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Revision of ex situ plant

Revision of ex situ plant conservation guidelines

Dr Amelia Martyn Yenson, ANPC Project Manager (Germplasm Guidelines)

The Australian Network for Plant Conservation and The Australian PlantBank, Australian Institute of Botanical Science, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan

The third edition of the publication Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia — strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising ex situ collections is currently in production, coordinated by the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) and funded by The Ian Potter Foundation. With ongoing threats to the flora of Australia and New Zealand, and increasing numbers of species being listed as threatened, ex situ conservation provides insurance against loss of species and populations. Ex situ collections are a source of plant material to support retention and restoration of wild plant diversity.

Also known as the ‘Germplasm Guidelines’, this publication is a science-based guide for the best-practice management of ex situ (off site) collections of seeds, plant tissue and whole plants. The guidelines are focussed on conservation, particularly of threatened plant species, using a range of methods such as seedbanking, living collections, tissue culture and cryopreservation (https://www.anpc.asn.au/germplasm-guidelines-review/). Hence, the publication will be essential reading for all those involved in ex situ plant conservation.

More than 50 scientists, seedbank staff, horticulturists and botanic gardens staff are contributing to the third edition, providing a wealth of knowledge and information gained since the second edition was published 12 years ago. This edition will feature new chapters and dozens of new and updated case studies from Australia and New Zealand, showcasing conservation in practice. It will complement the ANPC’s Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia (Commander et al. 2018) and FloraBank Guidelines for best-practice native seed collection and use (also currently being updated; https://www.anpc.asn.au/florabank/), which together provide practical information for restoring native plant species and communities throughout Australia.