Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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International Sentinel Plant Network

BGCI is working with several partners to create an International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN), to connect and coordinate living plant collections as early warning systems for predicting and preventing the incursion of new pests and diseases (insects, pathogens or plants).

BGCI-US efforts supported by the USDA Farm Bill 2011-2014 have focused on increasing data quality, quantity and access in BGCI's GardenSearch and PlantSearch databases. One of our first priorities was to identify existing resources, expertise and programs at gardens. A survey in 2011 of nearly 300 botanic garden staff around the world collected information about pest and pathogen identification expertise and policies at botanical institutions. Survey results are summarized in an article published in BGCI's BGjournal (click here for the article), and searchable via the GardenSearch Advanced Search.

In 2013, BGCI-US conducted a survey of PlantSearch data providers and users to gauge perceived value of current and potential data services, to explore ways of identifying potential plant pests or hosts in target regions (click here for a poster summary of results). We also completed a pilot study on the implementation of a data sharing agreement to allow users to directly access location information via PlantSearch. We hope to launch these important advancements to a broader user community as soon as possible.

Background Publications:

Kramer, A. and A. Hird. 2011. Building an international sentinel plant network.  BGjournal 8(2): 3-6.

Britton, K.O., White, P., Kramer, A., Hudler, G., 2010. A new approach to stopping the spread of invasive insects and pathogens: early detection and rapid response via a global network of sentinel plantings. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 40, 109-114.

Kramer, A.T. 2010. Using BGCI’s databases to connect plant collections and expertise to support the development of an international Sentinel Plant Network.  Proceedings from the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress.  Dublin, Ireland, June 2010.