Congress Abstracts

The below abstracts were submitted to the 2022 Botanical Bridges Congress as Oral Presentations

Developing a new Global Strategy for Plant Conservation as part of the Global Biodiversity Framework: a basis for future plant conservation priorities in the Caribbean region.

Lead Author: Peter Wyse Jackson

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) has been a deeply influential framework for plant conservation through botanic gardens since it was first adopted in 2002.  Its targets during the first two phases of the Strategy (2002-2010 and 2011-2020) provided goals not only for the botanic garden community worldwide but also to guide the individual actions and priorities of many individual institutions.  After 2002, botanic gardens quickly emerged as leaders in implementation of the strategy worldwide and supporting the national achievement of the GSPC objectives too.

The development of a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) over the last few years has presented new opportunities and many challenges. The post-2020 global biodiversity framework builds on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and sets out an ambitious plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity, ensuring that by 2050 the shared vision of ‘living in harmony with nature’ is fulfilled.  A post 2020 GSPC provides an important approach to incorporating supportive and complimentary actions, outcomes and indicators related to plant conservation into the GBF.

This presentation will outline the development of the next phase of the GSPC within the context of the Global Biodiversity Framework.  It will also highlight the evolving ways in which botanic gardens in the Caribbean region can participate in that, linked with and embedded in national responses to the Global Biodiversity Framework, which is expected to be adopted by the CBD’s Conferences of the Parties in December this year.

Identifying Tropical Important Plants Areas in the Caribbean

Lead Author: Colin Clubbe

Successful conservation depends on understanding the names, status and distribution of plant species and their habitats. Prioritising sites for conservation use the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria to assess threat of species extinction and separate criteria to assess habitat quality. Many of these site-based approaches underrepresent plants. Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) is an approach designed to rectify this by using three quantitative criteria to determine the best sites for wild plants and their habitats: Threated Species, Botanical Richness and Threatened Habitats. TIPAs criteria were developed following an international consultation and form part of the global Important Plant Areas programme co-ordinated by Plantlife International to meet Target 5 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

This talk will explore the application of the TIPAs approach in the Caribbean using two case studies. Kew and the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands have completed a TIPAs programme identifying a network of 18 TIPAs across the British Virgin Islands archipelago. Work has recently started with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources to identify a network of TIPAs for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). TIPAs are largely driven by an understanding of the most threatened plants in the region and so red listing the flora is a key element of the programme with the aim to complete a National Red List for each territory. As well as identifying sites, TIPAs can also guide conservation action. In both BVI and TCI, this work includes the improvement of ex situ facilities to support living collections of threatened plants, enhancing native species nurseries and collecting seeds for long term banking focussing on the J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens on Tortola and the Government Farm on North Caicos, supported by facilities and resources at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Millennium Seed Bank.

Botanical Bridges are essential: the scientific evidence.

Lead Author: M. Patrick Griffith

“Botanical Bridges – collaborations across gardens and borders – are essential! Gardens that work together accomplish more than those working alone. Here, I present tangible, scientific evidence of the benefits of international collaboration for conservation goals. Ongoing large-scale study of effective ex situ conservation addresses the need to 1) understand how effectively botanic gardens can conserve biodiversity and 2) coordinate management among isolated collections. Within the context of this broad, international initiative, case studies of Caribbean palms clearly demonstrate benefits of collaboration. We present 3 examples:

(1) Pseudophoenix ekmanii, an imperiled Dominican Republic endemic, is threatened by poachers. Genetic analysis shows how a metacollection – i.e. a Botanical Bridge – better conserves native diversity than any single collection. Collaborative efforts by Jardin Botanico Rafael Moscoso and Montgomery Botanical Center more effectively and more efficiently conserve genetic diversity than single-garden efforts.

(2) Pseudophoenix sargentii occurs throughout much of the Caribbean, in larger and smaller populations, including the thriving population at Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. Genetic patterns show that collecting from each population matters, whether large or small, and also demonstrate the value of pooled collections.

(3) Attalea crassispatha, endemic to Southern Haiti, is Critically Endangered with only 24 plants known in the wild. Genetic data from every known living plant in the wild and in gardens allows for a coordinated breeding strategy to perpetuate the maximum genetic diversity of this species going forward.

These examples of Botanical Bridges provide an important model to improve conservation of other imperiled plants.”

Conservation of forgotten and endangered Caribbean plants through domestication for tropical landscaping

Lead Author: Maria Paula Contreras

Plant conservation in urban and semi-urban landscapes has become essential in a climate change biodiversity loss scenario. The integration of native flora into cities contributes to global efforts to conserve plant species and the development of sustainable horticulture (i.e., water-wise gardens). Many large cities have seen the benefits from the introduction of green infrastructure, including community integration, improving health, and reducing carbon emissions. To accomplish this link within urban environments, it is important firstly to study the species. We aim to create technological packages focusing on native plants that were successfully introduced to European horticulture in the XVIII century, nowadays forgotten, and endangered species with ornamental potential of the seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF). Field trips are regularly made to pristine forest remanent of the Caribbean region of Colombia. Plant collection, seed collection, phenological annotations, plant architecture, and plant ecology are among the primary interests. Plant material is processed at the herbarium of the Cartagena Botanical Garden (CBG) for ID confirmation, at the seed bank for storage and the research nursery for propagation purposes. Trial of light intensity, drought tolerance, different soil types, and irrigation regimens are made to establish species limitations and optimal growing conditions. Considering the influence area, the SDTF, an endangered ecosystem, our work is of great relevance in conserving native plant species. We strive to conserve, restore, and enrich ecosystems through long-lasting actions involving the use of native species in urban landscapes.

Collaborating on Conservation Horticulture

Lead Author: Andrew Wyatt

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and National Convention on Biodiversity Action Plans provide a great framework for thinking about conservation at institutional and national levels. How do we use this policy framework for practical implementation and collaboration, sharing resources, expertise and building capacity to ensure practical plant conservation? This talk will illustrate the steps for identifying priority work through to the very practical level of implementing conservation horticulture to achieve plant goals. We will look at the steps the Missouri Botanical Garden uses to implement conservation horticulture including targeting floras and individual plants of conservation concern, generating collaborations between Gardens, NGOs and Governments in order to support capacity, sharing of knowledge and ultimately practical action through conservation horticulture. Examples will be given from MBG’s collaborative conservation horticulture projects and the plants conserved through these projects.

Estado de conservación de tres especies de orquídeas, dos endémicas de Cuba, en el Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes, CUBA

Lead Author: José Lázaro Bocourt Vigil

Desde el año 2004 se llevan a cabo estudios de Dinámica espacial y temporal con tres especies de orquídeas epífitas presentes en tres ecosistemas diferentes del Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes: Broughtonia cubensis (Lindl.) Cogn., Dendrophylax lindenii (Lindl.) Benth. ex Rolfe y Encyclia bocourtii Mújica & Pupulin, la primera y tercera endémicas de Cuba, la segunda presente también en los Everglades, Florida, EEUU.

Estos estudios han estado relacionados con el impacto de fenómenos atmosféricos severos como los huracanes. Los mismos se han llevado a cabo con la aplicación de monitoreos anuales al tamaño de muestra contenido en los transectos trazados con este fin en cada especie en los cuales se han tenido en cuenta unas 20 variables diferentes.

Gracias a la información anual recopilada y a la aplicación de modernas técnicas y modelos estadísticos se ha podido establecer que, 10 años después del impacto del huracán Iván (sept., 2004), B. cubensis muestra una tendencia a la estabilidad, mientras que E. bocourtii se mantiene tiende al crecimiento. Por su parte, D. lindenii, más conocida como “orquídea fantasma” muestra una disminución paulatina del número de individuos motivado, mayormente, por problemas en su biología reproductiva, mostrando un éxito reproductivo bajo, motivado al parecer, por una baja presencia en el área del agente polinizador, una especie de mariposa aún por identificar en este sitio.

In Situ & Ex situ conservation of imperiled plant species in the Southeastern United States

Lead Author: Emily Coffey

Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) works to advance the science of conservation through research collaborations and native species recovery programs. ABG’s plant conservation collections and field research focus on propagation of under-represented endangered plant groups and the restoration and management of their habitats. In addition to the in situ work the conservation horticulture team at ABG specializes in ex situ collections management and propagation techniques from field to lab to nursery production of imperiled species. The Garden has more than 30 years of experience in the conservation and recovery of rare and threatened species through propagation, collaborative restoration, and habitat management.

ABG works to address the urgent need to protect imperiled species across the southeastern states in the US and the Neotropics through in situ and ex situ conservation, conservation horticulture, restoration and augmentation, and seed banking. One of the primary tools utilized by ABG is diversification of ex situ conservation collections, with extensive living collections tracked by maternal line, seed bank (conventional and cryo bank), micropropagation, and tissue and DNA banks. Furthermore, ABG actively engages in capacity building through workshops and in situ training, as well as establishment of tissue culture laboratories focusing on development of plant material for in situ augmentation at identified protected sites, outplanting of plants, and monitoring of natural populations.

Collaborative and sustainable recovery and use of Juniperus barbadensis in the Caribbean

Lead Author: Luis Gonzalez Torres

The timber of Caribbean trees constituted a valuable export of the Caribbean colonies, which helped finance further expansion of the realms, but other local economic enterprises like sugar cane production as well. Both activities contributed the most to the depletion of tree populations across the Caribbean islands. Juniperus barbadensis is a Caribbean endemic tree native to the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia. According to the IUCN Red List, the species’ global population is Vulnerable to extinction, and the populations of Barbados and Haiti are extinct. The Red List assessment refers to fires and urbanization as the main threats leading to the continued decline in the number of mature individuals, area, extent, and habitat quality of this species. Our work aims to promote the recovery and sustainable use of the West Indies Juniper. At the same time, we seek to identify and develop mechanisms to expand further the cooperation for conservation among members of the Caribbean and Central America plant conservation network. In the presentation, we discuss the potential distribution model of Juniperus barbadensis for the Caribbean – based on herbarium records and recent fieldwork data. We also provide an update on the conservation status of the Cuban populations and the location-focused recovery strategy we designed for the Cuban populations of the West Indies Juniper. The recovery proposal seeks collaboration with non-traditional stakeholders, considers market tools to support the conservation of the species and incorporates urban forests as an ex situ conservation tool. Finally, we outline possible areas of collaboration between Caribbean partners that can contribute to the recovery and sustainable use of this species across the region and facilitate the conservation of other Caribbean endemic plants.

Air Plants and Other Epiphytes of Belize: A Collaborative Project between two Botanical Gardens and a University

Lead Author: Bruce Holst

In 2014, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Botanical Garden (CBBG), a private garden in Belize, with a strong public education and display program approached Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (MSBG) concerned about the plight of epiphytic bromeliads in their vicinity and was frustrated by the lack of printed material to learn more about them. Epiphytes are often considered “parasites” and removed from their hosts.

Upon finding a great institutional fit, a project was hatched. The goals were to improve the public’s perception and knowledge about epiphytes, learn about their diversity in Belize, and provide staff development opportunities.

To broaden the project’s reach, a third partner was invited to participate, the Environmental Research Institute, University of Belize (UB-ERI) to provide student participation. A fourth, informal partner was the Belize Forestry Department, home of the National Herbarium. This formed a remarkable blend of partners, from the NGO, GO, academic, and private sectors.

CBBG and MSBG both provided travel, lodging, and financial, logistical, and staff support for most of the expeditions. MSBG provided 15 volunteers who paid their own way to assist with improvement of the Herbarium as well as plant identification and training. UB-ERI and Forestry provided staff/logistical support. All staff benefitted by learning from one another in the field, herbarium, and through international internships.

Fieldwork included trips from one day to three weeks in duration, some, to the most remote and undisturbed forests in the country. Forty sites were visited during 2014-2018. As a result, the documented species of epiphytes in Belize increased from 400 to 650. Three thousand collections/observations were made, 135 pages of color field guides were produced, and many friendships were made. The project earned APGAs Program Excellence award in 2020.

Nicolaus Joseph Jacquin's botanical expedition to the Caribbean (1755–1759)

Lead Author: Santiago Madriñán

“Biographic research of Nikolaus Joseph Jacquin has concentrated mostly with aspects of Jacquin’s life in Vienna. Little attention has been given to his American voyage, with works dealing only partially with this aspect of Jacquin’s life. Thus, no detailed data of his itinerary, dates, contacts, collaborators, etc., as well as of his botanical explorations have been published up to now.

Much information on Jacquin’s Caribbean expedition and the botanical works resulting from his studies of America plants can be extracted from various primary sources available. Amongst these are Jacquin’s own publications (1760, 1763, 1780, and 1797), which if studied in a systematic way can bear data on the itinerary of the voyage, and of his botanical researches. Furthermore, an unpublished biographical sketch of Jacquin’s life written by his son Joseph Franz Jacquin (most probably dictated by Jacquin himself from his death bed) is available at the manuscript collection of the Austrian National Library in Vienna and has recently been fully transcribed and translated to Spanish and English. Additionally, a wealth of information on the post-expedition work by Jacquin on his American plants can be extracted from his ample correspondence with Linnaeus. The letters from Linnaeus to Jacquin now reside in the Manuscript Collection of the Uppsala University Library, and have long since been transcribed in their totality by Schreiber. On the other hand, the letters from Jacquin to Linnaeus, which consist of 184 folios, are held at the Linnaean Society in London. Partial transcriptions and some summaries of this correspondence are now available at the Linnaean Correspondence Project. With these two sets of correspondence, it is possible to trace with great detail the process of identification of specimens that Jacquin followed leading to the publication of the books relating to his American Plants, as well as to gain insight on other aspects of Jacquin’s professional work, including his systematic method.”

Quinta de Los Molinos - A sustaintability model of a social, educational, and innivative Project

Lead Author: Alejandro Palmarola

Quinta de los Molinos is the institution that manages the first botanical garden in Cuba and one of the oldest in Latin America. The Botanical Garden of Havana was foundedon May 30, 1917. It has been in its current headquarters in Quinta de los Molinos since1939. In December 31, 1981 the land was declared a National Monument. Currently, the institution is considered to be at the forefront of its social inclusion program, mainlywith young people with intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome and the elderly. At present, the conversion of this entity into a Limited Liability Mercantile Company isbeing carried out, with the purpose of maximizing its sources of income and achievinggreater profitability, with benefits for the community and its vulnerable sectors, as wellas for the organization’s workers. . As a model scheme of transition to economic self-sustainability of the botanical gardens of the region, the business plan created forQuinta de los Molinos is presented. The model for the creation of new products and services is detailed from the introduction and generalization of scientific advances, bothin the natural sciences and the social sciences and the contribution to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Acciones de conservación del Anthurio gymnopus Griseb., especie endémica de la familia Araceae, en el municipio de Candelaria, provincia Artemisa, Cuba.

Lead Author: José Lázaro Bocourt Vigil

El Anthurio gymnopus es una especie endémica de Cuba, el cual ha sido reportado para localidades del occidente, centro y oriente de Cuba; sin embargo la única población de la que se tiene conocimiento actualmente se localiza en el municipio Candelaria de la provincia Artemisa y la misma no se encuentra dentro del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas. Está categorizado en peligro crítico (CR), es una especie epifita que crece en la base de los peciolos de las palmas del género Sabal conocidas como palma cana, mostrando una alta especificidad por este forófito.
El año 2019 fue el punto de partida de los monitoreos de dicha especie los cuales se han realizado con una periodicidad mensual, el área de estudio se dividió en dos lotes y cuatro rodales, abarcando una extensión superficial de 2186 hectáreas (ha). Se recopiló información que nos ha permitido comprender algunos aspectos de la biología de la especie, lo cual constituye una herramienta para trazar acciones encaminadas a su conservación.
A partir de la recolección de semillas estudiamos su viabilidad, la cual es alta (85-90%). Al mismo tiempo se trabajó en la selección del sustrato apropiado para la siembra de semillas y de las plántulas para su reintroducción posterior en el hábitat.

What would Linnaeus think of speciation via DNA?

Lead Author: Guy Meilleur

My favorite plant at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum is a chinaberry tree, Melia toosendan. Since 1986, I have watched it laugh at hurricanes, and thrive. Meanwhile, Melia azedarach chinaberry trees were scorned for their poor structure and brittle wood. But in 2010 its name was changed based on its DNA; it was lumped with M. azedarach. But even if all DNA were to say they were the same species, this plant is VERY different from M. azedarach. It flowers before the leaves emerge, the leaves are not bluish-colored, and the tree has a different size and shape.

I could hear Linnaeus spinning in his grave! But genetics prevailed over morphology, for a while. In 2016, Liao et al. rode to the rescue. They saw the difference, dove deeply into the chromosomes, and provided compelling evidence that M. toosendan is a distinct species.

The gaps in our taxonomic knowledge and the shortage of trained taxonomists is one taxonomic impediment. As new taxonomists emerge, will they be trained more toward genomes, and less toward living, respiring plants?
Have we become so fond of the shiny new science of population genetics that we disparage the established science of taxonomy?
Does overreliance on phylogenetics aggravate this taxonomic impediment? What would Linnaeus do today about chinaberry trees? Join PuppetTREE as we grapple with these questions.

Escuela Nacional de Horticultura y Paisajismo del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba: una propuesta para el desarrollo de la Horticultura en Cuba.

Lead Author: Alelí Morales Martinez

La Escuela Nacional de Horticultura y Paisajismo del Jardín Botánico Nacional, tiene entre sus objetivos contribuir con la creación de profesionales competentes, comprometidos con el mantenimiento de un entorno sano y con la calidad de los ecosistemas terrestres. El diseño e implementación de planes de estudios con un estrecho vínculo estudio-trabajo, teniendo como escenario las áreas del propio Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, crea los conocimientos teóricos y las habilidades prácticas que favorecen la formación integral de los profesionales egresados. Tanto el Curso Básico de Jardinería (Horticultor), como el Técnico Superior en Horticultura y Paisajismo (segundo nivel), así como otras especializaciones que se desarrollarán a futuro, formarán un sistema de superación permanente para los jardineros de la capital y en el futuro, de Cuba.


Lead Author: Teodoro Clase Garcia


Clase, Teodoro, Peguero, Brígido y Piña, Yommi
(Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo, Av. República de Colombia, Esq. Los próceres, Apdo. postal 21-9, Altos de Galá, Santo Domingo, D. N., República Dominicana).
Autor de correspondencia:

El Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso cuenta con numerosos espacios para la educación y la recreación. Ahora se suma el “Sendero Educativo Taíno”, que en realidad muestra el desarrollo bio-cultural en República Dominicana desde la época pre-colombina hasta la actualidad. El objetivo de este trabajo, fundamentalmente, es documentar el componente de conservación de plantas autóctonas en este sendero. Se hizo un levantamiento en diciembre del 2021, mediante un inventario de las especies plantadas desde su inicio, hace más de cuatro años, hasta el presente. Abarca unos 700 metros lineales, áreas periféricas conexas y un tramo alternativo. El recorrido se inicia en una aldea taína, donde hay dos caneyes y un bohío con sus “ajuares” de la época, y un “conuco” (agricultura en montículos) rodeado del medio silvestre pre-colombino. Le sigue un “Rancho del Explorador”, donde se muestra herramientas de colectas botánicas e imágenes de grandes exploradores. Más adelante aparecen las plantas introducidas desde el Viejo Mundo, junto a las autóctonas, y en medio de ellas un “Rancho Forestal”, en el cual se explica sobre las plantaciones forestales e importancia de la industria maderera. Luego, un huerto con herbáceas útiles para diversas aplicaciones. El recorrido termina en un “conuco” contemporáneo, donde se cultivan diferentes especies, principalmente introducidas. A esta área se ha introducido numerosas especies endémicas y nativas amenazadas, muchas de las cuales no existían en las colecciones vivas del Jardín. También hay cultivos de plantas exóticas de importancia económica. Se registraron 288 especies, distribuidas en 71 familias. De éstas, 125 son árboles, 114 arbustos, 34 hierbas, nueve palmas y seis bejucos o lianas. Del total, 127 endémicas, 126 nativas y 35 introducidas. Este espacio es muy importante para la conservación ex situ, de plantas que confrontan problemas de conservación en su medio natural, y que aquí crecen bajo protección.
Palabras clave: Plantas autóctonas amenazadas, conservación ex situ, República Dominicana.

The role of Botanic Gardens in ecological restoration

Lead Author: Gunter Fischer

Many of our planets terrestrial ecosystems have been modified by centuries of human land use change. Therefore, it is an urgent need to halt and reverse ongoing degradation of ecosystems by actively restoring habitats for human wellbeing as well as to preserve biodiversity for future generations. Especially Botanical Gardens, which are knowledge centers for plant science, conservation and horticulture, are perfectly suited to lead and consult on ecosystem restoration iniatives in collaboration with governments, corporations, academic sectors, NGO’s and wider civil society. In this presentation I share a best practice example of how this is achieved by using botanical, ecological, horticultural, and social knowledge to inform practical restoration on the ground to increase the resilience of restored forests to climate change.


Lead Author: Teodoro Clase Garcia

Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso. Santo Domingo, D. N., República Dominicana, apartado postal 21-9

Las continuas exploraciones llevadas a cabo en los últimos 21, en toda la Isla Española, han dado lugar a los descubrimientos de nuevas especies para la ciencia, aumentando así el número de especies de nuestra flora. Además dando lugar al redescubrimientos y nuevos reportes de especies que no teníamos en los archivos de nuestro herbario. Este trabajo tiene dos objetivos fundamentales: a) Dar a conocer la Importancia de las exploraciones Botánica llevada a cobo por el JBSD en ese periodo de tiempo. b) Inventariar e identificar especies y área de gran importancia para su conservación. Durante los meses noviembre y diciembre del año 2021. Se recopilaron informaciones de los libros de campo de diferentes recolectores que han explorado en la Isla; también se hicieron revisiones de las colecciones en el Herbario Nacional JBSD del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso. De manera preliminar se describieron 61 especies nueva para la ciencia; 141 redescubrimientos y nuevos repartes. Más cinco nuevos géneros para la Isla y la ciencia.
Palabras clave: Exploraciones, especies nuevas, nuevos reportes y redescubrimientos


Lead Author: Claritza De Los Santos Rodríguez

De Los Santos Rodríguez, Claritza y García, Ricardo.

Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso, Av. República de Colombia / Av. Los Próceres, Altos de Galá. Apdo. postal 21-9. Santo Domingo, D. N., República Dominicana.

Autor para correspondencia:

Los jardines botánicos son entidades que mantienen colecciones documentadas de plantas
vivas para la investigación científica, exhibición y educación. Se ha demostrado la importancia de las colecciones ex situ en la conservación de plantas silvestres a través de su uso como albergue temporal o permanente, cuando el hábitat natural ha sido destruido o alterado. El Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo ocupa una superficie aproximada de dos kilómetros cuadrados; es la entidad responsable del estudio, conservación y difusión sobre la flora de la Isla, además de servir como referencia en la República Dominicana, el Caribe insular y Mesoamérica para la conservación de los recursos florísticos de toda la región. Cuenta con una valiosa colección ex situ de plantas endémicas, nativas y de otras partes del mundo; distribuidas en las diversas áreas, senderos y pabellones que se encuentran destinados al cultivo y manejo de diversos grupos peculiares de plantas tales como, helechos, bromelias, suculentas, orquídeas, palmas entre otros. El Objetivo de esta investigación fue conocer las especies vegetales que están presentes dentro de las colecciones vivas del Jardín Botánico, y cuáles de estas presentan problemas de conservación. Los métodos de registro utilizados fueron: inventario en áreas y pabellones, revisión bibliográfica y de Listas Rojas de plantas amenazadas de República Dominicana: CITES y UICN. Fueron registradas 194 especies bajo algún grado de amenaza. Ochenta (80) se encuentran incluidas en la categoría Peligro Crítico (CR/PC); 53 resultaron En Peligro (EN/EP) y 61 Vulnerables (VU); Por su estatus biogeográfico, 113 son endémicas y 81 nativas. Las familias con mayor cantidad de especies con problemas de conservación son: Fabaceae (s.l.) 24, Cactaceae 24, Arecaceae 19 y Myrtaceae con 12. Los principales usos registrados son ornamentales, medicinales, maderables y comestibles.

Palabras clave: República Dominicana, Jardines Botánicos, colecciones vivas, conservación ex situ, conservación de Plantas.

The International Plant Sentinel Network

Lead Author: Lara Salido

Invasive alien plant pests and diseases already pose a considerable threat to plant health worldwide. With the increased globalisation of trade in plants and plant material, and the effects of a changing climate, this threat is predicted to continue rising.

In recent years, the world has seen a sharp rise in the number of these harmful invasive organisms which cause large scale environmental and economic damage. A significant issue in managing this threat is predicting which organisms will pose a threat in the future, the ‘unknowns’ and understanding of pest/host relationships of the knowns.

Botanic gardens and arboreta are a unique and currently under-utilised resource that can support this research through targeted and general surveillance. Plant collections are estimated to include 30-40% of all known plant species, many of which are exotic species (and thus potential sentinel plants). Sentinels can help to build knowledge and to support the development of management plans and risk assessments. Botanical institutes can enable the study of large range of plants, in different life stage and in multiple regions/countries.

The IPSN focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness among garden staff, seeking best practise, developing standardised approaches and providing training materials and methodologies for monitoring and surveying these pest/host interactions.

The IPSN has ongoing projects around the world focused on utilising botanic garden collections to provide an early-warning system for new and emerging plant pests and diseases. General surveillance of different host species of interest for UK and USA are being undertaken in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to identify new pest/host species interactions. While engaging botanic gardens in 12 different countries in Europe in the monitoring the Emerald Ash Borer (through monitoring and trapping) as well as helping scientists gain further understanding of the presence of Beech leaf disease in Europe through the FAGUSTAT initiative.

Preparedness in times of rapid change and extreme events – Botanic gardens and disaster management planning

Lead Author: Joachim Gratzfeld

Botanic gardens are particularly vulnerable to geophysical, meteorological and biological disasters as these can effect both, their people and plant collections. Human conflict and war present other hazards that botanic gardens can find themselves confronted with. Compounded by impacts caused by the recent pandemic which are still felt by many institutions, including loss of personnel and income, these events have been stretching the resources and resolve of many gardens to the limit. Whilst botanic gardens cannot escape such hazards, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and recovery are fundamentals of resilience when struck by disaster. However, a review conducted by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in 2021, found that the majority of botanic gardens did not have a risk management strategy or policy in place as an institutional mechanism to confront hazards. Yet, the review has also shown exemplary models of resilience and potential for innovation that botanic gardens are capable of mobilising to ensure the maintenance of their collections and facilities, and to remain engaged with the public. It is important to draw on these examples and learn from existing risk management strategies, to be better prepared in the event of disaster, mitigate the impacts, and recover more quickly.

I just met a storm called Maria

Lead Author: Guy Meilleur

After a natural disaster, it’s natural for panic to set in, if a plan is not in place. After working in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, we learned about triage and repair, and how to prepare for the worsening climate ahead of us. These lessons are distilled into systematic plans that can calm post-storm panic, and mitigate pre-storm uncertainty.

Triage can be tricky: should it stay or should it go? After seeing hopeless-looking trees bounce back after cleanup and restoration, decisions get much easier. Most storm-damaged trees can go on a regular maintenance cycle, costing no more growing forward than the average urban tree. Following the ANSI A300 Tree Care Standard, conservation is practical and defendable, while condemnation is rare indeed.

Storm response and cleanup starts with inspection, proceeds to pruning, and preparing for the next, worse?, storm. In the US, FEMA will pay for pruning branches just behind the break. They wisely do not cover amputations of healthy branches. This minimizes losses, and maximizes restoration efforts.nn Their emergency managers will compensate for the time spent on repair, not just the cubic yards of debris removed.

Restoring tree structure does not require extensive annual visits. After cleaning cuts on broken branches, just one followup to manage codominance and crowding can be enough. On broken stems, rampant sprouting can be trained into a stable structure with biennial visits. If that seems expensive, consider the costs of removal and replanting, and the low odds that a young tree will ever replace those benefits.

Trees that stand up to storms are the best lessons in resilience. By studying them, and new research highlighting the effectiveness of specified crown reduction, we have learned how to prepare tropical and temperate trees for the next storm.

Incidencia de eventos atmosféricos severos en las colecciones del Jardín Botánico Orquideario de Soroa (J.B.O.S).

Lead Author: José Lázaro Bocourt Vigil

En este trabajo se hace una recopilación de los daños provocados por eventos atmosféricos severos que han impactado las colecciones del Jardín Botánico Orquideario de Soroa en los últimos veinte años. Se toma como punto de partida el año 2008 y se hace una trayectoria hasta el presente.
Se comentan desde nuestra experiencia las tareas para minimizar el impacto de estos eventos y al mismo tiempo se muestran las labores de saneamiento y recuperación de las colecciones.

Prioritise, plan, act and monitor - promoting an integrated approach to threatened tree conservation

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) promotes a holistic, integrated approach to the conservation and management of plant diversity. The ultimate aim of BGCI’s Tree Conservation Program is that no tree species become extinct. A coordinated, integrated approach to global tree conservation is needed, as the State of the World’s Trees, published in 2021 indicates that almost 30% of all tree species are threatened with extinction. BGCI’s Tree Conservation Program is integrating threatened tree conservation through four actions – prioritise, plan, act and monitor – to protect the world’s tree species from extinction with partners worldwide. In this session, we will showcase the varied approaches used to further the conservation of tree species.


Effective tree conservation requires information and tools to guide and prioritise action. The Global Tree Assessment is an initiative to assess the conservation status of all the world’s tree species, led by Botanic Gardens Conservation International and the IUCN Species Survival Commission Global Tree Specialist Group. Here we present the progress of the Global Tree Assessment towards our goal of an IUCN Red List assessment for every tree species with a focus on Central America and the Caribbean. However completing IUCN Red List assessments isn’t enough. Tree extinctions can only be avoided if the best possible information is available and then used to inform conservation decisions made by practitioners, policy makers and funders.


Conservation action can be planned at species level but also at the national, regional and taxonomic group levels. All together, resources as made available by BGCI including the Global Tree Portal, Conservation Action Tracker, Recovery Plans, national conservation planning work and taxonomic group-level conservation planning, inform the selection of priority sites and species to develop integrated tree conservation initiatives and funding applications. Ground surveys are  key to updating the information on baseline populations and understanding of threats and ecology for the species to enable the development of recovery plans.


The information available through the Global Tree Assessment is crucial to guide tree conservation action. While the challenges and scale of the problem in maintaining tree diversity are significant, the Global Trees Campaign initiative has worked to conserve over 400 threatened tree species in more than 50 countries. These projects carry out direct tree conservation action, collaborating closely with local partners worldwide. The full engagement and participation of local stakeholders is key to the success and lasting impact of all tree conservation initiatives. Technical challenges can be multiple and complex, building stakeholder capacity and partnerships facilitates the sharing of experiences, improves practices and increases success. We will showcase examples of tree conservation projects currently being implemented in the  Central American and Caribbean region in countries such as the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti and Puerto Rico.


Project monitoring is the routine collection and analysis of information about project progress and whether expected results are being achieved. To track progress annually, BGCI has developed a thorough system of monitoring and evaluation where project activities are reviewed and amended  as necessary,  based on new findings or on unforeseen events, including natural and man-made hazards and changes.

An example of integrated conservation encompassing the Prioritise-Plan-Act-Monitor framework are the Global Conservation Consortia. The global botanic garden community is establishing a series of consortia of specialists with knowledge of genera that are technically challenging to conserve and manage. Eight such consortia have been established to date, including for cycads, and Magnolia. The Global Conservation Consortium for Magnolia (GCCM), led by Atlanta Botanical Garden, is a coordinated network of institutions and experts who work collaboratively to develop and implement a comprehensive conservation strategy to prevent extinction of the world’s Magnolia species.

Collaboration is needed to most effectively conserve the world’s tree species. Strengthening the networks already in place, sharing of  information and experiences and developing new partnerships is key to protecting the region’s unique tree flora.


Prioritise: Harnessing the Global Tree Assessment and associated data to best inform target action to prevent tree extinction, Emily Beech, Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Act: Implementing Tree Conservation Projects locally: case studies from Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, Noelia Álvarez de Román, Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Act: Conservation of native magnolias of Hispaniola, Rámon Elías Castillo Torres, Fundación Progressio, Dominican Republic

Act: Population assessment and recovery of Clavija domingensis and Hernandia obovata, two Critically Endangered tree species endemic to Haiti, William Cinea, Jardin botanique des Cayes, Haiti

Act: Securing the conservation of endemic trees in Puerto Rico, Thrity Vakil, Eye on the Rainforest, Puerto Rico

Act: Safeguarding Tropical Trees along an altitudinal gradient in Costa Rica through Global Collaborations, Rodrigo De Sousa, Conservación Osa & Silvia Alvarez-Clare, The Morton Arboretum.

Monitor: Introduction of BGCI’s tree project implementation monitoring system, Joachim Gratzfeld, Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Global Conservation Consortium for Magnolia: establishment of a global network to conserve Magnolia biodiversity, Jean Linsky, Atlanta Botanical Garden

90 mins of talks + 30 mins discussion

Questions to answer:

  • How could you contribute to the BGCI Tree Conservation Program?
  • Enhancing capacity: What main technical challenges are you encountering in your tree-focussed conservation projects?
  • Scaling up: How can we reach out to new conservation partners to scale up efforts across the region based on conservation urgencies of tree species?
  • Policy advocacy: What are your key needs to support and/or convince key policy actors to assist in the development and implementation of tree-focussed conservation projects?
  • General: What support do you require from BGCI to develop and implement tree-focussed conservation projects?
  • Which Magnolia species are you currently working on or are a priority in each country?


The below abstracts were submitted to the 2022 Botanical Bridges Congress as poster presentations

Identifying Tropical Important Plants Areas in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Lead Author: Colin Clubbe

Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) are the most important areas for wild plants and their habitats and are identified using three quantitative criteria: Threated Species, Botanical Richness and Threatened Habitats. TIPAs criteria were developed after an international consultation and form part of the global Important Plant Areas programme co-ordinated by Plantlife International, contributing to Target 5 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

With funding from the UK Darwin Plus programme Kew and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources have recently started a joint project to identify a network of TIPAs for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). A key project aim is to complete a National Red List for TCI and red listing is underway. A programme of field inventory and monitoring has started across the archipelago, targeting the most important plant species from a conservation perspective. DNA is being collected for genomic analysis to help resolve taxonomic challenges in some difficult groups. Seeds of threatened plants are being collected for long-term storage in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank and for short-term storage, germination, and growth at the Government Farm on North Caicos. A nascent living collection of TCI’s most threatened species is being developed at the Government Farm with support from Kew horticulturists. This will have both a conservation and education role, promoting the importance of the native flora to visitors, both national and international, and to school groups.

El Banco de Semillas del Jardín Botánico Nacional: aporte a la conservación ex situ de especies en peligro de extinción de la República Dominicana.


El Banco de Semillas del Jardín Botánico Nacional: aporte a la conservación ex situ de especies en peligro de extinción de la República Dominicana.
Encarnación, Wilkin; Clase, Teodoro; Terrera, Marianny; González, Nolbelto; Brazobán, Geraldo
Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso, Santo Domingo, D. N., Apdo. postal 21-9
Autor de correspondencia:
La conservación de la diversidad biológica forestal, incluidos los recursos genéticos forestales, es fundamental para sostener los valores productivos de los bosques, para mantener el estado sanitario y la vitalidad de los ecosistemas de especies leñosas autóctonas de diferentes ambientes. No obstante, cuando las especies se encuentran amenazadas corren el riesgo de desaparecer, usualmente por destrucción de su hábitat, por el cual es emergente su rescate. El levantamiento de información se realizó desde julio 2014 a julio 2019. Las semillas rescatadas de las poblaciones silvestres, contribuye a la reproducción o propagación con el fin de reintroducir las especies a su hábitat. Además, a la conservación ex situ de las especies vegetales. El número de especies reproducidas que se encuentran bajo algún grado de amenazas es de 155, correspondiente a 53 familias de las cuales 79 endémicas y 76 nativas. Respeto al estado de conservación de las especies propagadas, en la categoría de Peligro Crítico (CR/PC) 63. En Peligro (EN/PC) 46, mientras 44 están en condiciones de Vulnerable (VU). En Preocupación Menor (LC/PM) resultaron 3. Dada la importancia de enmarcar las actividades a nivel local dentro del marco de los esfuerzos internacionales, como es la Estrategia Mundial de Conservación de Especies Vegétales.
Palabras claves: conservación in situ, propagación y restauración de áreas.

Las expediciones del Utowana y sus aportes al desarrollo del jardín botánico de Cienfuegos

Lead Author: Leosveli Vasallo Rodríguez

El yate de investigación Utowana propiedad de Alison Armour, realizó viajes de colecta por las diferentes regiones tropicales y subtropicales del planeta. Entre 1925 y 1934 realizó una amplia colecta de germoplasma vegetal para el Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos en el nuevo y viejo mundo, así como exploraciones arqueológicas y de zoología en el neotrópico. Visitó Cienfuegos en cinco ocasiones y dejo material vegetal entre 1928 y 1933, compuesto por 277 especies de 64 familias botánicas. El objetivo de este estudio fue identificar los aportes de las expediciones del Utowana que contribuyeron al desarrollo de la colección de plantas vivas del Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos (JBC). Fueron consultados los archivos históricos del JBC, el Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden y del Arnold Arboretum de la Universidad de Harvard, así como los catálogos de introducción del JBC y su sistema de registro. Durante las expediciones se recogió material de 21 jardines botánicos y colecciones ex situ. La expedición de enero de 1928 fue la que mayor cantidad de material introdujo, con 69 especies. Aún se conservan en el Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos (JBC) 67 especies y 152 individuos llegados en el Utowana. De las especies que arribaron en el yate, 21 han sido enviadas para su introducción a ocho instituciones cubanas. Las especies objeto de estudio constituyen un patrimonio conservado en la institución. Además, son el resultado del interés que despertaba el jardín en diferentes personalidades de las ciencias naturales.

El Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos y la conservación de la flora de la región centro - sur de Cuba

Lead Author: Leosveli Vasallo Rodríguez

El Jardín Botánico de Cienfuegos tiene entre sus funciones el estudio y conservación de la flora cubana. Por ello ha desarrollado un programa de trabajo enfocado en la conservación in situ y ex situ y las actividades académicas. El objetivo del presente trabajo fue recopilar y socializar los resultados del JBC en los últimos cinco años, relacionados con el estudio y conservación de la flora del centro sur de Cuba. Para ello se realizó una búsqueda de información en los archivos del JBC y el repositorio de tesis de la Universidad de Cienfuegos. Para actualizar el registro de publicaciones, referidas al tema se realizó una búsqueda estructurada en la literatura científica, a través de Google Scholar. En el período evaluado se han publicado 13 artículos en revistas científicas y se han defendido 8 tesis de pregrado, 6 de maestría y 6 de doctorado. Se han ejecutado 5 proyectos de conservación en los que se ha trabajado con 217 especies amenazadas, de ellas 121 endémicas. En el medio natural se han introducido 379 ejemplares, para la recuperación de sus poblaciones naturales; otros 533 fueron llevados a colecciones ex situ o áreas de especial significación. La institución comenzó la administración de dos áreas protegidas, vinculadas directamente a la conservación, las que tienen sus correspondientes planes de manejo. La educación ambiental ha sido abordada en todos los proyectos, en las escuelas del territorio y las comunidades; como parte de la estrategia de conservación del jardín, con importante participación de la población que reside en las áreas de intervención.



Translate »