Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Global Survey of Ex situ Betulaceae Collections

Following publication of The Red List of Betulaceae in 2014, BGCI conducted an ex situ survey to determine the representation of Betulaceae taxa in ex situ collections worldwide, with a focus on threatened taxa. The survey was undertaken as part of BGCI’s ongoing contributions to the Global Trees Campaign.

The Red List of Betulaceae provided conservation assessments for 240 taxa, with sixteen assessed as threatened (Critically Endangered - CR, Endangered – EN, Vulnerable – VU), as well as one third of the taxa considered Data Deficient (DD) and requiring further research.

Published in 2015, the results of the ex situ survey show that 68% of Betulaceae taxa are reported as held in ex situ collections, which includes 12 of the 16 threatened taxa. The remaining four taxa should therefore be brought into ex situ collections as an immediate priority. Ex situ conservation should be stepped up for all threatened Betulaceae taxa, as those reported as present in collections are limited to a small number of holdings.

The Betulaceae family contains six genera of trees and shrubs, including the birches (Betula), hazels (Corylus) and alders (Alnus). They have ornamental value with attractive bark, catkins and cones. Many are also commercially important species, harvested for their timber and their nuts.

The report highlights the priorities for conserving Betulaceae taxa with recommendations for creating new ex situ collections as well as improving management of existing collections. Alongside this, the need for increased in situ conservation action as well as educations programs is highlighted. A call to increase the amount of data in PlantSearch is also made to ensure analyses such as these are as accurate as possible.

BGCI would like to thank all institutions that provided data to inform this survey.

The full ex situ report is available to download here.