Approximately 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction. In order to preserve species as important parts of the ecosystem, and for the benefits they bring to people, it is important to better understand them and then to coordinate action to address the major threats. We study the basic ecology and genetics of threatened species in their habitat and in the lab, and then we use this information to inform actions such as seed collection and distribution to other gardens.
We are quantifying how many individuals need to be kept in botanic garden collections to best preserve genetic variation, using case studies across the tree of life, including many threatened oak species, which will provide advice for future seed collections.
Exchange program between the US and China, bringing environmental education practitioners from across China to the Chicago region to explore and share ideas about how best to communicate the importance and value of the environment and research.
We are calculating the conservation value, according to different goals, of four genera collections at The Morton Arboretum (lindens, crabapples, oaks, and elms), and developing plans to manage that value in the future.