Magnolias in Ecuador: improving ex situ plant conservation


20 March 2023




The GCCM is excited to be part of a new project led by Chicago Botanic Garden and funded by Walder Foundation. The project, entitled ‘Improving ex situ plant conservation: scaling up zoo pedigree management approaches to critically rare plants in the Pacific’ will engage with communities and botanical gardens in six countries around the Pacific region to secure collections of critically rare species. This project aims to expand the implementation of collaborative metacollection management of rare species in ex situ collections with tools and infrastructure which is being adapted from the zoo community.

As part of this project, partners from the Chicago Botanic Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Jardín Botánico Padre Julio Marrero, Jardín Botánico Yachay, Fundación Reserva Tesoro Escondido and Fundación Jocotoco will study the wild genetic diversity of Magnolia canandeana and M. dixonii, initiate a robust ex situ metacollection of these species in Ecuador, and develop capacity for collaborative management of ex situ collections.

This project will take place over the next three years and includes focal species under other consortia including Cycas micronesica (GCCC) and Quercus brandegeei (GCCO). The outcomes of this project will contribute to the objectives of the GCCM through the development of guidance on managing living collections of threatened Magnolias across multiple institutions; the direct safeguarding of Magnolia genetic resources in Ecuador and the empowerment of local communities to collaboratively manage Magnolia collections. For more information on this project contact the GCCM Coordinator.

Summary of project activities carried out, including one example species in each country:

Magnolia canandeana flower. Credit: Edison Rea