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Corypha taliera leaf with green anole (Anolis carolinensis).

January 12, 2016

Cycads provide a model group for garden conservation.

In partnership with Montgomery, BGCI US has published a new guide, Cycads: A model group for ex situ plant conservation. The guide features work done by the Montgomery Botanical Center, including genetic evaluation of the Sinkhole Cycad and the Beach Cycad.

This guide is designed to provide a general overview of cycads and their conservation status worldwide, and to help strategically develop conservation collections of cycads. Many endangered plants, including cycads, are considered exceptional species, which do not store well in seedbanks, and thus rely heavily on living plant collections for conservation. Quoting from the guide:

"Cycads are the most threatened plant group in the world and face considerable conservation obstacles. Ex situ conservation is vital to most cycads’ long-term survival. Central to this effort is planning and building genetically appropriate cycad collections.”

This guide is the result of recently completed projects focused on two cycad species, Zamia decumbens and Zamia lucayana, by Montgomery Botanical Center, BGCI and USDA’s Chapman Field, and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, (MA-05-12-0336-12 & MA-30-14-0123-14), creating strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

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