Offsite safeguarding of a population's genetic diversity is a type of ex situ conservation which, like seed banking, supports in situ conservation efforts like monitoring, protection, habitat restoration, habitat management and reintroduction. Beyond safeguarding, ABG's Conservation Nursery ultimately provides material for reintroduction.
SarraceniaAmong the most critically endangered ecosystems in the US is the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystem, which historically occupied most of the southeastern coastal plain. This ecosystem includes carnivorous plant wetlands, or bogs. Found in wet flatlands or seepage slopes, carnivorous plant bogs are characterized by wet sandy soils that are nutrient poor. Current estimates suggest that carnivorous plant bogs now occupy less than 3% of its former range due to fire suppression, commercial forestry, agriculture and urbanization. The vast wetland panoramas of stately pitcher plants that were once common in the Southeast exist in only a remnant of fragmented locations today.
All Sarracenia plants in the nursery are first generation seedlings from wild seed sources; there is no hybridizing; and no seed is allowed to form. Each bed contains a sampling of the genetic diversity of a single population.
|Seed grown Sarracenia alabamensis, Autauga Co. Alabama|
Sarracenia alabamensis is known from only ten populations in three counties in Alabama. ABG has helped in an advisory capacity and with restoring original populations on private land. Some of the populations have been augmented the F1 seedlings produced by ABG.
|Seed grown Sarracenia jonesii, Henderson So., North Carolina|
|Seed grown Sarracenia rubra ssp. gulfensis, Walton Co., Florida|
|Seed grown Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi, Baldwin Co. Alabama|
|Seed grown Sarracenia rubra ssp. rubra, Taylor Co. Georgia|
|Seed grown Sarracenia leucophylla, Sumter Co. Georgia|
|Seed grown Sarracenia psittacina, Marion Co., Georgia|
|Seed grown Sarracenia flava, Colquitt Co. Georgia|
|Seed grown Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa, Tattnal Co., Georgia|
|Sarracenia oreophila seedlings, germinated in ABG's conservation greenhouse|
In addition to safeguarding, ABG has been working with the Florida Division of Environmental Protection and the Florida Park Service and the University of Florida to find, record and map each individual to better understand the distribution and survivorship of the current trees.
|Elliottia racemosa (Georgia Plume)|
|Elliottia racemosa seedlings germinated in ABG's conservation greenhouse|
Sarracenia, Torryea and Elliottia are part of Georgia's disappearing natural heritage. Many of these extraordinary plants are unique to our area and are of global significance. ABG is helping to conserve them and the Conservation Nursery plays an important role in those efforts.