collaborators.

The paper, “Can a botanic garden cycad collection capture the genetic diversity in a wild population,” explores how well the collecting protocols at MBC preserve the native DNA in wild cycads. Using the Sinkhole Cycad, Zamia decumbens, as a model, the team compared the genes of the native cycads with those grown at Montgomery.

Michael Calonje, MBC’s Cycad Biologist, led the effort to describe this interesting species in 2009, and is coauthor on the new paper. Michael states, “Zamia decumbens is a fascinating species for this case study because it occurs in dense groups at the bottom of sinkholes and is not found in the adjacent rainforest, allowing us the unique opportunity to sample the genetic diversity of entire populations and compare it to that of seedlings derived from seeds collected in these populations.”

Patrick Griffith, MBC’s Executive Director, and lead author on the study, further adds,

This is a very fundamental question for botanic garden efforts: can we actually conserve plant species via horticulture? The answer is “yes,” if you follow careful guidelines. This is important because it provides an in-depth, scientific perspective to that basic question. Beyond that, what makes this so exciting for me is how we brought a group of experts together – a multi-institutional and international team – and worked together to produce such a useful outcome; our great colleagues made this possible.

The paper involved experts from Belize Botanic Gardens, USDA Chapman Field, and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, as well as MBC. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-05-12-0336-12), SOS – Save Our Species, and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund. For more information about this conservation project, please see Montgomery’s Collections Genetics page.

January 21, 2015

Montgomery Botanist and Colleagues Shed Light on Two Poorly Known Zamia Species from Colombia

MBC’s Cycad Biologist, Michael Calonje, along with colleagues Gustavo Morales, Cristina López-Gallego, and Francisco Javier Roldán studied wild populations of Zamia in the cool cloudforests of Antioquia and Risaralda, Colombia. The populations studied represented two previously described species which were subsequently synonymized based on similarities observed in sterile herbarium specimens.

The fieldwork, supported in part by a Tinker Foundation grant in support of Michael’s Dissertation work at Florida International University, allowed the team to determine that these two species were quite distinct and deserved species recognition, to provide updated descriptions for both species, and to determine their conservation status for the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

The team’s findings were presented in a recent issue of Phytotaxa.



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